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121 – Somebody’s Always Been Watching Over Me

Chris lives in Northern California outside of San Francisco. He shares how he selflessly discovered his adopted brother’s birth mother just in time for them to meet. Chris said he was thankful that at least one of the two brothers had completed their search. When Chris told his parents he launched his own search it created animosity between them that they’ve worked hard to get over. After finding a birth mother match through DNA testing, Chris has connected with a loving family that has wondered about him for years. This is Chris’s journey.

Recorded on my son, Seth’s, 12th birthday, January 16, 2020!


Chris (00:02):

You’re the only mother that I had growing up. So you, you raised me and I’m your son, and it doesn’t matter how many times I tell her that it seems like it’s always going to bother her, that I found my birth mother. And there’s nothing I can do to change that. And except just send her those vibes out right now. Mom, I love you. And there’s nobody that’s ever going to be able to replace you.

Speaker 2 (00:32):

Who am I? Who am I? Who am I? Who am I? Who am I? Who am I?

Damon (00:44):

This is who am I really a podcast about adoptees that have located and connected with their biological family members. I’m Damon Davis and on today’s show is Chris from Northern California, outside of San Francisco. While on his search, Chris selflessly found his brother’s birth mother just in time. And he was thankful that at least one of them had completed their search. When Chris told his parents, he launched his own search, it created animosity between them that they worked hard to get over. After finding a birth mother match through DNA testing. Chris has connected with a loving family that has wondered about him for years. This is Chris’s journey. Chris was born in Phoenix, Arizona. He said his parents were extremely loving people who adopted his younger brother, too. They also adopted his father’s younger half sister whom they had guardianship over when Chris was very young, around two or three years old, his family moved from Arizona to New Jersey. Chris was told that he was adopted around four or five years old.

Chris (01:55):

I remember going, going outside and being a little upset about it, not understanding. I do remember that my father came and got me and I can actually picture myself on that side of the house. And I can remember that spot. I have that kind of memory, I guess. And he, he came and got me and said, Hey, there’s nothing wrong with you. You’re, you’re just as special as any other child, you know? So I guess with reassurance and time you know, I, it just settled into me normal for me. And I think my brother and I may have talked about it as children. I mean, I can vaguely remember having conversations with my brother as we grew up about being adopted. But yeah, I mean, I think that overall, you know, my, my family knew, I mean, I used to tell people, I guess, and sometimes, you know, my parents would go, did you tell them you’re adopted? And we’re like, yes. And they’d say, Hey, Nope. It’s not a problem. You know? I mean, because maybe they, maybe they didn’t say anything to somebody or somebody didn’t know. I mean, it’s not something that they tried to hide at all. It was always, it was an open, it was open in our family.

Damon (03:08):

Chris said his brother used to ask him things like, do you wonder where your mother is clearly showing an itch to search and adoption’s deeper impact on him? It was clear. He was thinking about it more and more deeply than Chris was at the time as he got older, it was clear that he was going to search because he was a lot more curious about everything. I wondered if his brother’s curiosities made Chris do a deeper self examination. Was he more contemplative than he would have been? If his brother wasn’t so curious? He said yes. And coupled with his father’s inquiries, when he was a teenager about whether he wanted to search, Chris began to wonder what a reunion might look like, but it wasn’t until he had a daughter of his own that Chris made plans to search. I asked him what, having a biological child felt like for him.

Chris (04:01):

It really didn’t even, I don’t think that I thought about that much as much as after she was born in, like, she was three months old. And I was thinking, you know, she’d been to the doctor a few times and they’ve asked us, you know, like, what’s your family history, what’s your, you, those are the kinds of questions that you get from a doctor that you just say, I don’t know my family history, but I’ve been doing it. I was doing that all my life, but my wife hadn’t ever done that because she knew everybody. She was related to all of her life. And I think that’s something that adoptees and maybe the people you grow up with that you so closely love and spend time with your family, own family, the people that know you the best, there’s a person don’t understand that feeling.

Chris (04:48):

Nobody can describe that feeling, but, but an adoptee. And so, yeah, she, she was questioning everything, you know, like about family history or when we search. So to me would just put it on the back burner. We didn’t really talk about it much, but then when I got to Idaho, life was pretty good. And I was like, you know what, let’s do it. And then when I started to search, I made the mistake of telling my parents. So that prompted that her, her questioning me and everything, she really, she pushed me over the, I want say she pushed me over the edge. She, she was the one that nudged me in the direction. And I, and I, you know, appreciate that to this day. Although my own curiosity was obviously there, but she was like, no, you got to do this. And she supported it.

Damon (05:37):

Your wife did. Yeah. Cool. So you said you made the mistake of telling your parents, what does that mean?

Chris (05:46):

Well I felt it was a mistake because they reacted negatively to it. When I came back to California in 1993, my father and I had a conversation about that. And so he told me, he said, look, if you ever want to go to Phoenix and you want to go look for your, your birth parents and go look through court records and newspapers and whatever we will go. And so, you know, you could just tell that he, you know, he felt bad about saying that, but at the same time, you know, it was still there with me. It’s that wound that you don’t, you know, you sit there for awhile cause you think about it. But I think that he, his support and my search from that point has been nothing but positive. So that’s amazing. It’s really amazing. My dad is an incredible person and I, I couldn’t imagine being with, you know, being raised by anybody else.

Damon (06:47):

That’s awesome. Yeah. It’s funny. The things that we say in haste, in anger. Yeah.

Chris (06:55):

Anger. Yeah.

Damon (06:56):

Cannot unhear them and you can’t reel it back in and you can’t apologize enough. Right. And I’ve done it myself. I remember saying something very ugly to my mother and every once in a while it pops into my head and I still get that cringy feeling like, dude, what were you thinking? So I’m sure that he carries regret forever having uttered those words. And but I’m, I’m glad to hear that he reconciled himself to the journey that you were on and said, look, you got to do this and I’m going to help. And I think that’s just incredible. Well done.

Chris (07:33):

Yeah, absolutely. As a matter of fact, I called them when I found and spoke with my birth mother the same night. And they live in Utah in the central and the mountain time zone. So I called them and they were, they were in bed already, but my dad woke up, answer the phone and he’s 83, but he said to me, he said, wow, that’s, that’s amazing. You know, you’re going to have a lot. Cause I told them how old she was too, you know? And she’s all, you’re going to have a lot of amazing years with her. And I’m so, you know, like he was just over the top. So I think that that support, you know, that, that final thing that he told me about, you know, after my, my journey had concluded or my search had concluded, he, he just was more happy than, I mean, he was more happy than anybody else, you know what I mean? Saying. So and that’s what I wanted to share with him first. So I thought it was pretty, pretty awesome.

Damon (08:28):

So many of us are unsure where to start in our search. Chris started by contacting a search angel in Phoenix, a woman named BJ, Chris and BJ had a lot of starts and stops over the years. He did what a lot of us do. You get really excited and energized about wanting to search. Then you get nervous. You contemplate the money you’ll need to spend or other life events get in the way over time. BJ and Chris connected to the international sound X reunion registry. I SRR search angels, Phoenix and the Arizona adoption registry. Chris was told from the beginning that Arizona is one of the toughest States to retrieve information for an adoptee, even non-identifying information. The state is protective of birth parents and adopted people. Chris and BJ would go back and forth with calls and letters, no computers, their searches were paper-based. And he was in Idaho, remote and far from the sources of his information. Sometimes his search waned, Chris remarried and left Idaho, and was living in California with computer power in his hands. By then he started going online, discovering free search resources for both his own biological family. And for his younger brother’s roots, he’d spend a few hours, a couple of nights a week searching for his birthday and his brother’s birthday amidst the pools of information. Then one day in 2000, Chris found his brother’s birthday among the clues.

Chris (10:04):

This is how my search went. I found my brother’s birthday. I found someone looking at it was an email address. I emailed. Then I got reached out to someone else just to make sure it wasn’t. I mean, it’s like, is that really golden? The pan you looked at it and you just it’s the only way I can describe it. I, I used to pan a lot of gold when I lived in the mountains and in Idaho, but it was just you, you look at it and you’re like, that just can’t be golden there. And sure enough, you know, I, I was able to connect to my brother with his, with his birth mother. And he lived, my brother lived a pretty hard life and he was 33 or 34 when I connected him with her. And she was able to visit his state where he lived for three times, I believe, and, and spend, you know, many hours with him to, you know, just to establish some kind of relationship obviously, because she wanted to also but I thought that was such a wonderful result from all of my searching and all of my emotions and anxiety.

Chris (11:16):

I was very satisfied with the fact that I was able to find him. And then on top of that, he was terminally ill. So so he passed away in 2002 and he, you know, he was able to reconnect with his mother and even to this day, like, I feel like even if I never found my birth parents, I would have been, I was more than happy and more than satisfied that I was able to do that for my brother and his mom.

Damon (11:46):

Yeah. That is incredible. That is absolutely amazing because the challenge that a birth parent has in most cases is waiting for a child to come back to them and you were able to connect them and alleviate that from her in the midst of his terminal illness in, you know, in time for them to be. I just, that does sound incredibly rewarding. Wow.

Chris (12:14):

It’s well, I’m, you know, I guess, I guess I’m glad that you know, when, when you, you look at that whole situation, you know, I’m glad that one of us, you know, had that experience at that time. And that’s exactly how I was feeling.

Damon (12:29):

In his second marriage Chris’s wife was undecided about his search. She ran hot and cold about the whole thing until Chris found his brother’s family. Then she began to believe that his search could have some kind of conclusion to, in addition, his second wife’s sister, Anne had relinquished a child into adoption and describes her own reunion with her daughter. So she was supportive on Chris’s search as well. But Chris didn’t realize that his wife and her own sister didn’t really get along. So his wife would sometimes say things that would sour him to his own search. In his words, he was in a toxic marriage that he eventually got out of. But Chris maintained contact with his former sister-in-law and she encouraged him to pursue DNA testing, learn about uploading his DNA file to jet match and suggested ancestry DNA as a resource to make connections. Chris had gotten married for the third time to a wonderful woman whom he says has his back through thick and thin. And she and Dan encouraged Chris to submit a DNA test in 2016. It wasn’t until 2019 that he found out that he had a significant DNA match online. His uncle, Harry, whom Anne was able to help him confirm when she read the match results.

Chris (13:53):

Two days later, she showed up on my results as a positive hit for this is your parent. This is your mother. And then that same, that next morning I emailed I had her email from Harry that next morning she emailed me back and that’s when we agreed to speak that same evening.

Damon (14:14):

That’s incredible. I was going to ask, what was the moment like when you saw your ancestry screen say this is a parent.

Chris (14:27):

No, it was it was absolutely incredible. Actually pulled up the picture, you know, and I could see myself in her face and her in her yearbook picture. And it was absolutely incredible. That’s amazing when you can see yourself in somebody else, I was trying to describe this to my my mother, Carol, my adoptive mother, if that, if you, your whole life and you never see anybody with your eyes or your smile, or I kinda have a little bit of a crooked smile. And I think, you know, some of the people in the families, you know, smile kind of bend that way. Maybe they don’t look into other people, but to me, I see that. But you know, when you go your whole life and you don’t see anybody with the, your features and everything, it always kind of makes you wonder who’s out there. So I think that for me, that moment was absolutely overwhelming. When I saw that picture of her

Damon (15:24):

That evening, Chris was anticipating an extended commute home from work. There was construction on the route. Traffic was heavier than usual, and it was going to take him over an hour to get home. He decided to stop at a local sandwich shop where his son worked to get a bite to eat before that long commute home. He hadn’t revealed to anyone what his life changing plans were for the evening to speak to his birth mother, Nikki for the first time.

Chris (15:51):

And I said, well, I’d go into the local sandwich shop where my son works. And we’re in the same town that I work in. And I, I got a sandwich just to see his face before. I knew that I was making the call that I wasn’t telling anybody about. So got in the car, ate my sandwich while I read her email again sitting there crying, you know, making my bread, soggy, no lie. And she and, and then, you know, I gathered myself and made the call. So, you know, we just, we just started talking and it, it really went into, you know, a little bit of history just talking. She really wanted to tell me, you know, why she paid me up and, you know, circumstances surrounding that. And we just, we talked a lot about that at first. And then, then there was, you know, more of the history, like where we had been, and then we did some backtracking and we, we both have the same trait.

Chris (16:46):

Like we can you know, we, we can go back and discuss something that maybe somebody thought you already, you know, you’ve already gone over, but we’ll go back over things again when we’re talking. But we did that that day. And and it was, it was great. We really were able to connect and, you know, unbeknownst to me, you know, she was separating and divorcing in her marriage at the same time I was. So we were kind of having a mirror experience with, you know, similar similar people I would say. And, you know, what’s, what’s amazing about that is that when you talk to yours, you talk to someone about your situation that you’re in, in your marriage, and you’re not in that any, any toxic relation, but you talk to somebody who understands then it makes the biggest difference in the world. So there was like this instant connection there with that, that we understood each other and where we were at, where we were headed. And I think that that really made a huge difference at the beginning of our, our relationship in that first conversation.

Damon (17:50):

That’s, that is really interesting and that’s a heavy, heavy situation to be in and to be in it, to be in it with someone whom you are emotionally attached to, and they can relate to what you’re going through is an incredibly important and sort of almost miraculous support network. I mean, that’s really interesting.

Chris (18:17):

It is. I, I Marvel sometimes I feel like I’ve had some of the best luck in my life in my life personally, you know, I feel like a very lucky person. I’ve been in a lot of fortunate situations and, and I don’t take them for granted. And I think that’s was just one of those other things. Like, you know, you walking down the road and everything’s just going your way. It just seems like that’s, that’s the way I look at my life, you know, and I know there’s been trials and tribulations, but when it comes to things like that, I do not take them for granted. I think they’re there for a reason. And they were, you know, when I say luck, I really mean like, you know, somebody’s always been watching over me. I feel

Damon (19:00):

Nikki told Chris that she had him when she was in high school at 17 years old, she had to leave her school to go to the Florence, Crittenton home in Phoenix, Arizona.

Chris (19:10):

She talked about how, you know, her decision, you know, a decision was made you know, kind of with, with him. Cause he was a little bit older than her, not much, but a little bit holding her and her parents. And that decision was made to give me up for adoption. And it really, she just kinda said, she felt like she wasn’t involved in that decision. It was made for her. It was made for her. Yes. And now we both looked back and we, we know that that was the, you know, that was the right decision. I think we can, we both would agree to that. And I think that, you know, it’s, it’s amazing. She’s, she’s got such a great spirit. He, you know, today she’s just a wonderful person, I will say. That’s where her journey began with this woman named, took her in. She made them promise that I was going to go to a home that I wasn’t going to be put in, you know, with like a an orphanage, you know what I’m saying? Like she wanted to know that I was going to a home with a family right away that I was going to be there for months or whatever in a, you know, an, an orphanage type situation.

Damon (20:20):

What did you think when you heard her say, you know, I tried to set you up. Yeah.

Chris (20:27):

You know, and then to think she says, and I know that was, seemed so it, but she was very adamant about it, the way she described it to me. And so I understood that she was serious about it and they took her seriously and they promised her yess who he will go somewhere and, you know, in a, in a family. And so I’m thinking like who, you know, at 16 or 17 years old, I think about the, you know, the foresight, she had to make sure that I was going to be okay. It was like, that was a decision that decided my life.

Damon (21:00):

Yeah. It really did

Chris (21:04):

Where I went to and how my life went. And and I, I find that amazing to this day,

Damon (21:10):

Pregnant with a baby boy, Nikki was forced to make life changes that she didn’t want to make at 17, but she decided to use her son’s life as motivation to push her forward.

Chris (21:21):

She had to drop out of high school to, to do this. So she said once she had me and she gave me up for adoption, she decided that because of me, she was going to go back to high school and she did, she went back to high school and graduated

Damon (21:37):

Really good for her. That’s awesome.

Chris (21:40):

And yeah, it’s fantastic. When we, when we saw each other, this last spring, she came to visit me and this past Memorial day weekend, and she gave me a frame with her name in it. And it was a nice, you know, gold frame with a black background. And in it was, she had an extra, it’s like a little key on a key chain that you get for graduating high school. Like you can buy a little something, you weren’t on your key chain. So the year you graduated and everything, well, she had that framed and she gave that to me because she said she had, she said, because you are the reason I went back to high school. So there’s a special meaning to that.

Damon (22:23):

That’s incredible

Chris (22:26):

Back to her, her foresight and how, you know, her experience with that. So I think that her, you know, her being able to discern things like that and just have had the foresight to say, you know, he’s going to be here, not here and threaten them with not giving me up for adoption was an incredible decision.

Damon (22:46):

Sure. That’s, that’s powerful. And, and she had the power, which many women, I don’t believe, felt that they had, or it was absolutely sort of stripped from them if they did feel like they had it. And sounds like she stood strong and she was thoughtful, which is really incredible after their first phone conversation where Nikki and Chris talked about their histories and his origin story, they got on the phone again the next day, Chris and Nicki called one another the day after that and spoke to one another every day for a whole week, about 10 days in Nikki put Chris on speakerphone. So the other family members could hear his voice and be introduced to her son to the voice of their long lost brother, uncle, or whatever their relation is filled the room as the family who all knew about Nikki’s first son listened to Chris, introducing himself. He talks about the environment for getting to know one another.

Chris (23:47):

We talked a lot. And we just, I don’t know. It was a relationship that grew, it’s hard to describe actually, because there really hasn’t been any, there’s been a lot of, I would say concern on each side because you just don’t know everybody. Like, you know, if your wife doesn’t call you when she says, she’s going to call you everything, you know, everything’s going to be okay. But when you hear that from somebody you’re just getting to know, you’re like, you have that question mark in your head. So for us, it was a lot of questions. Oh, if I don’t text you back, it’s okay. If I don’t call you right away, it’s okay. Just know I’m still gonna call you. There’s nothing wrong. You didn’t say anything wrong. I didn’t say anything wrong. So we have a lot of that in our conversations and just getting to know each other. I mean, that’s all it was because we were being very, I think both of us were very cautious. You know, at first we were excited, but again, you know, cautiously. So, but at the same time, we were just trying to be considerate and understanding of where we come from. And, and I think that’s really helped our relationship grow. So we just we kept talking and that just kind of led up to, Hey, I’m gonna come visit you. And that’s it

Damon (24:51):

During that first month, Chris started rethinking travel plans to see his parents in the spring. He rerouted to focus on Phoenix. Originally the plan was to go see his parents with his son, but Chris’s son couldn’t get time off from work. So Chris went to see Nikki and his new found family alone.

Chris (25:13):

And recommended. Maybe I should take somebody with me, but she did say whether you take somebody or not make sure you have a safe place, like meaning that you have a place to, you know, deal with your emotions by yourself. And you don’t have to worry about being in a house where if you’re going to break down and cry, a good cry or just get emotional, or you just want to chill out, you got to have your own space. So I took her advice and I, and I got an Airbnb. So Nikki came over, I got there on Friday and Nikki came over her my two uncles, Harry, and Paul dropped her off. And you know, we saw each other at the door. She came in and we hugged and it was it was a long, it was a long hug.

Chris (26:05):

You know, it was a, there, there wasn’t tears. I don’t know why there wasn’t tears. I would have expected that we both would have just been balling, but we weren’t. We were very, I think just talking on the phone a lot really helped because you know, them already you’ve heard their voice, but it was that first time physical that it was just, it was very I would say it was almost surreal except it seemed very normal and comfortable to a degree, but yet, you know, it was the first time that we had hugged ever. So I just think all the time that we talked on the phone and to know each other really, really helped that first meeting and it wasn’t just a total breakdown for everybody.

Damon (26:48):

Yeah. I’m sure by the time you’ve spoken to someone, you kind of feel like, you know them now, it’s just a matter of physically touching them and welcoming them sort of into your life, into your heart in a, in a, in the most complete way by standing there looking at them eye to eye, right,

Chris (27:04):

Right. I mean, can you imagine if I would’ve like maybe searched her, she searched me and then we just showed up somewhere, knock on their door. Right? I mean, how emotional that would be compared to not getting to know someone. It was, you know, it, it would have been, it would have been a lot. It would’ve been a lot more emotional had we not spoken more on the phone. So I’m just glad that we did.

Damon (27:26):

Chris and Nikki talked for several hours at that. Airbnb, when things winded down, one of Chris’s new uncles had invited Chris and Nikki to his home to meet another uncle and their spouses for a wonderful visit. I asked Chris what he was able to learn about his birth father. He said that growing up, his adopted maternal grandmother used to speculate that his birth father was a famous race car driver because it was rumored. The man was into cars. The man was a couple of years older than Nikki.

Chris (27:58):

No, I searched him. I just haven’t been able to locate him. And I know he’s in the Phoenix area, but she did tell me, you know, that’s he did like to race cars. I think his family was from the from the South, have a lot of ancestors on his side, more so than most families on ancestry. If you can believe that that’s fascinating. Yeah. Nikki didn’t know that about him, but I discovered on an Anne, who’s a collaborator. She called me frantically after my first result came back from ancestry. And she said, it’s a little bit of a backtrack. But she said to me, she said, do you realize how many ancestors you have going back to pre-colonial, you know, England? And I’m like, are you kidding me? And she goes, no, she goes, there’s so many people just traceable to the South and the colonies that you probably related, and this is just her experience.

Chris (28:50):

You know, she said, you’re probably related to somebody who signed the declaration of independence or at least one of them. And I said, wow, that’s pretty amazing. Cause there’s like 5,000 relatives on that side initially like that have, that are traced back just on my dad’s side and ancestry, which she like, yeah. Like she said, as a collaborator, she says, you rarely see, you know, a thousand, right. Yeah. Right, right. Oh, that’s incredible. And then so you know, a little bit about him. I think they’re mostly, I think his side of the family, they first came West and like nobody had been past the Mississippi until like 1922 or something. And so they’re all from the South. As far as I know, I mean, that’s what I’ve seen on ancestry, but as far as what she knows about him, I mean, they didn’t have any contact after that never came to see me or anything. You know, I think a decision was made and then he just won his way.

Damon (29:45):

When we spoke by phone, a first cousin on his paternal side had just shown up in Chris’s DNA contacts. Everyone else is way out in the fifth cousin range, which may be more trouble than it’s worth to try to track down his birth father. Chris acknowledged that he could pursue a private investigator, but he wasn’t sure he was ready to move forward. I checked in on Chris’s adopted parents and how things were with them on his journey. He said he didn’t tell his folks when he submitted his ancestry DNA test, his mom is protective and he knew she would be sensitive on that topic.

Chris (30:22):

I said, you know, I’m going to take the time and go down and see my sister and my sister and my and my parents in St. George Utah. So I went down there and I remember cook the whole meal for everybody, sat down or having a few drinks and somebody all, Oh, you know, Chris, have you ever thought about looking for you to, and then, you know, I just like it slipped out, like, yeah, I did an ancestry test. All of a sudden my mom’s head spun around. I swear. I thought she was going to break her neck. And my dad looked at me and he’s all, that’s great. You know? So you know, my mom wasn’t you know, she just looked, she didn’t say much, but everybody else, we were kind of talking about it. I said, no, I haven’t really found anything out.

Chris (31:04):

So you know, and that was in 2018, but it was low and behold, you know, four months later I found out. But yeah, my my parents, they they’ve been, they’ve been supportive. I would say my dad more so than my mother. My mom is always asking me. So how often do you talk to, or you know, what about, she’s always got some questions, you know, about my relationship because she’s she’s insecure about it and it doesn’t matter how many times I tell her. And she’s 82. Now. It doesn’t matter how many times I tell her, I love her. And you’re, you’re the only mother that I had growing up. So you, you raised me and, and I’m your son and it doesn’t matter how many times I tell her that it seems like it’s always gonna bother her, that I found my birth mother. And there’s nothing I can do to change that. And except just send, sending those vibes out right now. Mom, I love you. And there’s nobody that’s ever going to be able to replace you. And it’s given me pause also to look back on the things that my mother has done for me in my life and the reason I am, where I am and the reason I am the way I am. And so I’m very thankful for that.

Damon (32:24):

Excellent. Yeah. I heard, I don’t know if you would have heard this particular episode of the show, but one of my guests said, you know, a lot of times people will question an adoptee. Like why do you need to look for another set of parents who already have another set of like, you have a set of parents, why do you need another? And he said something along the lines of love. Doesn’t basically come in a finite volume. You know, if you’ve got a brother or sister and your parents have another brother or sister for you, there’s love for that person too. And so the same way that you can love more than one person who may be a sibling, he basically made the point like there’s room enough for more than one parent. There’s the parent that raised me, loved me and whom I love for that reason. And then there’s the parent who brought me into this world and basically cared enough to be insightful and thoughtful about the next steps for my life that I ended up in this home with you. So there’s room for both. And I wonder if there’s a way to convey that to her to say, you know, you had love for me and my brother. I can, I can cherish both you and this biological mother that I found at the same time.

Chris (33:40):

Yeah. You know, that’s interesting that you say that because I did hear that episode and I can tell you that it really brought up for me, a lot of feelings of, you know, there’s, there’s going to be more love in your life from these people, but there’s going to be, you’re going to, you’re going to have to figure out a way to manage those relationships of love. And I don’t think that my mother sees it that way. I really don’t. I feel like my my life is fuller than it has been as an adult. And that is taking nothing away from my parents. My life is for as an adult now that I’ve found my birth mother, I believe, and it’s re it’s really hard to put in a word statement. I, I can’t, I can’t really describe that. It’s just having that love and that extra love, and then that extra attention that you’re giving out to other people in your life. It’s, it’s hard to describe. I just have a good feeling about the whole thing, but I don’t, I don’t know why some people don’t see it that way.

Damon (34:52):

Yeah. Well, it’s hard. I would imagine too, because you know, I’m an adoptive parent as well. And I struggle with the narrative that I, you know, we have tried to do so much for you. How is it that you could and name the in gratitude, insert, insert child’s in gratitude in the blank, right?

Chris (35:19):

Yeah, I think as I got older, but maybe that was said the first time I told them, right. You know what I’m saying? Like, that’s, maybe it wasn’t said, but it was implied. You know, when, when they said one, my father said that I feel like it’s, I mean, that’s all I can say. It’s all I can say about that. I think that he, you know, that, that’s what they’d said, but now it’s, I don’t think they would say that out loud. They might think that, but I don’t think my dad thinks that at all. I think my dad is so far moved on in the situation that, you know, he’s eclipse there’s experience in this whole thing. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I just, I don’t know how to, I don’t think that my mother had said that. She’s not saying it, but maybe she’s thinking that, and I wouldn’t know that, you know, and so that’s the only time I that’s all healed. I just think my mother may think that, but doesn’t say it.

Damon (36:14):

Yeah. I understand completely. Wow. Well, I’m, I’m happy for you that you found your folks, that you found your birth mother and that you found your brother, your brother’s birth mother too. That’s really amazing. Incredible. You’ve basically found two. I mean, that’s awesome. Good for you, man. It sounds like you feel pretty good about everything as well. Like you’re really, you’re really in a good place. It doesn’t sound like there was a huge hole to be filled, but what did need to be filled? You’ve gotten some closure on, right?

Chris (36:44):

Yeah, absolutely. I want to share something about the day that I found out, right. Which, which I excluded, but I was working for a kid who was younger than me. I mean, he got promoted, but I it’s where he wanted to go. So he, he was there that day when I opened the email and I on my break and I came back and he goes, what’s the matter you get this, look on your face. And I said, hi. I just found out my birth mother popped up on ancestry, you know? And I just got an email from her, you know? And he’s like, what? And I’m all. Yeah. And then I said, I go, I don’t, I don’t know what I would just completely lost it at work. So he’s all no go home, you know, take a vacation day, whatever. So I took a vacation day and then the day after I came to work and he let me go half day 30, he goes, I can still tell you you’re going through a wall.

Chris (37:34):

You know, I took a good three days off cause I had my days off coming up, but it really helped me refocus. But I remember just being out of sorts emotionally, like I couldn’t focus at work. That’s how strong the I think that you’re, you know, you get that distracted emotion that keeps you from focusing on, you know, the things in front of you. So that was just a good thing, you know, but it was just great that I, I, you know, I was glad that I’d found her, but boy, it really, it took, and I’m a very focused person when I’m at work. So for that to do that, to me, it was really surprising to me. But it was a good, you know, it was a good thing. So I just, you know, I wanted to share that with you about, you know, the day that I found her and the day after

Damon (38:18):

It sounds like the emotion and the heavy emotion of it all really sort of shifted you off of your foundation. Wow.

Chris (38:26):

Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Move me. I mean, it was like, you know, you sit on the couch and just stare in the distance, cause your mind is racing. Don’t have any energy for anything else you’re just mentally focused on. Wow. I mean, you’re, you’re almost in shock, so to speak and that’s the only way I could describe it. Wow.

Damon (38:46):

Well, I wish you luck in finding your birth father and making a connection too. It’ll be interesting to see how receptive he is. Take caution as you reach out to him and and all the best to you. Chris, take care, man. Thanks so much for making time today. I appreciate it.

Chris (39:04):

Okay. No, I appreciate you making time and just have a great evening with your son and happy birthday to him. Yeah.

Damon (39:11):

Yeah. Happy birthday, Seth. I’ll talk to you later, Chris. Okay. Alright. Thanks Damon. Bye bye.

Damon (39:20):

Hey, it’s me. I loved hearing the story of Chris’s search for his own biological family, but selflessly making the connection to his brother’s birth family. First, admittedly, it was hard to hear that some harsh words were spoken when Chris revealed his own desire to search to his parents, but he said his dad is completely over it. And he’s reassuring his mom constantly. I was really inspired to hear how his birth mother Nikki tried to exert all the power she could while she was pregnant to ensure Chris would find a home. There are so many variations of Nikki’s story out there. I really hope someone will launch a first mother’s podcast one day so that moms like Nicki can share what they went through and how they’re doing. Now. I would be remiss if I didn’t share that Chris has two wonderful younger sisters that he feels lucky to be getting to know I’m Damon Davis.

Damon (40:17):

And to hope you’ll find something in Chris’s journey that inspires you, validates your feelings about wanting to search or motivates you to have the strength along your journey to learn who am I really, if you would like to share your adoption journey and your attempt to connect with your biological family, please visit whoamIreally You can follow the show at, or follow on Twitter at waireally. If the show is meaningful to you, you can support me with a contribution to keep it going on. Patrion.Com/waireally please subscribe to who am I really on Apple podcasts, Google play, or wherever you get your podcasts. It would mean so much to me. If you took a moment to leave a five star rating there, those ratings can help others to find the podcast too. And if you’re interested, you can check out the story of my adoption journey. Who am I really and adopt the memoir on on Kindle or as an audio book on audible. I hope you’ll add my story to your reading list.

Chris (41:38):

My birth mother, Nicki, her mother. Well, her whole family line going back is I’m a direct descendant from Nikki of Jacob’s Charlotte. And I don’t know if you’re familiar with Jacob Charlotte but he was, he was a clerk in Washington, DC, and he was asked because of his handwriting to pen the constitution, the United States. Wow. Yeah, that’s incredible. That’s amazing. That’s truly, truly amazing. You know? And so they gave me a book when I was down there and one of my uncles had a copy made and they gave me a book and everything on Jacob Charlotte. And that style of writing was a treasured family. I want to say, you know, a skill, they, everybody took the class right up to my maternal grandmother, knew how to write that way. That’s really awesome. Yeah, they handed it down. So I thought it was pretty cool. So my, my ancestor pen, the constitution of the United States,

Damon (42:38):

That is really unbelievable. Wow. That’s cool.

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