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227 – I Knew She Never Forgot Me

Jane, from outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, grew up knowing she was adopted, comfortable with the fact, and even knowing her birth name from a young age.

After her adoptive parents passed away, Jane obtained as much identifying information as possible and submitted two DNA tests. The amalgamation of resources all provided supporting clues to her maternal and paternal sides.

In reunion, Jane found a man who didn’t even know she existed, but wanted to get as much information about what transpired behind his back when he was a teenager as possible.

Listen at the end for the touching moment where Jane took her birth father to a special place.

This is Jane’s journey.

Who Am I Really?

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Transcript

[00:00:00]

[00:00:00] Jane: it made me realize at that moment, that. It wasn't about me. as much as I had always thought I never felt bad. I, I like the fact that I was adopted and I, went to the right family.

But, you start to think about What all these women went through and it's just, it makes me so sad.

Show open

[00:00:17] Damon: I'm Damon Davis and today is Jane's turned to tell her story. She called me from Newtown. bucks county outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Jane grew up knowing she was adopted Comfortable with the fact and even knowing her birth name from a young age. After her adoptive parents passed away. Jane obtained as much identifying information as possible and submitted two DNA tests, The amalgamation of resources, all providing, supporting clues to her maternal and paternal sides in reunion. Jane found a man who didn't even know she existed, But wanted to get as much information About what transpired behind his back, when he was a teenager as possible.

Listen, at the end for the touching moment where [00:01:00] Jane took her birth father to a special place, this is Jane's journey.

Open

[00:01:04] Damon: jane grew up only six miles from where she lives today. Going back. Jane said her adoptive mother attempted to have children, But she had a blood clot on her brain in the 1960s, and had a stroke when trying to recover. So child rearing was put on hold. Jane was adopted at 10 months old, Then her parents were able to get pregnant.

So her brother was born two years later, biological to her parents. Jane said she had the best childhood. She could imagine. Her family got along well, And she was treated as an equal sibling, despite their natural Sibling rivalries. Jane always knew she was adopted.

And she and her family kind of looked alike. And while she was told she was special, she never took adoption as a challenging phenomenon for herself. When I asked Jane about her brother, she said,

[00:01:55] Jane: We were not similar. he was more of a, an artist.

I played [00:02:00] sports. He, he played some sports, but I, was more of a sports person than he was. He, he was an artist and he was very good in school. And I wasn't, I had some, , reading difficulties. And I feel now that it was probably, , just the whole, , Being adopted and and not being able to focus as much and that's what I know now, but I didn't know that then.

[00:02:22] Damon: That's interesting. When you say being adopted and not being able to focus what does that mean to you?

[00:02:28] Jane: I feel like there was something. That was keeping me back from, really being who I really was. I didn't realize it, but I, I just felt like I wasn't smart and I wasn't, , able to retain like I would read something in it.

I couldn't retain it. maybe you have to reading it three or four times. I'd get it, but it took me a lot to focus.

[00:02:53] Damon: Mm hmm. Yeah, I understand where you're coming from. I had similar challenges of sort of what I now would think of as an [00:03:00] attention deficit for me. I just right.

Right. . Three sentences into a paragraph. I'm like, shoot, I need to start over. What I mean? Yeah, that's

[00:03:08] Jane: that's exactly the way I felt and , I wasn't a very good student I was as an elementary, Cuz I wanted to do everything right and then I would , and and and then as it got harder it was harder for me

[00:03:20] Damon: Yeah, as the challenges mount if your difficulties haven't been addressed They will continue to get more and more challenging.

I hear you. How about your relationship with and your likenesses and differences between you and your adoptive parents

[00:03:37] Jane: My mom and I were very very similar. We looked similar And we got along. We did things together. My dad and I, as a young kid, I loved my dad.

My dad was just a special guy to me. And, we got along very well. All of us. My mom was, she was a physical therapist and she was very, a very [00:04:00] unique person. she grew up on a farm and she just was a, she was very interesting and I just always liked learning things from her. She taught me, she taught us both so much about life and not even realizing how much she was teaching us.

Just as our life, as we got older, I realized how much she really did teach us.

[00:04:22] Damon: Like what? Tell me, tell me something that you realized just kind of hit you one day.

[00:04:27] Jane: Just, how, how to treat people and how she would get along with people. She, she would take us to her jobs in the summer when we were off from school and we would see how she treated people and how, she, Would help people to walk again.

And, and she just was so kind. And she taught, me to be kind to everybody. Didn't matter who you were, just be nice. And put what you want out there in the world to come back at you, treat people how you want to be treated.

[00:04:55] Damon: , this is a funny thing that we get from our parents.

You don't really realize when [00:05:00] you're a kid, how much you are absorbing and admiring what they do. , there's the classic adage that. Actions speak louder than words, and I can know you to be a good person, but it's not until you see what being a good person looks like, as an example, that you're able to model that based on what you've seen, and so it's great to hear that she was that kind of person that put that level of positivity out in the world, that you then were able to say, oh, this is how I want to be.

I admire my mom, and that's the kind of person I want to be, and you took that. That's really cool.

[00:05:34] Jane: That's right. she was an amazing person.

[00:05:36] Damon: That's awesome. How about with your dad?

[00:05:39] Jane: My dad and I, got along like I said, when I was younger, as I was growing up, my parents divorced when I was 14.

, so that was a challenge and I lived, we stayed with my dad. my mom had asked us to come with her, but we chose to stay with my dad. So, my dad had more, rules in the house and he was, the more disciplinarian so [00:06:00] he was more strict and, we butted heads a lot.

[00:06:03] Damon: How did that translate into how much you felt loved or did not?

[00:06:08] Jane: Well, I always knew that he loved me, but there were times when that's, that's hard, because he did treat us differently as we got older. And a lot of it was because I was a rule follower and I did, as he said, and my brother wasn't, he didn't as much, I mean, he was more in trouble than I, and, , I guess my dad sort of let me be, uh, he knew that I would be okay, just not paying as much attention to me.

[00:06:39] Damon: Yeah, it's funny how parents are you you recognize the one that needs the heavier hand the more Focused guidance and you kind of make assumptions about the one who doesn't need as a bunch of tension, , right? Yeah, I'm reading your submission here you say? I always knew I was adopted and knew my name you knew [00:07:00] your birth name.

Is that true?

[00:07:01] Jane: Yes, my mom told me at about, eight years old, it was a closed adoption and, they had worked through, , the, Children's Bureau of Delaware. so, I guess because they had gone through an attorney, I had all the paperwork from the attorney's office.

and she told me when I was about eight, and I think why is when you were in that, the, , baby scoop era, , they, as you're supposed to be a blank slate and treat your kids as your own and all that. And I think they came to visit. They did home visits for a while to make sure that everything was fitting.

I was fitting in the family and everything was going. And then about eight years old, it stopped. so my mom, we were driving down the street one day and my mom , told me my birth name, and I was, I just sat there and I was like, Oh, wow. , I always knew I was adopted, but I didn't have a name.

And then all of a sudden I've got this other identity. it was a strange feeling.

[00:07:54] Damon: I know this has been a while since you were eight, but, Do you remember [00:08:00] identifying being adopted as having an alternative identity, as having another family out there?

[00:08:06] Jane: Yes,

[00:08:07] Damon: I did.

[00:08:08] Jane: Yes, because my mom told me the story. I mean, she gave me, as many specifics, I think, as she knew. My mom was very young when she had me. She was, , 14. And, , so she said that my birth mother was so young that, , she wasn't able to take care of you. So she put you up for adoption and, , we're lucky enough to have you.

And, uh, so I always felt that there was someone else out there.

[00:08:35] Damon: Did you appreciate that? Honesty? I

[00:08:38] Jane: did. I did. I am so glad that they were honest with me because I don't know how someone would find out as an older person. that kind of information it's hard to grip as a young kid But I think it's easier when it's been told to you as you're growing up like I remember my mom rocking me as a three and four year old and she would read books [00:09:00] and things like that and she would just say that I was adopted and you are not born under my heart Put it in it

[00:09:07] Damon: That's an interesting one.

I haven't heard that one before. So, when you heard this other name, and it gave you a sense of having an alternate identity, do you recall what your feelings were like at eight years old?

[00:09:21] Jane: It was very strange because I I don't think you can, Separate what you feel from how you do feel like what is it that you're feeling like thought well I have two identities maybe or I mean just because I have two names doesn't mean that I'm two people I mean, I am a Gemini but That's just it's it just goes right along with it.

And I I really never Put much more thought into it. I just, I had a name and I thought about my birth mother at, , , like on my birthdays and things, but it never really went past that.

[00:09:54] Damon: Gotcha. What do you remember thinking about on your birthday?

[00:09:58] Jane: Just thinking whether if she [00:10:00] was thinking about me, which is now that I know, , that they don't stop thinking of you, I, but you don't know, , I'd, I'd look at the moon and think, I wonder if she's looking at the same moon or whatever, but I never really had a, you have a sort of a, a picture in your head, but no face or, , no, not really any, information more than that.

[00:10:19] Damon: , it's fascinating as you just. Mentioned looking at the moon. It occurred to me that this is a recurring theme among adoptees who are thinking about their birth mothers and parents. I've heard more than one person say, I would look at the moon or I would look in the stars and see, think, are they looking at the same sky as me?

And it just hit me that the moon is a very neutral piece of every single person's life. It doesn't matter whether you speak the same language, live in the same country, , what race, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic background you come from. The moon is just a [00:11:00] simple part of our celestial being that we all can relate to.

And it just hit me when you said that, that the moon is this, , central factor in all of our lives that many of us take for granted, but for some reason, adoptees look to as. At least we may have that in common right now. I just, I just want to say that because it really struck me in this moment that you mentioned it for yet another time.

Fascinating.

[00:11:24] Jane: That's neat. That's really neat. And I thought that, , I don't know what the specific meaning I'd heard people say that before, but I really did think. On my birthdays and like Mother's Day and things like that, I'd think, , I wonder what you're thinking or if you are anything like that.

[00:11:40] Damon: Jane said the trigger for her search was a time in her life. After both of her adoptive parents had passed away. She had always been curious about her ethnicity because she didn't know anything about her heritage. Her adoptive mother had always told her that if she wanted to search, she would help, but Jane never searched. At that time with her adoptive mother [00:12:00] gone. Jane realized she didn't want to live out her life.

Not knowing about her roots at At about 53 years old. Jane sent away for her original birth certificate or her OBC knowing her own name at birth. the next striking bit of information Jane finally learned was her birth mother's name, Which was all she thought she wanted. Jane did internet searches for the woman turn to social media and try to locate her, but nothing came up. Jane decided DNA testing was her next step.

So she submitted her sample to 23 and me. Which revealed her genetic heritage and a handful of distant cousins, but no meaningful relationships. Since Jane had the family name from her ancestral heritage, she went back to the internet to search again, which turned up an obituary for Jane's maternal grandfather.

[00:12:47] Jane: I was reading the obituary and it listed, his children, and there were six children listed, and then it said, , pre deceased by, and it had my birth mother's name, and I thought, oh my god, [00:13:00] like, all of my life, like, I had just only wanted to find her, and I just, I'm looking there, and I'm like, oh my god, I didn't do it in time, and I got upset, because I, , I waited so long.

[00:13:12] Damon: That's interesting. How long had you missed her by? Did you calculate that?

[00:13:16] Jane: Yes. She died in, 2001. So it was, 20 years.

[00:13:22] Damon: I gotcha. You waited too long, but it was 20 years, 20 years, a long time to arrive at a decision to make a reunion search. So I'm sorry that you missed her, but it doesn't sound like you necessarily had been on that path and said, all right, I'm going to do it.

And then you missed her by a year or two. Like she had been long gone, which is really too bad. Did you learn anything about her death?

[00:13:44] Jane: Yes, , I have been reunited with her, her children and, , four out of the six remaining, , siblings, her siblings.

[00:13:54] Damon: Oh, wow. And what did, what did you learn about her passing?

[00:13:57] Jane: She died of lung [00:14:00] cancer.

[00:14:00] Damon: And it sounds like she died fairly young. She was

[00:14:03] Jane: 54. I think she was.

[00:14:05] Damon: And this is around the time. This is around the same age that you are searching for her, that you learned she passed around your age.

Correct. How did that hit you?

[00:14:14] Jane: Uh, pretty hard, pretty hard because I had always thought like, there was a difference of not very many years between us because she was so young when she had me that. There's a great possibility that I'll be able to find her. , and when I learned that she had died of lung cancer, I was like, Oh my God, because then it, triggers the health things that you never knew.

[00:14:35] Damon: And so did you begin to then worry or feel concern about what health challenges you might be living with that you didn't realize you had inherited?

[00:14:43] Jane: A little bit, but not really, because , if you take care of yourself, which I do, and you, , you go to the doctor regularly and you get, , they ask you and you say, Oh, I don't know, I was adopted, which never really bothered me.

I, I often thought, I wonder what kind of other Diseases or things that in my non [00:15:00] identifying information, which I had received after the original birth certificate, , I found out there wasn't too much just maybe, , long cancer was just my birth mother.

And then I found out later that my birth mother's a twin, a boy girl twin and her. brother actually has just passed away from lung cancer.

[00:15:19] Damon: So

[00:15:19] Jane: now it's more, it's more of a, prevalent thing in my life. Now,

[00:15:24] Damon: That must have been an odd affirmation of the heredity of the disease then for you.

Yep.

After completing 23 and me Jane did ancestry DNA. she had also been contacting her adoption agency to get as much non identifying information as possible with their help on the ancestry DNA platform. Jane received a private message from a woman asking if she was the person who was contacting the adoption agency. Jane thought the message was strange, but she replied back in the affirmative that she was the person contacting the agency.

[00:15:57] Jane: I thought, well, that's strange. And I wrote back [00:16:00] and I said, yes. And she said, , I'm your half sister.

And I was like, wow, that's cool. , I didn't re I never even thought siblings. , I was just focused on trying to find my birth mother. And so I wrote her back and I said, I am. and then she told me that I had, , another half sister and a half brother.

[00:16:19] Damon: So your, family expanded immediately. And it's funny You're so focused on her that you don't even consider some of the other options, as you said, right? These half siblings are now a reality, and they totally could have been a reality the whole time. You just, we don't, it doesn't occur to us, right?

That's amazing.

[00:16:36] Jane: Yeah, , I don't have the need to search, or I didn't really, , my life was so, Happy and complete with the parents that I had in the and the sibling that I had and I mean I never really thought more than past my birth mother it's a strange feeling I felt I I felt Exhilaration at the beginning and then I thought well I don't have any kind of connection to them [00:17:00] except they're You half of my birth mother.

And I thought, well, that's really neat. And , I'd love to meet you and get to know you and all that. And I actually do have a really nice relationship , with Chrissy, my half sister.

[00:17:11] Damon: That's awesome. So tell me a little bit about how that meeting came about. , how did you even arrive at the point of meeting each other?

[00:17:17] Jane: Well, it was during COVID. So we, we had been texting a lot and she asked if she could call me and I, so we talked on the phone quite a bit. And, , , just texted back and forth and we just, and she said one day, she said, , we really should meet. And I thought, well, that, that would be the thing, except, what do you do during COVID?

So we got together at outside at a restaurant. We met. And, , it was just an amazing day. I first saw somebody that was biologically related to me.

[00:17:47] Damon: How was that for you?

[00:17:48] Jane: It was really neat. It was really, really neat. It was, I had, I don't know that I had any expectations, so it was just I was just meeting, Somebody that was connected to my birth [00:18:00] mother and it's sort of strange because you sort of Sat back and just watched I just I know I asked some questions, but more than that I just watched I looked at her a lot and I I mean we we talked but I just couldn't believe that I was looking at somebody that my birth mother also gave birth to.

[00:18:18] Damon: Yeah, yeah, that's a really interesting thing. I, not a lot of people say it that way. Most of us just think this person and I are related and I'm looking at them from a mirroring perspective. But most people don't actually express. My birth mother also gave birth to that person. It's kind of fascinating.

[00:18:39] Jane: Well, it's just how I thought, like, we don't look a lot alike or anything. We have similar likes now that we are, more in touch with each other and spend some time together. , actually the first Christmas that we spent together, her and I got each other the same, the same gift.

[00:18:54] Damon: Wow. What was that?

[00:18:56] Jane: Oh, it was, , and speaking of the moon, which is more so [00:19:00] important in my life. , we got each other our moon phase of what how the moon was on the day that we were born.

[00:19:07] Damon: You both got one another that same gift? Yes. That's amazing. Isn't it? That's really wild. It is really wild.

That's really cool. How cool. So she introduced you to your other maternal siblings as well?

[00:19:23] Jane: Yes, I met my, other sister and my brother, all during COVID.

[00:19:29] Damon: Amazing. And how are the relationships?

[00:19:31] Jane: , we get along, we, uh, I don't see them very often. , they live, , about 45 minutes away, which isn't too far, but we get together for Christmas and do like a Pollyanna and, , I see them a couple of times a year, which, , I don't see my sister all that as much as I'd like to, but we talk a lot.

Which is nice.

[00:19:49] Damon: So then how did you locate your birth father? You don't have a birth mother that you can ask details of. I suspect your maternal siblings didn't [00:20:00] know much about your. Well, let me ask you, did they know you existed?

[00:20:04] Jane: My sister actually, my oldest sister, Chrissy, she did, , she got pregnant in high school and , she told my birth mother and my birth mother said to her, , I don't want you to have the same regrets that I have.

I had a child and I gave her up for adoption. So for 30 years, Chrissy had been looking for me.

[00:20:21] Damon: Oh my gosh, that's amazing. Wow.

what did you think when you heard your mother's expression of regret for having placed you for adoption? That's a pretty impactful thing to hear.

[00:20:34] Jane: It is. for the first time I gave thought into the fact that she. Sacrificed so much for me and like I felt sorry for her. I felt bad. I felt like So bad that these these women, , have to do this. back in those days, it was much more closed thing, , and they say, just forget about it ever happened.

And I and right then I knew she never [00:21:00] forgot me.

[00:21:00] Damon: Yeah, that's, that line right there, forget about it, we'll just make this go away, that notion that they used to be forced to subscribe to. I just can't even imagine, I can't imagine, of course as a man, I could never have a child. But, I mean, I've, my wife, all of her girlfriends, , have had children and they talk about how important the child is in their life.

And Also how their body has changed as a result of having been pregnant. I just can't imagine someone tell you, eh, just forget about it. I joked with somebody, I said, I lost a t shirt that I liked. And I still think about it. I can't imagine what it's like to think about, , to have, the child that you gave birth to out in the world, it seems so unbelievable that that was the rationale, just forget about it.

And we'll smooth this over. It's unbelievable.

[00:21:54] Jane: it made me realize at that moment, that. It wasn't about me. [00:22:00] as much as I had always thought I never felt bad. I, I like the fact that I was adopted and I, went to the right family.

But, you start to think about What all these women went through and it's just, it makes me so sad.

[00:22:12] Damon: In March of 2021, Jane got an email message from 23 and me indicating that she had a close, relative match. So she went to the platform, which said she had a half-brother match. Surprised Jane realized this had to be a paternal connection because she had already made all of her maternal sibling connections. Since she had been collaborating with her adoption agency, Jane wanted to coordinate with them again to make sure she didn't miss step. The agency asked Jane to confirm she had actually found her birth father Which she had because Facebook had revealed his identity and photos. Jane had the agency send the man a letter about her existence, but there was no reply for a long time. When she started her search, the agency told Jane they will keep her case open for two years and she was approaching [00:23:00] that milestone. It had been eight months since the first letter to her birth father.

So she asked the agency to send one more correspondence just a few weeks later on a Friday afternoon. Jane's reunion coordinator called to say she had just spoken with Jane's birth father and he wanted. answers to a few questions.

[00:23:18] Jane: She said that he wants to know a few things. , he wanted to know, how did I know it was him? And, , Why did I wait so long and what did I want? And so I wrote back to her and I said I didn't really want anything. I just wanted to know who he is and where I came from and, my story through him and, , I found him through his, , , son that was had done 23 and me.

and I waited so long because I didn't know that I was even able to, find him So she told him this and he said could I have her phone number? I said yes, and and he called me

[00:23:53] Damon: wow

and how was we talked

[00:23:54] Jane: about?

It was pretty cool. It was really pretty cool. We , he asked me some questions. I asked him some [00:24:00] questions and he didn't know about me and I and at this point I'm 58. And he, , he was sort of shocked that he's still shocked. I think. I don't know what

[00:24:10] Damon: I

[00:24:11] Jane: because he's been, , without me for 60 years. and I think that he didn't realize that she was pregnant and, I'm not sure of the story, but I know that he, he liked her and he dated her six or seven times.

[00:24:23] Damon: Oh, really? So they had a relationship?

[00:24:26] Jane: They did.

[00:24:27] Damon: What did he tell you about that? Relationship. Where was he in his life? Where were they living? What was their situa was were they They were in high school. He was high school and she was,

[00:24:35] Jane: well, he was in six, he was 16. He was in high school, I guess, and she was, I guess in ninth grade.

But I think he thought she was older than she was. Mm-Hmm. . And, , I don't think she, I think she may not have told him the correct age, and which is why he was. But soon after he went into the Air Force and, , somebody had told him that they thought she was pregnant and she, she denied it.

And so he [00:25:00] enlisted in the Air Force when, and he, he said when he came home on leave, he tried to find her, but he couldn't find her.

[00:25:06] Damon: And so he just went on.

[00:25:09] Jane: Yes. Yep.

[00:25:10] Damon: Wow. This is so fascinating. So, so he just went off and did what?

[00:25:15] Jane: he went in the Air Force. He was a, he was a pilot and he got married in the Air Force.

And , he, I guess he was married a couple of years and then divorced. And then, I got to meet him.

[00:25:25] Damon: Tell me the lead up to that.

[00:25:26] Jane: , he wanted to come here because he lives in Seattle and he kept saying he wanted to come here.

He was so confused. he was so upset about this whole thing. And, , he wasn't sure why she didn't tell him and he needed to find out information. So he wanted to come here. So I said, okay, , , And I thought what he didn't

[00:25:45] Damon: learn from you or he wanted to come investigate in the community and hear from other

[00:25:49] Jane: people.

Yes, he wanted to see if he could get any information because I didn't know any and I, and , he wasn't getting it from me because I didn't know. So, he came here, I met him at [00:26:00] the airport, , and he came down the escalator and we, I just looked and he looked at me and I looked at him and he had a big smile on his face and I said, Wow, I, , I know he was my birth father because we look a lot alike.

Yeah, it was pretty neat.

[00:26:15] Damon: That's amazing. How were those first moments? Did you hug him? Tell me a little bit about it. I did. Yeah.

[00:26:21] Jane: I did hug him because I'm a hugger and I just thought, Oh my God, this is like a great opportunity to finally see like that mirroring.

I, it just struck me. Wow. I didn't have this opportunity with my birth mother and it makes me so sad. And I, I looked at him and I thought, well, I'm just going to hug him. I don't know what he, and he hugged me back and he, he said the same thing. Oh wow. I have no, I have no doubt you're my daughter.

[00:26:45] Damon: Wow. That is fascinating. How cool. Yeah.

[00:26:48] Jane: Yeah. It's really neat.

When they left the airport, Jane took her birth father to his motel to settle in. She offered to reconnect with him when he figured out his plan to do some investigation in the [00:27:00] community, the man was in town for five days as he executed his research into the past. Jane said none of her birth mother's siblings were able to help with any answers because they didn't even know she was pregnant at that time. All they knew was that their sister had gone away. One of the stops Jane's birth father requested to make with Jane was to go to the cemetery where her birth mother is buried.

[00:27:24] Jane: So I took him and, , he just stood there and I felt bad for him because I didn't know exactly what it is that he's looking for.

[00:27:32] Damon: Yeah. But, , There's something really nice about the fact that he wanted to go to your mother's grave.

This is a guy who didn't know you existed, wasn't able to confirm that any child that she may have been pregnant with was his, and he was not only receptive to you being in touch. He flew across the country. To come meet you and do his own investigation and took time to pay attention [00:28:00] to the life that she had lived.

I mean, this sounds like a pretty decent guy.

[00:28:05] Jane: He's a very decent guy. He's a very decent guy.

[00:28:09] Damon: Wow, that's really amazing. Was it touching to see you standing there watching, looking down on her grave?

[00:28:15] Jane: Yeah, the first time I went with my sister, I, I got out of the car and I stood there and I thought to myself, wow, this is kind of weird, but I said to myself, this is the closest that I'll ever be to her.

To the person that gave me life and I, I broke down. I started to cry and I thought, wow, this is really, this is crazy. I didn't know this is what I was going to feel like.

[00:28:35] Damon: How about how it was to take him to her grave? Did you, were you there when he was at her grave?

[00:28:44] Jane: I was, I was standing there with him and I, I felt a little bit awkward because I didn't know him. And , I just met him once at the airport and I, , we had a conversations in the car, but he just really wanted to find out information and I wasn't able to help him. So I [00:29:00] felt sort of.

awkward, but it was touching to see him standing there and he bent down and he put his hand on the stone and everything. And I just thought, I thought how touching it was.

[00:29:10] Damon: That is really amazing. , there's a lot of times when we think about our desire to potentially just see our birth parents together.

nothing big, just if they had coffee and said, man, can you believe this? This is part of our story and and of course those two could never Sort of sit and chat, but it must have been fascinating to see that this person who is deceased is there with your birth father, who's come to see her, , and hadn't seen her for decades.

I mean, I just can't get over that, that was the nature of your reunion is in that you were there present with him, , the three of you were there together. It's just, it sounds like a really heavy moment, I guess is what I'm trying to

[00:29:50] Jane: get to. It really was. It really was. It was just like, it was awakening to me.

Because that that same thought that I had when I was there by with my [00:30:00] sister, like, Oh, my God, like, I'm here with the person that gave me life. And now I'm standing here with both of them. , one is alive and standing here with me and the other. We're all here together. And there was no one else ever involved in that situation, except them and me That's really fascinating. So how did your visit with him end?

I saw him one, a couple other times and, , he, I still felt that he was trying to like, he wasn't getting the answers that he needed and I felt bad cause I couldn't help him. And so thought I'm just going to have to let it be, you know, whatever, it is. whatever it is.

, if I can find out information, I'll be able to help him. If I can't, I don't know, , what to do to help him. So he flew back home and, , we've kept in touch. I, we text once in a while and call once in a while.

[00:30:47] Damon: And how are those calls?

[00:30:50] Jane: They're nice. They're nice. He's , he reached out at Christmas time and we had gone I had gone out there this summer to visit Once that's how I got to meet my [00:31:00] paternal siblings

[00:31:01] Damon: That's really cool.

How do you how do you get along with your paternal siblings?

[00:31:04] Jane: Very, very well. They're, they're very nice. , I, got to meet them. , when I went out there and I have a brother and a sister, I'm just the oldest of everybody. So it's like, it's a different generation. So it's, but it was really fun.

I had a great time with them.

[00:31:18] Damon: Yeah, I was just sitting here thinking that, that he didn't even know that he had conceived. So. While the oldest probably thought they were the first child. Here you come and you're actually the oldest child.

[00:31:29] Jane: Right.

[00:31:29] Damon: They were

[00:31:30] Jane: very, very receptive to me though. Very receptive to me and , very happy to meet me.

And it was just a great time.

[00:31:36] Damon: That's fantastic. I love it. let me ask you this. How has your brother that you grew up with been with your adoption reunion search and reunion?

[00:31:47] Jane: He's not a man of many words, but he said that he just wants me to be happy. And, he doesn't ask me very many questions, but he just listens when I, talk about it.

And. he just says, , I'm glad [00:32:00] for you. I'm happy for you. And I just want you to be happy.

[00:32:04] Damon: That's really excellent. And I want you to be happy too. I'm so glad that you were able to go on this reunion journey. It's really amazing to hear that you were able to make these connections and seemingly they've all been positive, , frequently, yeah.

And adoptee will say, , this person wasn't receptive or, , something that indicates a. Negative component of their reunion, but you seem to be doing very well with everybody receiving you back And I think jane you're super lucky in that regard. It's really awesome.

[00:32:32] Jane: I feel blessed I really do.

I've had a great experience with everything and I seem to like you said I i'm so happy You know, , and like I said one one thing that i've said is in searching for my family I found who I really am and

[00:32:44] Damon: That's fantastic. Really good to hear, Jane.

Thank you so much for taking time to be with me today. I appreciate it. And thanks for sharing your story. Thank you, Damon. Thank you very much. My pleasure. Take care, okay?

[00:32:56] Jane: Okay, thanks. You too. All

[00:32:57] Damon: the best. Bye bye. All

[00:32:58] Jane: right.

[00:32:58] Damon: Bye.

[00:33:00] Hey, it's me. Jane had a great life growing up and she seemed well adjusted in her adoption. It was fascinating to hear that while her adoptive mother offered to help her search, Jane never focused on wanting adoption reunion until after her adoptive parents' deaths. And sadly well, after her birth, mother's passing as well. But it was cool to hear how locating her birth father came from the DNA connection to his son. That her birth father had reached back.

To the adoption agency and got in just under the wire before her adoption reunion case closed and that he wanted to fly across the country to meet her and try to retrieve secrets that had been kept from him as a young man. For me, it was heartwarming to imagine Jane and her birth father standing at her birth mother's grave.

As he paid respects to a woman whom he hadn't seen for years and had unknowingly produced a daughter with who looked just like him. That request to go to [00:34:00] her grave was an empathetic moment that I'm glad Jane was present for

I'm Damon Davis. And I hope you found something in Jane's journey that inspired you. Validate 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 the story of your adoption and your attempt to connect with your biological family. Please visit who am I?

Really? podcast.com/share. You can follow me on Instagram at Damon L Davis and follow the podcast at w AI. Really? If you like the show, Please take a moment to leave a five star review in your podcast app or wherever you get your podcasts. Your ratings really do help others to find the podcast too. And as always, if you're interested, you can check out my story in my memoir.

Who am I really available on? Amazon Kindle And audible.

I hope you'll add my story to your reading list.

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