The Stork Lost One, An Adoption Reunion
Friday (June 11th), I made a public announcement on Twitter
and Facebook about some news that has dramatically changed my life for the better and a lot of friends immediately asked me for more context. I started to write this narrative in great detail and then decided to just keep it a little more simple. Sorry if it's still too long of a read!
If memory serves me well, around age eight or nine I was told by my parents that I had been adopted at birth. My childhood was good. I cannot complain in that department but there has always been something missing. I think there's a blood bond that needs to be reconnected. As far back as I can remember, I wondered about my birth mother. Things like, where I got my artistic abilities and more importantly, did she think about me. Was she that nice woman running the register in the checkout line?
My mother was sixteen years old when I was born. My father twenty. Anyone can understand the circumstance that led to my adoption. That is obvious. In my mind's eye I figured the two of them probably went their separate ways. I would find my biological mother, ask her questions, and maybe then be able to find my biological father as well. In no way was I prepared for the reality of it. A more perfect set of circumstances.
I've been searching for my birth-mother for approximately twenty years but really got serious about it after my son was born almost fifteen years ago. Twelve years ago my wife spent days or weeks, filling out adoption registries on the internet. They went unanswered. We hired a private investigator who specialized in adoption searches seven years ago. They worked on the case for one year and turned up nothing. I had very little to go on. I had no names and only non-identifying information. The adoptions in Wyoming are closed requiring court orders for information. Something that requires a medical condition. The hospital and young mothers home in Denver, where I was born, is gone. I was informed all records were destroyed, possibly in a fire. We shelved the search about five years ago and while it went unforgotten we had to wait for something to change in adoption laws, or a slight chance someone would see the records that were filed on adoption registries online.
On Monday, May 24th around 9:00am I got a call from AdoptionDatabase.org. I had often received emails from the registries but never a call. The caller told me they had been contacted by a gentleman who said he was 99 percent sure I was his brother. She told me they were marking the record as "found" and I was to contact his person and do a DNA test. As far as they were concerned that record was closed.
They gave me my potential brother's name, phone number and email address. I recognized the area code as Baltimore so my wife and I got on Facebook and quickly filtered him out. I think I shat myself at that point. My wife instantly said he looked like me. He had eerily parallel interests, talents and career as me. And even drove a Jeep (I'm a Jeep man).
I reached out by phone first with no luck. I chickened out with the voicemail so I sent off an email. I don't think fifteen minutes passed before my phone rang.
When he called, he told me we had a sister (Wow!!) and we discussed the non-identifying information I had, confirming it matched.
Over the first week the three of us compared pictures, descriptions of ourselves and were sure there was only about a half a percent chance any DNA test would be negative. My potential brother and I ordered the tests kits and sent them in Friday, June 4th. We spent all this week spamming the sites forms to get the results back. They were posted yesterday morning; a perfect match.
Now when I said earlier that there was a "more perfect set of circumstances" I was referring to my new brother and sister. They are both one-hundred percent biological siblings. Both of my birth-parents stayed together and had two more children. While my birth-parents are both deceased and I cannot get to know them personally, I think a better scenario is that I get to know my little sister and little brother and in turn get to know my parents. My little sister has two kids and my brother has three. Instant uncle! In addition I've got an Aunt in California with two daughters who also have children. Our family just got huge.
For those interested, my Brother, Tucker Jones, is on twitter: http://twitter.com/urbanrunic. He's a talented designer, artist, photographer, web dev and film maker. Friend him up! My Sister, Trista, is living in Chicago and also is a talented artist (though she won't admit it). I won't get into personal details out of respect for their privacy.
I don't know where this will go. We're just going to take it day by day and get to know each other. We are planning a reunion this summer and it can't happen soon enough! I can say that in my opinion the three of us clicked instantly. I feel very comfortable talking to both of them as if I had never been separated and I thank both of them for their openness.
I definitely have to thank my wife, Jodi. Without her, my information probably wouldn't be on so many sites available for my siblings to find me. And I have to thank Tucker's girlfriend Kristin for actually using her search powers to find the record. These two ladies are the key to this reunion!
To adoptive parents. Please try to put yourself in your children's shoes. No matter what you do or say you must support your child if he/she wants to find their biological family. A deep desire to find them is something that many adoptees feel and being non-supportive is of no help and will only drive a wedge between you. Give them all the information you have and encourage that reunion. It doesn't change the fact that you have raised them as your own. To an adoptee it feels like you have started a book from the middle. While you may know how it ends, you never know why.
My adopted Father has been nothing but supportive and is sharing in our joy.
Adoptees' don't give up your search, and keep a very open mind. I do understand that not all reunions are happy, but there are just as many that are.