Today is my oldest son’s birthday. 22 years old! His stirrings inside me and the incredible love I felt for him before he was born was what first awakened my desire to search for my birth mother. I honor this day with such joy. I can’t imagine a more powerful love than what I feel for my children.
[If this is your first time reading my Adoption Story, it is a fascinating journey told in pieces. For your best experience, start from the beginning at: Adoptee with a Note]
Angela’s response to my letter weighed heavy on my mind. I began to question if she was my birth mother. I discussed it with Tina and entertained the possibility that my birth mother was still out there. I began my research over again and this time had Tina’s help. She too was doubting our conclusion.
My father’s 80th birthday was approaching in September and my step-mother was planning a surprise birthday party for him. I planned to go as part of the surprise. Tina, coincidentally, only lived 20 or so miles away from my dad and his wife on the east coast of Florida. This would be the perfect time to connect face to face with my cousin. Tina and I excitedly made our plans. She planned to take a day off and we were to spend one whole day together then go out to dinner with our husbands and meet other family members. My visit was to be a short one, but it would be full and rewarding, I was sure.
As the dates approached excitement turned to concern as the news began to discuss a hurricane approaching Florida. Hurricane Irma promised to devastate and destroy all in its path and the east coast of Florida was predicted to be on it’s trajectory. I received the notice from my step-mother that she was reluctantly cancelling the surprise party for my dad. Next, I heard from Tina. Due to concern about her family and her aging mother they had decided to evacuate. We had several highly emotionally conversations over the next several hours as she planned her and her family’s evacuation. She chose to go to Pennsylvania since she had close friends there and it was safe from Irma’s path.
I was disappointed, not only to miss my father’s big day, but also to miss the opportunity to look into my cousin’s eyes and hug her. I kept in touch with both my dad and Tina as Irma hit Florida and took a slightly different direction up the west coast instead of the east coast. Tina was safe in Pennsylvania and my dad was safe, hunkering down with friends.
One day during Irma’s assault on Florida, Tina texted and said she was going to meet a long-lost uncle for lunch who happened to live in the town she was in. The family grapevine about Tina and her family being in Pennsylvania had made its way to him and he reached out to get together. Tina believed it was fifteen years since she saw him last.
Later that day, Tina called to reveal that she had met with Angela’s brother, her uncle Tony. During their lunch, Tina casually mentioned that she had submitted her DNA onto Ancestry.com and that she was having a very interesting experience with the results. Tony mentioned that he too recently submitted his DNA to Ancestry. Tina asked why. Tony replied that he was looking for someone.