Monday, February 18, 2013

My Story of Love, Loss and Reunion!

I will start this with saying I am well aware that my life could be a movie of the week or Oprah episode. Sometimes when I relay my story to people in person I am shocked by the looks on there faces til I take a moment to digest it myself. So where to start...I guess at the beginning is always the best!

My parents on their Wedding Day

I was born on November 6, 1982 and adopted three days later by my amazing parents. They had been married several years and had not been able to have children. My mom had lived through multiple miscarriages and through the counsel of my aunt and uncle who had recently adopted, sent an application to an adoption lawyer.

I then went on to lead the most amazing childhood, with two parents who couldn't have loved me more.  My parents both came from large families so I was raised with tons of aunts, uncles and cousins. We enjoyed family vacations, holidays, births and weddings. I truly have the most amazing family in the world!

First day home from the Hospital with my Mom and cousin

My Mom and I

My Dad, Grandmother and I


Lots of family!

Three years later my parents got pregnant and gave birth to twins, my sister and brother Erin and Keith!

My parents were very open to me about my adoption. My mom basically explained to me that God had a plan, had made me for them but had to find a different way to get me to them. She also above all instilled in me that I was loved. That I was loved by my birth mom who had made the ultimate sacrifice by letting me have a life she knew she could not provide at the time. I also knew that I was loved by my family and not seen as any different. To say I was comfortable with my adoption is an understatement. I used to do show and tell and say " I have two moms I just don't know one yet because that was God's plan" I'm sure the teachers had no idea what to do with me looking back. Of course I had emotions about all of this growing up, I had a lot of issues with my birthday, knowing it was a sad day for my birth mom was hard to comprehend as a child and even harder to deal with as an adolescent. For a long time I didn't want to do parties or celebrate, I thought it was mean and insensitive to her. But in my heart of hearts I always knew I wanted to find my birth mom when I turned eighteen and my mom was always super supportive saying she would do anything to help! My mom was amazing is every way shape and form. 

My Mom and I

Fast forward eighteen years, on my birthday I received letters from my birth mom and birth grandmother. They basically said all the things my mom had told me my whole life. That I was so loved and they would always have a place in their hearts and lives for me. I at the time was a freshman in college and although I was interested, I was very distracted with lots of new and exciting things in my life. But my mom never forgot how much it meant to me to met my birth mom and went to work. My mom didn't know how to work a computer let alone email but she somehow managed to learn how to operate and use adoption registry sites online. She registered on over 400 sites, spending her nights searching and searching. Then one afternoon while I was home for Christmas break, exactly two months to the day after I turned eighteen I got a call from my mom. She said I am pretty sure I found your birth mom, you need to come home!

My life changed forever that day. She had found my birth mom, Jeanne. Jeanne was living in Hilton Head South Carolina with her three children. That night my parents called her and talked to her then put me on the phone. Looking back I realize how young I was, I thought of it as an adventure not as an event that would forever change the person I was. Jeanne decided to fly up that weekend so we could meet.

Jeanne and I at our reunion

Me with my birth first cousins, Matt and Kaiti

A mix of new and old, my family and my birth family (that is my mom and Jeanne standing next to each other)

That Easter I flew to Hilton Head to meet my half siblings, Maggie, Brianna and Jack. My parents sent me to do this on my own. My Mom said this was my journey that they could guide me but at the end of the day it was my story to write. It was the best thing she ever did for me, it gave me the independence to build relationships that continue to this day!

Jeanne, Brianna, Maggie, Jack and I right after picking me up and meeting me at the airport!

Our relationships all continued to thrive! My parents and family fostered them in every way possible, even inviting Jeanne and my siblings on our yearly vacation to the Jersey shore. People thought my Mom was crazy and could never be secure with having my birth mom around, even some of my own family. It was quite the opposite, she nurtured and encouraged our relationship for years! She knew what and who she was to me!

Me and my sisters and brothers at my family's beach house

Six years later my Mom was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer. She battled and fought for over a year but in the end we lost her. It was and is the hardest thing I have gone through in my life. She was the life force of our family and since her passing things have slowly crumbled. It's funny, I try and explain it to people, it was almost as if we were all planets and she was the sun, and since she has been gone their is nothing keeping all of us together in orbit.

But my Mom's passing has also give me a renewed faith, that things do happen for a reason. That year I met my husband, who also had lost his mom five years before I lost my Mom. He saved me in every way shape and form. I believe with every bit of my being that our Moms were our match makers in heaven! We later realized that my Mom who had been a nurse and had cared for my husband's grandmother in her home years before. My Mom had met my husband's mother and his whole family. They have stories and memories that include her. To this day this fact amazes me. When you lose a parent at the age I did you give up the idea that your husband, or in laws will know that person. To have have that be not the case is nothing short of divine to me!

My reunion with Jeanne, and the lasting love and loss of my Mother is with me everyday. People often say how lucky you are to have two "Moms". And in my heart I know I am. I had one mother who had the courage to give up that title so that I could have the life I was meant to. Then she had the courage to let me return to her life, to cherish and care for my heart and soul and to let me be a sister to my amazing sisters and brothers. For those gifts I can never repay her! I had 23 years with the most amazing mother you could have. She cared and loved me, my Dad and my brother and sister with every bit of her being. She was funny and loud and at times slightly inaproriate. She was an amazing sister, aunt and friend. She was a nurse who spent her life caring for others. But above all she was my Mom, the best mom! I miss her and my heart aches that the world continues to turn without her. That she was not at my wedding, or will never met our children is sometimes too much to bare. But I try to move on knowing she guides and helps me everyday! 

My Dad, brother, sister and I at our wedding

Jeanne and I at my wedding

They are my everything!

Erin and Keith with PJF

The whole family! including Chris and my brother's fiancé Sara

My Mom and I
My guiding star, with me always and always!

I am linked up with Becky from From Mrs to Mama



  1. What a heart touching story Katie. Thank you for sharing this piece of your life with us readers.

  2. this is such a wonderful story. thanks for sharing it, especially on a Monday when a good message is what I needed :)

  3. What a beautiful story, Katie, and what an incredible Mother. From what I have read of your blog in a short time, it is clear you are just like her and just as incredible! Thank you for sharing!

  4. wow, what an incredible story. it should be on oprah. you are so brave for telling it and lucky that you turned out to be such a wonderful person despite some of the hard things you had to overcome.

  5. What a great story! I have heard of a few other people who have found their birth parents and had close relationships with their biological family. It take strong parents not to feel intimidated by birth parents. Sounds like your mother was wonderful and I'm so sorry you lost her so young!

  6. Thank you for sharing. What a lovely story.

  7. What an incredible story. I can't even hold it together reading this at work! Thank you for sharing.

  8. Such a touching story Katie. Thank you for sharing. I lost my father to cancer so I can relate in a small way. Your Mom was clearly an amazing person, and you are clearly an amazing Momma too!

  9. awww this is adorable! Family is really important!

  10. I'm a new follower so I thought I'd say hi. What a great post. You are a gorgeous girl with a beautiful family.

    xo Ami
    a champagne dream

  11. What an amazing story! Family is everything! xoxo

  12. Wow Katie! This is a beautiful story! Really. And how amazing that your mom cared for your husband's grandmother!! God is good!

  13. What an amazing story. I am sorry for the loss of your mom, but it sounds like you are still extremely connected to her and living her legacy by loving your entire family so much. I look forward to following your blog!

  14. what a heart felt well written story! GOD is so good! The fact that your husband met your mom before you and him met, that's a GOD thing! I love that your mom had so much courage to let you meet your birth mom and be so comfortable with it. My dad was adopted so I was the girl with a lot of grandmas for when he turned 18 he searched for his birth mother. His mom was ok with it as was yours and I remember meeting his birth mom my mawmaw Dixie when I was three years old. They were both a very big part of my life. When I lost my daddy to a sudden heart attack 5 1/2 years ago I was broken for I just had our miracle daughter who was five months old. I just lost his birth mom my mawmaw dixie last year and the losses hurt so terribly yet I am so fortunate to have so much family from all sides and that isn't even including my mom's mom! I really love this and thanks for sharing. Know that your mom was there on your wedding day, she was in your heart!