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Denise's Story, Page 6
Denise's Story, Con't.....

The Internet and Genealogy


The information I found on the internet relating to genealogy was overwhelming. I was astounded at the vast number of people researching their past. From the information I'd gleaned from my grandmother's journal, I had a start on my family history that few people can boast of. thank you Grammie Clara Rose, for your hard work that you did in compiling and writing down the information, saving and cutting out the articles and then storing your journal in a safe place to be later found by me, your grand-daughter................you gave me such a wonderful start to my research.

As I was going from link to link on the internet in my search for genealogical information, I would stumble upon, yet another, adoption link. I connected to a link called *Birthquest* ok, i'll check this one out and see what it's all about. I could not BELIEVE all of the adoptees and birth parents who had submitted information, in hopes of making a connection. that's what i want to do, i want to make a connection, i want to find my son, if i go to this registry, will his birth information be there? is my son trying to find me? The answer was a resounding........ NO! what if he doesn't even WANT to find me, or worse, with this search that i'm about to undertake, what if he doesn't want to be FOUND?.......oh, the doubts were so strong. how can i tolerate more rejection? why am i setting myself up to possibly be hurt........again? I faced the doubts and continued my search. Additional doubts were eased from my mind by a staunch supporter of my search effort ...............my daughter Tiffany. Tiffany was 9 and half years old when I explained to her that she had an older brother. After she absorbed the significance of the announcement I just shared with her, I asked, "tif, when the time is right, will you help me find your brother"? a resounding 'YES' came from her........."but Mom?............ do you think he looks like me"? i don't know, but maybe someday we'll find out. So, from the moment Tif was told about her brother, she was the strongest supporter for a reunion between us. During the summer of 1996, I told Tif the time was right to start my search for Davy. Tif was 22 years old, living away from home, and a student attending Central Michigan University. She would call, give me encouragement and lift my spirits regarding any down moment I had. Tif would ask, "Have you called "so-in-so", or have you mailed out that letter yet? Have you registered with The Adoptees Search and Reunion Resource Page "? yes, yes, i have, but tif, what if i register at all of these places and he's not looking? what then? Tif said, "Then YOU'LL be registered. You're taking those first steps, steps that are in the right direction. You'll find him, Mom, don't worry.........just keep going". I continued to register at different places on the internet, in hopes of a possible *connection* to my son. Another internet location that was so supportive was the Birth Mom's Support List headed up and organized by Alana. The love and support from these *ladies of the list* was unbelievable. Yet another link that I registered at was Carter's Adoption Search Page. Probably the most important of all the registries was the International Soundex Reunion Registry. So many good, caring people. the world is filled with them and they're willing to help a total stranger, all for the common goal of helping to make the *dream* of a reunion come true. i've got to keep going, i've got to overcome my fears and keep persuing this dream i have of one day, again, holding my son in my arms and talking to him. that's all i really want, one chance to explain everything to him........to let him know about his siblings, to answer any questions about his heritage, to tell him about his grandparents but most importantly, to tell him i've never forgotten him and i've never stopped loving him.........

Norm was the first internet genealogy friend I made. Unbeknownst to me, Norm had a genuine interest in helping me find my son and linked me up with a distant cousin that had helped other adoptees search for their birth mothers. Loretta, who lived in Pennsylvania, became another staunch supporter of mine. She sent me a 12 page letter, outlining from her experience, what I COULD do, what I SHOULD do and what I SHOULDN'T do, in regards to searching for my son. "Request a birth certificate, it's risky, but well worth the effort", she said. Call the Adoption Agency you were affiliated with and establish a sincere rapport with the caseworker. Request a *packet* of non-identifying information be sent to you. You might be able to figure out some clues from those papers. Request your medical records from the hospital where you delivered your son at. There might be information in those records that might help you. Do you have a friend in Toledo that could help you? yes, I have a very special, childhood friend that knows all about my son......... we're friends........yes, Sharon will help.

Sharon emailed back that she was more than willing to help, but the steps she took on my behalf, proved fruitless. I remained in touch with Sharon and told her I'd keep her posted of any new developments.

I remembered that Loretta had said to get in touch with the caseworker assigned to my case. what if i come on too strong, what if i alienate her in some way? .........she is the ONLY person that stands between me and knowledge about my son, i've got to take the chance and see how much information i can glean from her. On 16 August 1996, with my heart pounding, I called and asked to speak to my caseworker. We ended up talking for an hour. At first, I just asked some casual questions about Ohio adoption laws and if there were any changes I should be aware of. I then asked about the steps I should take in regards to requesting non-identifying information about my son. I finally confessed................ i guess you can pretty much tell that i'd like to find my son, Davy? Glo replied, "Yes, but it's very unusual for a birth mother to initiate the search". really?.......but there are so many birth mothers that are dreaming of a reunion with their child, it's so hard to believe that we're in the minority when it comes to searching?

Glo indicated to me that she could begin a search in my pre and post-adoption files, make photo-copies of the documents [with all identifying information blacked out], then send the copies out to me after I submit a notarized request form and pay her $50.00. do you take visa? "Yes". The next day she called to let me know she'd found a letter that she could share with me over the phone. "Parts of it are identifying so I'll just refer to the adoptive parents' names as *Mr*. and *Mrs.*, ..........but wait.....what is the name you use to refer to your son? davy..........when we were together in the hospital, i named him 'david eric', but i've ALWAYS referred to him as 'davy'. "Well, the adoptive parents used 'David' as his middle name, so when I read you this letter, I'll use the name of 'Davy'. wait a minute, would you repeat that last part? you said the adoptive parents used part of the same name i'd used? "Yes, ironic, isn't it"? Denise, are those tears of happiness I hear?oh glo, i have just heard the first concrete fact about my son in 24 years, how could i not be happy about this news? oh my God, they used the same name, do you think they did that out of respect to me, to keep part of his original name? Glo said she didn't know.......

Glo started to read the letter, dated 1982. It was full of information ............to me. It said that Davy, age 10, had mentioned a curiosity about his birth mother and that the adoptive mother wanted to meet me someday.........to thank me....... through the tears I thought, wow! she wants to thank me? and my son expressed a curiosity about me? oh, davy, maybe this WILL all work out somehow..... I was frantically taking notes as Glo continued reading the letter to me. When she finished, I was so overwhelmed at Glo's compassion and understanding of my need to find my son. She understood, completely, because it was at 'that' moment when Glo confessed to ME that she was adopted and wanted to find HER birth mother. We had a tremendous amount of similar feelings. I started 'counseling' her, about her expectations and concerns she had. I talked to her from my heart and she immediately recognized the sincerity in my voice. now's the time to take a stand, denise, ask her your next question and pray that you don't alienate her in any way........she's the only person that stands between you and the information you need about your son.........ok, here goes

Glo, with all that you've shared with me today, and with the contents of the letter that you just read to me, could you...........would you............. please, tell me,.......at least, which state my son is located in?.........[breathe, denise, breathe]............. "Where are you located Denise"? in northern Michigan. Well, he's closer to me" he lives in michigan? "Yes"southern michigan? "Yes" oh glo, how can i ever thank you? this is so important to me......... "I know, Denise..........when you receive the packet of information, read through the papers and look for clues. I'm sure you'll be able to put everything together"...............

On 23 August 1996, I mailed out the notarized release form. I added a current picture of myself, including my husband Terry, to be placed in my file at the Adoption Agency. In case Davy made a contact, I wanted him to have a picture of me. And, too, I wanted Glo to be able to connect my voice to my face.

Continue to the next page............

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This page was created 17 Jan 1997
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