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

Planning the Reunion...

Our phone conversation continued for an hour and a half and many questions were asked and answered. One of the first things I asked Ruth was what Kevin looked like... "Oh, he has dark hair... "dark hair? how dark?" "... Really dark," Ruth replied. "oh my gosh, really?... my hair's light brown and his birthfather's hair was hair, I never would have guessed...oh, ruth, how tall is he"? "Oh, I'd say about 5' 10"-10 1/2" tall", h-m-m-m-m...just like his birthfather, paul, i thought. Ruth and I compared our heights (we're within a half-inch of each other) and our likes and dislikes. "I LOVE antiques", Ruth said... "me too, i replied, i have a house full of them". "Denise, Kevin is really smart... he graduated from high school as their Salutatorian...and he went to Michigan Tech and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Engineering." "engineering?...really? my father was an engineer and graduated from the university of michigan... oh ruth, so many co-oincidences... it just seems so unreal... i'm actually talking to you about my son... During this phone conversation, a bond began to form between Dave and Ruth and I due to the shared love and concern we had for Kevin. Ruth and Dave explained their gratitude of me... something I wasn't expecting nor was prepared to hear. As Ruth explained to me how grateful they both were for my sacrifice, I started to cry. Ruth continued, "and it always bothered me to know that our joy was at the expense of your sorrow and pain." I tried to explain to them that it was what I had to do at the time... I didn't have much of a choice, really, because I didn't have a support system to fall back on... but... I continued, "i want you to know that i always loved my son and that was the reason I gave him up for adoption... because of my love for him... Ruth said, "I never imagined it any other way than what you just described." They expressed their concern about my feelings and that I was crying so much... Ruth asked, "Are you all right, Denise?" Through the continuous flood of tears, I replied, "yes, i'm ok, i'm just so overwhelmed with everything... ruth, i can hardly believe that i've found him... it's been such a dream for so long." i kept thinking... this isn't anything like what i imagined would happen. my overwhelming goal was to find my son... i really never gave any thought about establishing a relationship with his adoptive parents... and they're so understanding and accepting of me... they respect me regardless of what happened to me and they understand the "whys" of my decision... they want to help me... they're encouraging me... they're in the process of establishing a relationship with ME! i am in a state of total disbelief because, throughout the whole ordeal of my pregnancy, i was made to feel cheap and unworthy of anyone's love or respect... and despite what i was made to feel, ruth and dave are accepting me just the way i am... "Denise"... Ruth said my name and brought me out of my inner thoughts,"I know this is hard for you, and so unexpected... we'll have to find a way to tell Kevin about you... do you want to call him? ...he doesn't live here at home any longer. Kevin has his own home up in Carsonville near Sandusky, MI"? oh, no! it has to come from you and dave, it can't come from me... that's why it was so perfect that i found dave's name and figured out your phone number, it worked out so much better this way because i'm talking to you first... oh, ruth, what will kevin want to do?... will he want to see me?" Ruth said, "I think he'll be open to it, but I just can't answer for sure. You know, Denise, even if Kevin doesn't meet you, I think Dave and I have gained a really good friend in you". oh ruth, i feel just the same way... i think we are so much alike, it's actually a little spooky It was then that I heard someone sobbing in the background. ruth, who's crying ? "Julie, Kevin's 17 year old sister". "she's upset about my phone call, isn't she?" "Yes", Ruth responded. I softly asked, "will she come over to the phone and talk to me? will she listen to my voice? i don't want to hurt her... i'm so, so sorry" Ruth left to ask Julie to come to the phone. After a few quiet moments, a resounding, defiant reply was clearly heard from a despondant Julie ................ "NO!" On the phone extension Dave replied, "Denise, Julie will be all right, she just needs time, Ruth will talk to her and everything will be OK, don't worry."

After a few moments, Ruth came back to the phone and we realized there were two concerns that became very evident as we continued talking. How do we tell Kevin about my presence and how do we comfort Julie? She was having such a very difficult time with my unexpected phone call. Ruth shared with me that Julie was very apprehensive about how we would tell Kevin about my sudden appearance in his life. Julie's refusal to come and talk to me on the phone was difficult for me. if only she'd come over and listen to my voice, she'd find out i only want what's best for kevin... that i love him dearly... and that the decision to meet me will be his decision and his alone. The three of us concluded that Ruth and Dave would drive up to Kevin's home and tell him about me and, once told, it would be up to him about meeting me or not.

After some reluctant goodbyes, we got off the phone and Dave and Ruth called Kevin to let him know they would be arriving the next morning for a visit at noon. They indicated to him it was about something that would *impact his life*, and "no", they couldn't just tell him on the phone, it had to be in person. Arrangements were made, times were finalized and then they called me back to fill me in on the plans.

They suggested that Terry and I drive down to Sandusky, MI. that Saturday afternoon [8 miles from where Kevin lived] stay overnight at a motel, and then meet with them at 10:00 AM on Sunday morning in the parking lot of a local restaurant. After a couple of hours of us getting to know each other, they would then drive out to Kevin's home at noon, tell him I was waiting in Sandusky and ask him if he wanted to meet me. We finalized our own plans about meeting each other in the morning around 10:00 AM and then reluctantly, hung up the phone.

Before I could even think of packing, I went to the computer and typed out an email to send to the Schmidts. I felt guilty about Julie's sadness and confusion... feelings that my phone call had precipitated. oh, julie, i know you're confused about all of this, but i know once you meet me, you'll see that i love kevin and only want what's best for him

It was then that I composed one of the most important letters of my life. It took a long time to write this email, but I wanted it to reflect my gratitude of the warm reception that Dave and Ruth had given me that morning on the phone.

Before we left for the five hour drive to Sandusky, I made several quick phone calls to family & friends. Special phone calls went to our daughter Tiffany, my sister Nancy and my good friend Chet. I wanted to let them know what was going on, what our plans were and when Terry and I would be returning home. Each was surprised and pleased with my announcement, but Nancy was very apprehensive about my upcoming reunion. She became very quiet and reserved and asked that I phone her as soon as I got back home Sunday evening to let her know the outcome of the reunion. I assured her I would, and told her not to worry. I reassured Nancy that Kevin's Mom and Dad were a wonderful, supportive couple and if the reunion didn't happen with Kevin, then I, at the very least, had two new friends. Nancy said, "I just don't want you to be hurt again..." I replied, "i won't be ... i've been waiting for this reunion for 24 years, I have to believe that kevin will want to meet me... certainly i've been a mystery to him, along with his heritage, and he doesn't even know about his siblings... it was mentioned in the letter that came in the packet from the adoption agency, that he had expressed a curiosity about me, nancy? i've got to believe that still holds true with him"... oh, kevin, please say yes to meeting me...

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Denise's Home-Sweet-Home Page
This page was created 28 Jan 1997 and updated 13 Aug 1997
Design and updates of this page are by Denise Frederick , Copyright 1997-05
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