082 – The Only Thing That Divides Us Is The Mississippi

Ann has an array of experiences from being kidnapped briefly from her adopted family to learning she celebrated the wrong birth date for 22 years. She said she was raised not to question God’s plan in relation to her adoption — so she did so quietly. When she met her biological mother things started out well but turned and remain sour. Fortunately, her birth father’s easygoing acceptance was a welcome surprise that could not have come on a more special day for Ann.

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Ann:                             00:01                I want my Dad on my original birth certificate that myself and others in my shoes should not have to take an act of Congress for my birth certificate to uphold integrity. I should have the same right as anyone else? Adoption certificates should never become birth certificates. Original birth certificates should always maintain and hold the truth.

Voices:                         00:35                Who am I? Who am I? Who am I? Who am I? who am I? Who am I? Who am I?

Damon:                        00:47                This is Who Am I Really? A podcast about adoptees that have located and connected with their biological family members. I’m Damon Davis and on today’s show is Ann. She called me from Salem, Oregon Ann has an array of experiences from being kidnapped briefly from her adopted family when she was little, to learning she celebrated the wrong birth date for 22 years. When she met her biological mother, things started out well but turned and remain sour. Fortunately, her birth fathers easygoing acceptance was a welcome surprise that could not have come on a more special day for Ann. This is Ann’s journey.

Damon:                        01:32                Ann was born in Portland, Oregon. At her birth, she had low birth weight because she hadn’t had any prenatal care. Babies were not allowed to leave the hospital until they reached a certain goal weight. So Ann stayed in the hospital until she was strong enough to go into foster care. She told me her parents who had already adopted a boy, were intending to adopt another boy when they were offered a chance to host Ann for a weekend, while her foster family got a respite. Apparently, the presence of a little girl pleased her mother so much that her mother fell in love. Ann’s father agreed they could adopt Ann instead of a boy. Ann was raised to be active in her community in Lake Oswego. She was in blue bird and campfire girls and had a pretty good childhood. She has friends from those days that she’s still in touch with today, but she has some dark memories from those times too.

Ann:                             02:26                I was kidnapped by a lady and she actually was really nice and I remember her telling me that she wasn’t going to take me home and I told her I had to go home. Um, that, you know, my brothers and my mom was really gonna miss me and I needed to be home before the streetlights got on. And so I finally cried and ate another snack cause she was giving me snacks and having conversations with me. And finally I convinced her to take me home. She did not drop me off at my front door. She dropped me off at the top of the street. I was not supposed to pass the second house at the top of the street, but she dropped me off at the first house at the top of the street. And then I had to run home and told my mom, you know, I was gone, were you looking for me? Kind of a thing. That I had to pass the second house because the Nice Lady had dropped me off at the first house that the top of the street. And so my mother was very upset. We were taught not to talk to strangers, we were taught not to go with strangers. So I did kind of get in trouble for that. But that’s the first time I had heard the word biological. And I had no idea. That’s an awfully big word for a 4 year old and I wasn’t sure what my mom was talking about, some biological mom, because my mom was right with me. So it really didn’t apply to me. You know, when, um, I was already a little bit in hot water for going with the stranger. Anyways, I wasn’t going to ask any questions.

Damon:                        04:09                The woman pulled her car over to speak with little Ann who chatted with the woman through her passenger side window. The woman told her that her mother said to get in the car and it was okay. Ann told the woman she was not allowed to get in the car with strangers.

Ann:                             04:23                She said, oh honey, I’m not a stranger.

Damon:                        04:26                The woman put her car in park, got out and helped little Ann into the passenger seat and they drove away. She took her about a mile away to the local grocery store. Then they went to a house right across the street from the playground at her kindergarten.

Ann:                             04:41                And the reason I know this so well is because when I was in kindergarten, in the afternoon class, I was playing with all my new friends in my class and you know, having a good time. And that lady showed up again and I saw her again and she was at the fence and asked me to come with her and I said, I can’t, I’m with my friends right now and I’m not supposed to go with strangers. She said, I really want you to come with me. I love you. And I went back and played. I mean I ran, I remember, you know, I was in a little bit of hot water for going with her in the first place and now I was scared, you know? And so I ran and then the bell rings. So we all had to go into class and then I never saw that lady again.

Damon:                        05:23                Oh my gosh, that is really scary. She came back. That’s unbelievable.

Ann:                             05:28                Mhm, I was just like, holy smokes. You know, I don’t even know who this lady was, but I remembered that my mother had said a word, a big word, biological mother. But I had my mom, so I didn’t know, still really what was going on

Damon:                        05:45                later as an adult Ann was working on a safety committee at the Oregon State Hospital an hour away from Oswego. For you movie buffs, Oregon State Hospital was the facility used to film, the Oscar Award Winning 1975 film, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, with Jack Nicholson. Ann and her friend Janet, who also worked there, realized they had both lived in Lake Oswego. So Janet started asking about people Ann knew, like whether she knew Janet’s son. Ann couldn’t remember him. So Janet tried to help Ann orient to where she had lived in Lake Oswego. Janet lived on Ann’s street

Ann:                             06:25                and she tells me where she lived and I just froze in my seat. I said, well, which house did you live in? And I said, Janet, I said, you’re not going to believe this. I said, I went to a lady’s house in the fourth or fifth house. She, I believe, said that she lived in the sixth house. And, um, I said I was kidnapped by a lady and I can tell you that exact floor plan to this day. And she said, oh my gosh, you know, I said, Janet. I said, do you remember that? She said, I do remember that, Ann.

Damon:                        07:01                she was the next door neighbor of the person who kidnapped you?

Ann:                             07:05                Yeah, I couldn’t believe that. I was just like, oh, for heaven sakes. So of course, you know, I got all flustered at this meeting. Couldn’t keep my eye on the meeting, you know, just the shock. I mean, I was just like, oh, I got to get over this, you know, holy smokes. You know, can’t believe I just told the coworker I was kidnap kind of a thing, but it’s not my burden to carry.

Damon:                        07:26                Yeah, that’s right. It’s you. You didn’t kidnap yourself. Someone else did that to you. So, wow, that’s astonishing. What, you are right. It is a small world. That’s crazy. I’ve never had an experience speaking with someone who was kidnapped. So I was curious to know if, after such a jarring experience at such a young age, she was ever triggered as an adult by the kidnapping experience.

Ann:                             07:49                Well, it did and I’ll tell you, I put it out of my mind for a long time. I remembered that I had to go to the doctors and be seen by a doctor and um, they told my mother that raised me, my adoptive mother, that I was too young and that I would never remember that. Well, I met my birth mother and um, biological, even as an adult was still a big word. But I did find out that I was yes, indeed adopted because my parents had said it over and over, like at church and different things. And I just knew that I wasn’t to question about it because God wanted them to raise me. Who was I to question God. And so I questioned him quietly is what I did.

Damon:                        08:37                Yeah. I was puzzled about the part of Ann’s kidnapping story where her mother mentioned the word biological. When I asked Ann why she thought her mother used the word biological in the context of her kidnapping, she really didn’t know. She was too young to know what the word meant, only about four years old and she was already in a lot of hot water for leaving with the stranger, so she didn’t ask any questions. Ann said that it wasn’t until her teen years when she clearly understood her status as an adoptee.

Ann:                             09:09                At church, my parents would introduce, well, here’s my son, here’s my other son, here’s our adoptive daughter, and so when it works, I don’t want to say in their benefit but when it was appropriate for them to use the word adopted then it was okay, but I wasn’t to use the word.

Damon:                        09:34                I asked Ann about her brothers. She said one is 10 years younger than herself and when he was born, despite all of her prayers to God for a sister, she was very unhappy to learn, he was going to be a boy. Her older brother, also an adoptee, did all of the siblings stuff that led to good play times, but since he was older, he often got her into trouble too. He would put her up to stuff then Ann would get caught and she would have to take the rap. You know how it is with siblings. When I asked Ann about her desire to search for her biological relatives, she said her desire shown through when she was about 10 years old in 1979.

Ann:                             10:12                Well yeah, my friend brought it to my attention, just a year ago, when I found my birth dad. Actually she had written him a message, um, letting him know, you know, when we were young, we were in fourth grade, so we were 10 years old approximately. Her and I were the two adoptive kids and we still weren’t supposed to talk about it. She wasn’t supposed to, I wasn’t supposed to, but together we could get together and talk about it. And I told her, I said, I’m gonna find my parents. I don’t care. You know, what goes on. I’m finding my real family. So she congratulated me. You know, for a nearly 40 year search. I was 10 years old and I was looking for people to see if, you know, they had blonde hair, blue eyes, if they look like me, I was really wanting to find my biological family, um, even though I really didn’t know the meaning of biological, but I wanted, what was mine.

Damon:                        11:10                Ann’s real search began in earnest when she was in high school. Like so many parents, Ann’s folks had a drawer that the kids were forbidden to go into carefully Ann went snooping in the drawer, making sure to place, making sure to place every item back exactly as she found it.

Ann:                             11:29                I found a letter that was talking about this baby Robin and I thought, well, what is baby Robin doing in my paperwork? And at first I thought that this baby Robin was maybe like a child that my parents had that died or why did they have her feeding schedule? Why did they have like her temperament on there? Good days, bad days, you know, those kinds of things. And my name apparently was Robin while I was in foster care. So anyways, I kept on digging through the paper and I finally found my adoption paperwork, but it had permanent marker ink over the names, but if I held it just right that ink would like glisten through and kind of sparkle so you could make some letters out. So I went and got my spiral, sat down, wrote it out, and I was like, okay, I’ve got this last name,

Damon:                        12:30                hard as she tried, she couldn’t figure out the first name, but the last name was clear after she carefully replaced the contents of the drawer and went to the phone book and started looking for families with that last name. Struggling to figure out a lead to pursue Ann examined her own family, looking for something to make sense. Her teenage logic told her that she had a lot of males by the name of James in her family, her dad, her brother, even her uncle’s middle name was James. She figured James and the last name she had, was a good place to start calling. Unfortunately, she didn’t have any luck with her scattershot approach to her search and it left her feeling defeated. At least, she didn’t think it worked.

Ann:                             13:16                And I was like, well, if I have all these James in my family maybe, maybe just maybe they have James in their family. So I called the James who lived near my grandparents house in Raleigh hills. My half uncle Phil picked up the phone and he didn’t know who Sigrid was, so he didn’t know who I was calling them about. When I met my grandfather later, he said, I do remember getting that call. Um, your uncle Phil left a message, you know, wrote down a message, but we didn’t have any way to call you back.

Damon:                        13:53                Ann was 16 or 17 during that first run. Around that same time, she was also being a bit of a rowdy teenager. Her parents didn’t like her group of friends. They were drinking, smoking pot and skipping school. She was growing up in a small community and her parents were very active in church and they hated the image Ann’s actions reflected on their family. Her behavior infuriated her parents and they said some pretty inflammatory things.

Ann:                             14:21                You know, at that time I was 16, 17 had gone through my phases. My parents, you know, were through with me. They said that they wish that they had never adopted me, you know, and that, um, I acted just like my birth mom and I was like, so they know who she is, you know, I was like telling me her name, you know, tell me, tell me. They weren’t saying a word and it ends up they never did know who she was. It was just a saying that I took, literally.

Damon:                        14:57                So anyway, Ann has made contact, but she didn’t even know it and they couldn’t contact her back over the next few years, Ann was able to finally get confirmation for the last name of her biological mother’s family. About five years past when Ann decided to call the list in the phone book again,

Ann:                             15:16                finally it was confirmed what the last name was. I called that James Megnar’s house. He’s deceased now, but I called my grandfather’s house and this time he got the phone and he was like, honey, I’m your grandfather. You know, haven’t talked to your birth mom in years, but I’m your grandfather. Come see me. So I went and I met my grandfather and looked at him and I didn’t really look like him, but I just felt this, I don’t know, some sort of a connection that you hear other people talk about. He was so nice, warm, loving, and accepting. Eight months after I met him and visited him weekly with my daughter and everything, he ended up having a terrible, terrible stroke and ended up in the VA office, um, hospital I mean. And then he had to go into rehab. Well, he, he couldn’t be left alone because he, he just wasn’t well enough. So I invited him to my apartment. I was, you know, a young mom and you know, I had room for him. And so he said, absolutely, that’s what I wanna do. And so my grandfather came and lived with me until he got well enough, and then he went back out on his own with, um, a caregiver after a year and a half, but absolutely family, is family. And he was just so loving and welcoming of me. Um, I couldn’t ask for anything better.

Damon:                        16:54                That was really kind of you. That’s, that was huge. Wow.

Ann:                             16:58                I wanted my family.

Damon:                        17:00                So Ann’s biological grandfather hadn’t spoken with her birth mother for years, but he couldn’t remember the nature of their rift. He called his ex wife, the birth mother’s mother who got ahold of their daughter.

Ann:                             17:13                The birth mom was like, yes, it’s true. You know, cause they were all pretty skeptical here. And my grandfather said, this is before DNA. He said, you look just like your mom. He said, I can see you in her when she was your age.

Damon:                        17:31                What did you think when he said that?

Ann:                             17:31                So I just, I didn’t even know what to think, you know, I was just so excited and I thought she would have greeted me like he did. That wasn’t the case

Damon:                        17:45                Ann arranged to meet her birth mother at her job. Then they went out and had a cup of coffee. They talked and talked and her birth mother shared the stories of other babies she had had. Ann’s brother also placed for adoption, twins who died and Ann’s sisters she raised herself.

Ann:                             18:04                She told me she raised three kids. She had three kids after me that survived. There were, two sets of twins, I believe that she said died and that she would like me to meet my sisters. And so I did, I believe it was the following weekend. Everything, Everything seemed great. I have a sister that’s slightly younger than me that she kept. And so I was a little bit disappointed in that, but I did find out that I have an older brother that she also put up for adoption three years, four years before I was born. And so we’ve been looking for him ever since.

Damon:                        18:48                So you have met your mother, she has introduced you to your sisters and you’re getting along with everybody, but it sounds like there’s something lurking that turns sour, what happened?

Ann:                             19:01                Um, one of my sisters, the one that was born after me, her and I, we got along just fine. But I had injured myself and ended up with two herniated disc. And so I ended up on my birth mom’s couch for two weeks until I could walk and I, you know, couldn’t work or anything like that. And the other sister, um, wasn’t happy, you know,

Damon:                        19:29                not happy with your presence there all of a sudden.

Ann:                             19:32                Yeah. Yeah. And She just started getting jealous and that’s okay. You know, I can see now and I’m like, that’s okay, you know, no problems. And so anyways, she actually moved off to New Zealand. My other two sisters live here in town and so if I want to go out for a coffee or chat or whatever, I mean, we can do that at any time. My one sister actually lives just a mile from me. So you know, we live in this vicinity. We all work, you know, we’re busy with our kids and grandkids and stuff, but they’re just a phone call away.

Damon:                        20:10                Well that’s great. So she got jealous and then what else happened with your, with your biological mother?

Ann:                             20:16                Everything appeared as it was going good. I had lots and lots of questions and um, I think maybe those questions were a little bit too much for her. It was just too much. My questions, um, me not being able to move off of the couch. She didn’t like that I was trying to get back with my ex husband and just just nonsense, nonsense, everyday family nonsense, you know? Yeah. And so I, I don’t communicate with my birth mom at all and I haven’t for nearly 30 years now. If I need, if I need any kind of information from her whatsoever, I just asked one of my sisters or my grown niece and then they get the information for me and then, you know, that’s just the pacifier. It’s okay.

Damon:                        21:10                Yeah. Did you have any kind of a, a blow up? I mean, it sounds like 30 years is a long time for what it sounds like, you know, sort of a misunderstanding of overstaying and over questioning. Like what, how did it end?

Ann:                             21:27                Well, it ended with me leaving and that’s that.

Damon:                        21:32                I see you checked the box on finding her, it didn’t work out and you’re done.

Ann:                             21:38                Yes. And I’m not, I’m not one of these people that I’m going to force myself into your life. If you’re interested in me, great. You know? If not, I wish you well, I just, I’m not going to cry. You know, I cried obviously, you know, amongst the walls of my home and I wish it could have turned out better but it’s not the way that it is and if she ever wants contact with me she can contact me. She can tell my sisters, hey, you know I think I want to apologize or you know anything but that’s not what’s happened so I just let it be what it is

Damon:                        22:16                Ann said usually her contact questions for her birth mother, which she sends through her sisters are about their health history, which her birth mother or her sisters answered to the best of their ability. Oh and you’re probably curious like I was about the kidnapping when Ann was a child and said she asked her mother about the incident but her birth mother denied being the kidnapper. The woman even said something to the effect that she would never have looked for Ann, which is why she gave her up for adoption. I was curious about what Ann learned about the circumstances for her birth. Her birth mother claims she doesn’t know who Ann’s biological father is at all. Even on Ann’s non identifying information, the man is described incorrectly, which Ann now knows since she’s met him. To find him Ann submitted her DNA sample to ancestry DNA. She was introduced to lots of third and fourth cousin connections online. Since Ann wasn’t speaking with her birth mother Ann asked her sisters to verify a few of the last names she saw in her cousin connections. Her sister got that information from their mother but didn’t tell her that Ann had done a DNA test. Luckily one of those cousins had been a real gem in Ann’s search.

Ann:                             23:31                I had met a beautiful cousin, named Carolyn. I just love Carolyn. She was the first person that I reached out to on ancestry and she is my all time favorite cousin. She has been here from the very beginning of this journey. Um, she immediately went out and bought her 92 year old father, a DNA test and said, we need this because we needed to find out if I was coming in on her maternal or paternal side. So, so he did it. He’s like, what? We’ve got family out there, you know. So he went ahead, and he took it willingly and then we found out when the results came back six to eight weeks later, you know, that I was coming in on his side. So I had this fourth cousin, I just love her. For nearly two years, everyday I would come home and, um, find out new things about my family. You know, that I never knew. It was just like Christmas every day. And I just, I mean, I couldn’t believe that someone was so willing and loving to give their time for family like that.

Damon:                        24:46                Carolyn is a genealogy junkie and was really amazing at making some progress on their family tree, but they got stuck on Ann’s great grandparents. They thought they had found Ann’s birth father and they speculated that he was also her sister’s father. The man listed on her sister’s birth certificate. But boy did that turn out to be incorrect.

Ann:                             25:09                You’re not gonna believe this. This is crazy, but it’s true. You just can’t make these fancy things up. So after I did my sister’s DNA, then I could, you know, link which side was going in on the maternal, knowing that the others were paternal. We found out my sister’s real father who never even knew about my sister and he’s deceased, but she got two more siblings out of it and a beautiful aunt.

Damon:                        25:37                Wow. So your re-emergence both brought you into her life as a sibling and then it sounds like 30 years later she then discovers through this journey that she in fact has a story to tell that’s crazy. Ann said she’s really happy that her sister was warmly received into her correct paternal family and she remarked that it was amazing to see how much she looked like her new sister. So how did you track down then to find your own biological father?

Ann:                             26:11                Well, the day before my 50th birthday, wee hours in the morning I was crying and praying for God to please allow me to use proverbs 3:4 trust and believe that he would take the burdens of my heart and that he would just wash it away so I could live the rest of my life happy. And I woke up five hours later and there was my dad’s DNA test on ancestry. Gosh, yeah. I was completely, the man that we thought was my biological father was running, was considering running for US president and who is a well known author and he was not going to take a DNA test. So we were like, Ooh, that’s probably why. And so, and he wanted no contact with me. And so, um, you know, that was definitely a learning experience. I went down the wrong side of the tree with my cousin and even though it was justified through that, it wasn’t correct at all.

Ann:                             27:24                So if anything, he’s probably a fifth to eighth, fourth cousin, something of that nature, you know. But my actual dad popped up on ancestry and at first I turned my phone off. I thought, who’s, you know, cause I had put, I was crying and upset, you know, that I had to go the rest of my life not knowing, you know, said this prayer to God, knowing that sooner or later my heart would be lifted and um, then this father pops up, close match father, this is your parent on ancestry. And I was like, whose account did I get into during my sleep? I’m going against the terms and agreements, you know, I thought, oh my God, now ancestry’s going to kick me off, you know? And so I shut my phone off really quick and it was just like, Oh God, Oh God, I can’t believe, how did I do that?

Ann:                             28:14                Maybe I shouldn’t keep that application open at night, you know? And then I turned my phone back on and it said it was me again and that this was a parent match. And I just screamed. I just screamed and cried. My husband came running up the stairs asking me who died, you know, my son was looking at me, I had a cousin here at our house that was staying with me. And she just jumped to attention wondering if we were under attack. I mean, I couldn’t believe it and this Bob’s picture didn’t look like the other Bob who we thought was my dad. I was like, this is the right Bob. That’s that Bob is the wrong Bob. You know, I was just like, what? You know how many bob’s are our dads? Cause my sister’s Dad’s name is Robert. And I’m like, what on earth is going on here? And so anyways, I sent a message to him so I’m like, Hey Bob, your match is a complete surprise. I bet mine is too. I have a grand baby with a severe medical condition. There’s only, you know, 140 cases diagnosed worldwide. Could you please provide your family medical to me, that’s, that was best case scenario that he would respond back.

Damon:                        29:32                That was your first letter to him?

Ann:                             29:37                Yeah. Yeah. I just kept it casual, enlightened. Hey Man, I’m really needing medical. I just, I didn’t want him to think I wanted to intrude on his life, that I was looking for any, you know what I mean? I just, it’s been 50 years. I’m in a state of shock because I had just prayed and cried my eyes out to God. I was ready for just a clean heart, you know, regarding this whole adoption experience because I’ve had so much pain with it growing up, you know? And so I was just ready to be released from it. However God wanted to release me, I was okay with that. Trusting and believing in him with all my heart, just like he says. And so for, you know, four or five hours later when I woke up and he pops up on my ancestry, I’m in shock. Not only has god to slap me in the face with what I wanted my whole life, it was a real human being with this picture. And I could tell him, look like me.

Damon:                        30:31                Okay. Now is probably a good time to tell you that an learned way back when she was 22 years old and she first met her birth mother that the birthday she grew up celebrating was the wrong date and thought her birthday was January 8th but her birth mother said,

Ann:                             30:49                she said, honey, you weren’t born on the eighth you were born on the sixth

Damon:                        30:54                when she learned her birthday had been wrong. She called her parents who confirmed there had been a problem in her paperwork and thought about trying to get that issue officially fixed, but it would cost her the insane price of $25,000 to complete the transaction. Now there she was messaging her birth father through ancestry on January 5th

Ann:                             31:17                so my dad didn’t call me that day even though I gave him my phone number, my email, my Facebook, he called me the next day, which absolutely is my real birthday. It was my real 50th birthday. And he said, honey, where do you live? You know, who are you? Who’s your mom? You know, when’s your birthday, baby? So I told him, I said, it’s today. And he’s like, oh by gosh baby happy birthday. I mean, he was just this big, huge, loving kind, real nice man. That’s not anything that I expected. Well yeah, I was just hoping first some medical and a hi, how are ya? You know, I didn’t know I was going to be welcomed with loving arms from the get go. That my dad is…

Damon:                        32:11                What a birthday gift. Wow.

Ann:                             32:13                Oh my gosh. For My 50th birthday, there is no other present that can top that birth day. I mean, that was a long, long time coming, you know,

Damon:                        32:25                Unbelievable.

Ann:                             32:27                Yeah. And since then, you know, every morning, good morning honey, how are you doing? You know, have a nice day at work. At lunchtime, It might be something like, what are you eating for lunch? This is what I’m doing. You know, I get home from work, welcome home, honey. I go to bed and he’s like, good night. I mean, he’s right there and I wanna say, and my dad would have the answer to it, but either that first day or that second day, he’s, he’s a ham radio operator and he gave me his gps location on his truck. So every time he goes to the store and back, I can touch this application on my phone and know exactly where my dad’s at.

Damon:                        33:15                That’s so crazy. That’s cool.

Ann:                             33:15                He wants he, yeah. Isn’t that awesome? Who does that? I was like, oh my God, I can’t believe this, you know. And um, he told me, I just don’t ever want to lose you again. My Dad never signed his, you know, my birth right away, you know, he never placed me up for adoption. If he would have known he and my beautiful aunt Joanne said, honey, family doesn’t give up family, we would have taken care of you. That’s what family does.

Damon:                        33:43                Unreal.

Ann:                             33:47                And here, you know, I had been placed up for adoption, different ethnic backgrounds, different belief systems. You know, I mean, I tell people all the time, and they kind of laugh at me, but it’s the truth. If you put an apple tree into a pear orchard or a pear tree into an apple orchard, that doesn’t make that tree become one in its orchard. If it’s a pear tree going into an apple orchard, it will always be a pear tree. So it doesn’t matter where you transplant it, it’s going to be what it is. And so I’m just so happy that my dad’s greeted me with so much love and kindness. I mean, I just, I can’t believe it. And then I found out that I have another sibling, another sister. Remember I told you that I prayed so hard for sisters when my little brother was born?

Ann:                             34:46                Yeah. So now I have sister number four and she has two beautiful children. I’ve seen pictures of them, so I’m just really excited.

Damon:                        34:56                That’s amazing. Wow. Did you get the chance to meet him yet?

Ann:                             35:00                I have met my father, my daughter and her fiancé, sent me to go to Alabama to meet my dad in February of last year, two days after, um, Valentine’s Day. And we had the best time ever. I just, my dad and I share more DNA in the more DNA tests we take, the higher the Sena Morgan’s go up, but we share more DNA than twins do. The only thing that divides us is the Mississippi River, because my dad and I can text the same thing at the same time and then we just laugh at it. Here’s an example. I was listening to, Papa was a rolling stone by George Michaels and my dad sent me the link. He’s like, here, baby. Listen to this one. It was the same song. Papa was a rolling stone, but by the temptations and so, yeah, so I did a screenshot and showed him. I said, dad, look, look what I’m listening to right this very second. He’s like, oh, that’s wild again.

Damon:                        36:07                That is crazy, man. I love when coincidences like that happen. That’s really surreal. What a connection. Ann said those kinds of cosmic connection, coincidence happen all the time with Bob and they talk every day. She said they both realized there’s no way to make up for 50 years of lost time, but they’ve still developed a bucket list of things they’d like to do together. I asked Ann to share a little bit about how she shared her reunion experiences with her adopted family and she closed with what’s up next on her journey.

Ann:                             36:40                It’s sad that people choose to limit love. My Biological Dad, I call him my real dad. He is now on my birth certificate. It is believed that my dad and I, that I’m the first case in Oregon that has used Oregon’s tri-party adoption in this fashion to get my dad onto my adoptive birth certificate. And so my mom asked me, what does that mean? And I said, mom, it means that you’re going to stay on my adoptive birth certificate. You are my mom that raised me. It means that my adoptive dad remains on my birth certificate and that my real father is on my birth certificate. And she said, honey, it’s me with two men on there? Cause my mom’s in her eighties. And I said, yeah mom, it looks like you’re going to go out with a bang. And she was just like, Oh God, you know.

Ann:                             37:41                And so I’ve got them on there. I also tried contacting a judge and spoke with his secretary. Everyone told me it would take an act of Congress to get my father back onto my original birth certificate. Currently my original birth certificate says unknown. Just because she doesn’t know, doesn’t mean that I don’t, I’ve got it confirmed with three different DNA sites, ancestry, Jed match and FTDNA. And so I’ve wrote the director of the Department of Human Services gave him a clip of my interview with my father and KTU News told them that I match up three different DNAs. Why does it need to take an act of Congress? You know, what can we do internally to either change processes so that women will put the correct men on there? You know, what can I do to help so that this doesn’t happen to anybody else? And, um, when they told me it would take an act of Congress, that’s when I thought to myself, you know what, I have nothing to lose.

Ann:                             38:49                I’ve already lost 50 valuable years with my dad. So I said, game on. So I contacted a house representative who’s long term, hit him up on instant messenger, told them that I needed him, gave him the interview with KTU. Told him I’ve got three different DNA sources and I want my dad on my original birth certificate. That myself and others in my shoes should not have to take an act of Congress for my birth certificate to uphold integrity. I should have the same right as anyone else. Adoption certificates should never become birth certificates. Original birth certificate should always maintain and hold the truth and in my state, Um, I’m sure you know that Oregon is known as liberal, When I did my name change this year in February to include my surname on that exact same piece of paper and asked me, you know, your surname, why are you doing this? Are you doing a sex change too? And I was like, the sex change doesn’t apply to me, but in order, again, you can go ahead and change your sex on your birth certificate. That’s fine for those, for that population, I’m totally for it. If that’s what they want to do, go for it. It doesn’t personally affect me, but it also tells me if someone can do that, why can’t I just have the truth on my birth certificate? Why is this taking an act on congress?

Damon:                        40:26                I think that’s a really great case, uh, example of a change that can be made versus one that can’t. And why are they different? And I really liked what you said about the integrity of an original birth certificate and the fact that it should not be categorized as original, if in fact it has adoptive parents names on it. I may not be saying what you said exactly, but I liked what you said that was

Ann:                             40:56                yes. Yes it is. My state representative who is, they had closed precession and I do know that they have to go in and out the house and the Senate. And I picked a state Rep. And so anyways, he’s the only one that would respond back to me. And he actually responded back quickly and he said, precession is over. And he said, I’ll go ahead and initiate it as a priority bill. And I’m like, what? And he said, yes, I’ll put it through as a priority bill. And it is now a priority bill up on the table. And I asked Mr Mike Nierman, I said, listen, I’m doing a podcast tomorrow night, may I mention your name and give you credit where it’s due because this is big, you know. And he said, absolutely. You know, he said yes. And my attorney Aaron Perez, that represented, you know, my dad and I in court for this. Um, I told him I would give him credit too. There’s a big population that people don’t realize that we’re stuck in these government loopholes. The government wasn’t in the room when we were being created and DNA doesn’t lie. That’s why we have it. Why can’t just the truth be reflected?

Damon:                        42:19                Yeah, I agree. I think that’s very well said. Good for you for putting up the good fight. Ann this is really fascinating to hear and I’m glad you took the moment to sort of recognize the importance of your biological father in your life. And you said, you know what, I want to document this accurately. And I think that’s very admirable.

Ann:                             42:40                Yeah. And I’m so lucky. Whatever I do that includes him, you know, with it. I’m like, Dad, what do you think about this? And he’s like, go for that baby. And I’m like, that’s my dad.

Damon:                        42:51                Yeah. Gotta love that, man. That’s just straight up support. Whatever you want to do, hun, that’s fine with me. That’s really good.

Ann:                             42:59                Oh yeah. You know, it’ll benefit. Not everyone has a voice and I’m not willing to be quiet anymore so that I don’t embarrass somebody. This is me. This is who I am. This is my journey in life only I have to, um, you know, take credit for it. I mean, thank God my prayer was finally answered in my favor when I thought it, you know, I was just a lost cause.

Damon:                        43:27                Yeah, that’s right. Well Ann, thank you so much for taking time to share your story tonight. I’m sorry that things didn’t work out with your biological mother, but it sounds like things are so fantastic with your biological father, you know,

Ann:                             43:38                they really are.

Damon:                        43:40                That’s really great. I’m glad to hear that.

Ann:                             43:41                And I wish my birth mother well, no ill wishes whatsoever. You know, it is what it is and I can’t change it. If she wants to change it, she’s going to have to reach out.

Damon:                        43:56                Yeah, yeah, that, that makes a lot of sense. But it sounds like your sisters are in a good place to help you out too, and that’s a good, a good thing as well. You got something out of this.

Ann:                             44:05                Oh, absolutely.

Damon:                        44:06                That’s great.

Ann:                             44:07                Absolutely. There’s nothing more that I could ask for, you know,

Damon:                        44:11                Good luck with the battle on the legislative front. I hope that things turn out well and that your state is able to set a precedent. I think that’s really cool.

Ann:                             44:20                I sure hope so too.

Damon:                        44:22                All right. Take care, Ann. Thanks for the call. All the best to you, Okay?

Ann:                             44:25                Thank you to you as well.

Damon:                        44:26                All right. Bye Bye.

Ann:                             44:28                Bye Bye.

Damon:                        44:33                Hey, it’s me. Ann’s kidnapping story was really scary to hear. I was so relieved to learn that she was treated okay and returned unharmed to her own block. That could have turned out so many other ways and I’m truly sorry for other people who aren’t as lucky as Ann was. Similarly, I’m sorry, things didn’t work out with Ann’s mother, but I’m glad to hear that her sisters didn’t tow their mother’s line and abandon contact with her as well. That would have been a lot of rejection for Ann to endure. Ann also told me that she decided to write a book about Bob in order to interview him and get to know him better. The book will be for their family only a documentation of his personal history and their reunion. I’m Damon Davis and I hope you’ll find something in Ann’s journey that inspires you, validates your feelings about wanting to search or motivates you to have the strength along your journey to learn who am I really?

Damon:                        45:32                If you would like to share your adoption journey and your attempt to connect with your biological family, please visit WhoAmIReallypodcast.com/share you can choose to share your whole story, maintain some privacy about parts of your journey or share completely anonymously. You can find the show at facebook.com/WAIReally, or follow me on Twitter at WAIReally, and please, if you like the show, you can support me at patrion.com/WAIReally, you can subscribe to Who Am I Really? On apple podcasts, Google play or wherever you get your podcasts, and while you’re there, it would mean so much to me. If you would take a moment to share a rating or leave a comment, those ratings can help others to find the podcast too.

 

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