Adoption Reunion Stories > Every Year, She Remembers a Certain Day...

13 Feb 2007

It took Richard a long time to get up the nerve to search for the woman who relinquished him for adoption 50+ years ago. He was ahead of the game — he had a name, but no other information. When he contacted Research Etc., Inc. in early January, 1988, he was skeptical — afterall, it was only her maiden name, and what could you do with that?! In fact, Richard was even more skeptical about sending a retainer to a company that claimed they actually could find someone with very little information after 50 years. But, after several discussions and assurances that we would not take his money and run, Richard decided to give us a try!

Richard was dumbfounded when we contacted him to tell him that we had, in fact, located much more information about his birthmother, and had even obtained her date of birth, the circumstances surrounding his relinquishment and more! But, he was floored when, he got our call saying we had located her!

Richards birthmother, Rita, was a profoundly religious woman, who had found herself pregnant and alone at a young age. She traveled across the country to have her baby to avoid letting her family find out about the pregnancy. She was scared, but she knew that she could not care for an infant and relinquishment was her only option.

When we called Rita’s home, her husband, Don, answered. Rita was not home and Don wanted to know who was calling and why. Once we identified ourselves, he confirmed all of the information we had about Rita — her physical description, where she had worked and the things we knew about where she grew up. Of course, we gave no indication why we were calling, other than to say that an old friend that she had worked with had wondered what happened to her and would like to get in touch. Don was so suspicious! We continually told him that we couldn’t breach our client confidentiality rule and tell him who was looking for her, but we assured him that it wasn’t an old boyfriend and that this person had no bad intentions, wasn’t a stalker, etc. Don would not let up! He finally said that if we didn’t tell him who this person was, that Rita would not call us back. Again, we refused, but conveyed to Don that this was very important.

Finally, Don said, “Listen to me, I KNOW. (Chills ran down my spine!) Would your client be a young fellow about 51 years old? Let me just say that maybe every year my wife remembers a certain day, do you know what I am saying?” Of course, we did know what he was saying — he did know! This 80 year-old man had just rattled off the exact age of our client off the top of his head! We then relented and admitted that his description fit that of our client, but, neither of us ever came right out and used the words adoption, birthmother, birthson. But we both knew what we were both talking about! After Don told us all about his family, he wanted to know where our client was, if he had children, etc. We assured Don that our client in no way wanted to be intrusive or hurtful. Don softened and said that he felt he was the best person to break the news to Rita (and we agreed!). He said he would talk with her and one of them would call us back soon and let us know their decision either way.

Don called us later in the week and in a very sad, kindly voice said, "My wife does not wish for any contact, and asked that you please do not ever call here again, alrighty?" and hung up. We still get tears in our eyes remembering this phone call, and how we had to relay the news to Richard. But Richard was a trooper, and took it much better than we did! He said at least he had the opportunity to let his birthmother know he was thinking of her, and he totally respected her feelings.

Note: We at Research Etc., Inc. are extremely careful when contacting birthfamily members! When contacting a birthparent, it is strictly taboo for us to allude to the reason for our call, other than to the search subject! Often times, a spouse or other relative knows nothing about the search subject’s relinquishment and such knowledge could be devastating to their relationship, as well as could kill any chance for contact between the two parties! However, in this case, Rita’s husband not only knew about Rita’s birthson, but was sympathetic to our client’s needs and felt that he alone could provide the best comfort to his wife of 50 years by telling Rita that her birthson was looking for her.

Research Etc.

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