Not unlike many adoptees, I spent many, many years wondering about my biological parents. I wondered if they were somehow watching me and if they ever thought about me at the same time I was thinking of them. As I got older and more broad in my thinking I would find amazement in the knowledge that they were out in the world somewhere, underneath that same big moon as I was. Maybe they were even looking at it "with" me. My adoptive grandmother told me that my parents had been college sweet hearts and I thought the idea was romantic.
I began reading about adoption, adoptee rights, how to search, etc. when I was a young girl and as soon as I could begin to actively look, I did. I had located a paper from a lawyer to my adoptive parents where I was referred to as "Baby Girl Reynolds" which was my very first clue. Then I obtained my "non-identifying information". I remember being somehow bothered by the term "non-identifying". It seemed to verify exactly how I'd felt; that I had no identity. Through that information, I discovered that my birth mother had been married and that marriage had resulted in 3 children who she had no longer had contact with and were being raised by their father.
I searched for years, to the best of my ability, meeting dead end after dead end. Finally, in 1997, I found myself on an adoption message board on AOL and soon met a professional searcher, Susan Friel-Williams. Susan ended up being the key that could unlock every door and within 2 weeks she called to let me know that she had located my birth mother. Within a few days I heard my birth mother's voice for the first time and, a few months after that, I flew to meet her. During that meeting she told me about another child she had at the age of 14 and had given up for adoption.
I thought about these 1/2 siblings many, many times over almost 2 decades and the first day of January 2016 proved to be reason for a huge celebration. Working on my maternal biological family tree, I literally stumbled onto a birth record for the daughter my mother had as a teen. I was stunned. The circumstances surrounding the pregnancy and birth were such that I thought I'd never have any info on her to go on. Here I was, looking at her birth date.
God must have known that Susan and I were meant to cross paths again at some point as I had located her on Facebook some years back and we were friendly. That's one of the awesome things about Susan; she handles your search and your feelings like a friend would. We spoke and immediately I had a name and phone number for my sister. Another day or so passed before I had another sister’s contact info. Remarkably, these 2 sisters who knew nothing of one another had over time, both moved from California to Washington and lived 1 hour from each other.
We had a couple phone calls, followed by daily emails for about a month and on February 12th, I picked them up from the airport and we spent 4 days with each other. I hope to visit them in a few months and we also talked about future vacations together.
Most of the time, sisterhood happens first, followed by friendship. This time, we will start as friends and move to sisterhood. I am forever grateful to Susan and Search Quest America. And, who knows what life will bring. I still have one more search to complete.
Sisters together at last.