Together Again: A Mother & Son Reunion

Nearly thirty years ago when Sue Ann was 19 and attending school in Indiana she found herself in a situation that terrified her-she was pregnant and unwed. She knew this would not go over well in the small Ohio town where she grew up. For her, giving up her son Tony for adoption was the only choice she had.

“My parents were very strict, and I knew that they wouldn’t help me keep him,” she said. “My mother wanted me to have an abortion, which you couldn’t do because it was illegal, and I was too far along anyway. I never really felt that I had a choice to keep him. It was the thing to do back then.”

From the very beginning, though, Sue Ann regretted giving him up and spent years searching for him.

“I always felt that someday we would find each other,” Sue Ann said. “I thought if he was anything like me, he was going to want to look for me.” Once the adoption laws in Indiana were opened up, Sue Ann and Tony’s mutual desire to find each other led to their reunion.

“It was a coming home feeling for me,” said her son, Tony. “We had decided not to trade photos before meeting because I knew that I would recognize her right away. As soon as I saw her I zoomed right in on her.”

“We hit it off really well,” said Sue Ann. “He got a motel, but once he got here, we hit it off so well that he stayed with me. ”

During this first visit, Sue Ann and Tony found out they had a lot in common. They shared quite a few idiosyncrasies: neither like to have creases in our jeans; both are a little more liberal in their thought processes; each has a similar outlook on life.

“We can talk about really deep things, tell our feelings, and things we probably wouldn’t tell someone else,” Sue Ann said. Still, both she and Tony are very grateful of the role Tony’s adoptive parents play in his life.

Sue Ann said she still gets overwhelmed that she and Tony found each other.

“It was the best thing that ever happened to me. My life is so fulfilled now.”

Both Sue and and Tony encourage people to look each other up, especially before they get to old and one of them is gone. Connect with other birth moms and birth dads on the extensive forums at Adoption.com.

MORE TIPS & TOOLS

Connecting around the World
The International Soundex Reunion Registry may not make a pretty website, but it does make finding that long lost next of kin a definite possibility.

Seek & Find
With the Adoption.com reunion registry, you can do regular searches or browse adoption records by name, state or birthday.

Making Plans
Baby on the way and no where to turn? Not if you’ve got a Planned Parenthood in your community. Find information, support and prenatal care (even if you’re uninsured) no matter what your decision.

Memory Lane
Carol Bird shares the story of reuniting with her daughter after 40 years at Adoption.com

Love knows no boundaries — An International Adoption Story

Mary and Bill met on the school bus as teenagers and started their life’s journey from there. But when they set out to start family, things got difficult.

“I had my first Grand Mal seizure in the middle of teaching a class,” said Mary. “They took me to the hospital, and at first they said that it didn’t mean that I had epilepsy because anyone can have a seizure.”

The first seizure, however, was a sign of things to come. Mary had more and more attacks, averaging about three to five a month. Eventually doctors said she was eligible for brain surgery, and she was seizure-free for a year.

With her health in check, Mary decided to try to get pregnant. The stress of trying to conceive, having a miscarriage, and having surgery to try to conceive again caused her seizures to return.

“The one treatment that we were going with was Clomid, and you can only go through that so many times before you start to become at risk for cervical cancer,” Bill explained. “When we exhausted all those options, we started reading on what the next procedure would be, which was infertility treatments. At that point in time, we both said, ‘This is scary and probably not for us.'”

Seeing their baby girl for the first time through photos made both Bill and Mary fall in love. They were her parents, no matter what.

“They gave us a description of her personality and said she was slightly obstinate,” said Mary. “We thought, ‘She is going to be just like her mom.'”

The couple flew to China to complete their family, brimming with hope and happiness, but their first meeting wasn’t picture perfect. Their baby had no idea who they were, didn’t understand what was happening, and took some time to warm up to Mommy and Daddy.

Since coming home from China, Bill and Mary and their new little girl are just like any other family. Bill’s a doting dad, Mary’s a nurturing mom, and Anne is their little shadow.

“I am just so happy,” Mary said. “People in restaurants have been shocked because she squeals so loud with joy. They think she’s crying, and then they are floored to know she’s squealing with joy. She is just so happy. She has love, she has family, friends — my students at school went nuts when they saw her picture — she has so many people that love her. She is going to grow and be an incredible person.”

If you’re considering the adoption option, try Adoption.com, which helps infertile couples understand the process, the expectations and the experience of adopting a baby. Or dive into any of these great resources:

Hopeful Mommy Support
INCIID is an organization that supports women and couples dealing with infertility with current information, alternative options and even an in vitro scholarship program.

Just a Little Pregnant
Julie talks about infertility, in vitro and proud parenthood in this amusing, inspiring online journal.

Taking the Eastern Approach
Visit The Herbal Room for information on the use of acupuncture and herbs in aiding fertility.

One Family’s Adoption Journey
Follow Stephen & Laura as they blog about the hard work and long wait it takes to bring their baby home from China.