Hi everyone, Katie here.
I hope you enjoyed yesterday's Prologue. This the story of Glogirly's adoption and her search for the truth. I know...you're expecting some sarcasm out of me aren't you? Well I'm holding my sharp tongue back and exhibiting only the best cat manners I can muster. This story is for my girl. Be forewarned, It's a long one. But I don't want to leave a single thing out.
The Dear Abby poem moved Glogirly, even at the young age of 23. She thought back to when she was only four years old. Her parents were very open and honest about her adoption. It was never a secret. From a very young age she knew she was adopted and understood how special that was. She knew there was someone out there that loved her enough to give her up. To give her a chance to be part of a family that could love and take care of her forever. A true forever home.
Glogirly & Her Adoptive Mom
Glogirly never knew a home without love. Her adoptive parents were wonderful people. They gave her everything any child cold ever hope for and taught her how to treat people with love and respect. Glogirly's mom passed away in 1987 when she was 58. Glogirly was only 24. It nearly broke her and her father's hearts. Glogirly lost her dad seven years ago. They had grown so close all those years without her mom. She admired her dad's optimism, humility, and his big belly laugh. He was her hero.
Glogirly's Adoptive Dad
Like any adopted child, Glogirly had an innocent curiosity about her birthmother and family. What does she look like? Where is she? Where did she come from? What happened? She never really expected to search for them. Deep down though, there was just something that tugged at her. She never feel empty, on the contrary. She felt so full and fortunate. She wished that somehow, someday, she could simply say - Thank You. Thank you to a woman she never knew, but who gave her a priceless gift. She admired this woman's courage. It had to have been so hard to give a child away. Glogirly was certain this woman had given her up out of love.
About 15 years ago, Glogirly filled out a Consent To Contact form with the adoption agency that handled her case. This consent gave permission to share her name and whereabouts should her birthmother or any other birth family member come forward with the same. If a match was made, the agency would contact both parties. Yet year after year there was nothing.
Just 4 years ago, Glogirly found the 15 year-old letter from Children's Home Society acknowledging the receipt of her consent form. She kept it tucked in her files all those years. Glogirly realized her name and address had changed and changed again so she called them to find out about updating her contact information. She was shocked to get a real-live person on the phone. She asked if any privacy laws had changed. If there was any chance at all of opening her original file. No. Everything was still secret. Probably always will be. The woman from CHS suggested she consider requesting a Non-Identifying Background Report. Although no names or any details deemed as "identifying" would be shared, it was at least a chance for some possible health related information. She explained it was pretty chancey. You never know how much or how little is even in the original adoption file. But a CHS worker would pull the file and paraphrase everything contained in it, of course eliminating names, etc.
Glogirly went for it. She sent them a written request with a small fee and waited. Six months they said. She had all but forgotten about it. Until the day after Mothers Day.
A large envelope arrived. The return address read, Children's Home Society, California. It was 9" x 12" and felt thick. Glogirly's heart was spinning. She waited until she got up the steps and then carefully opened it. She could see immediately that it was at least four pages long. Typed. Single spaced.
She couldn't read it fast enough. She couldn't read it slow enough. The details were astounding. Glogirly was consumed. There were physical descriptions of her birth mother's parents, their ages, occupations, and the states where they were born. There were descriptions, ages and educational backgrounds of her siblings. Two brothers and two sisters. Glogirly's birthmother was described in vivid detail. The most stunning of which was the revelation that she had Cerebral Palsy due to an injury at birth. It was difficult to read. There were details about an extremely strained incident between her and her father and much more. Glogirly's heart was aching. She could barely breathe.
So many details. Hair color, eye color, height, weight, build, skin tone. Intelligent, excellent student, interested in politics. Headstrong. Independent. Cares for children. Health concerns, diabetes, a description of her pregnancy, labor and delivery.
The last paragraph of the report paraphrased the heart wrenching decision Glogirly's birthmother had made. It explained this was a very difficult decision to make, giving Glogirly up, but she felt it was in the baby's best interest to to give her an opportunity with a loving adoptive family. An opportunity she sadly could not provide.
It was all so overwhelming. Glogirly felt an even greater gratitude for her birthmother's strength and the decision she made. She also felt a sadness for everything this woman had gone through. She didn't know, but suspected her birth mother had a very hard life. Maybe even a tragic one. Glogirly thought she had probably never married or had any other children. She was fearful that her birthmother was alone.
It was at that moment that everything changed. A child's innocent curiosity was now a woman's burning desire to find the truth. To find the rest of the story. To find a lost mother. A lost family.
She had to search. She wasn't quite sure how or where.
She just knew.
She had to search.