As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was able to secure by original birth certificate and learned that I had an older sibling. My birth mother was from Ohio, and my birth father was Hispanic and from Texas. I cried all the way home from picking up the certificate. I was sure that the first child was kept and I wasn’t. I had lots of questions.

I decided to do as much research as I could. Let me start by saying, this was prior to our first computer in 1989 and the wealth of information that is now online. I went to the main library downtown and tried to find them by last name. No luck. So I focused on the birth mother and her local ties. No luck. Checked out the address of the mom and found out that in my birth year the building was a Salvation Army shelter. On my way home from work one night, I drove past the address and found a home furnishing company in a long L-shaped building. The SA shelter was long gone. This was an uphill struggle!

In typical Lois fashion, life got in the way. With a husband and four teenagers daily, life was family, work, and just plain coping. The search was put on the back burner for 12 years! Don’t let this happen to you…I regret the delay.

Finally, on my birthday in 1995, my husband again encouraged me to search before everyone important was dead. So I did. One my sons went to the Probate Court downtown. I asked him to look for a marriage license of potential grandparents. He looked four years prior to the birth mother’s date of birth. Within a few minutes, he found the grandparents and rushed to my office with a copy. After hugs all around, I took a close look and found that the name of my birth mother was misspelled on my birth certificate. Her common name had an “a” replacing the common “e.”  That was the clue I needed.

Dinner was late that night. As soon as I got home, I checked out another source I had purchased over the years: a set of diskettes containing US phone numbers. I started with Ohio and neighboring states, and immediately, a name popped up: not the name on the certificate but the last name was spelled the same as on the marriage license.

Rushed to the phone and called the number in Indiana asking if the person knew Mary, my birth mother. She laughed and said she knew there were kids but not who or where they were. Turns out, this lady was my aunt. She called my birth mother in California and told her about the phone call and asked her to call me. I was so excited and the aunt was very nice.

The call came a few minutes later. I explained who I was and thanked her for letting me be adopted and she told me I was crazy, not her kid and hung up on me. The tears earlier in the day were happy tears; these tears were not. But I did find her.

About 15 minutes later, she called back and told me she was, in fact, my birth mother and she knew my birth name. She was not married to my birth father. Apparently they met in Texas when she was following the crops. I did ask about the earlier child. She told me she gave her up at birth and in her own way knew about her today. She was quickly tired of talking, and we ended our call cordially.