Our Newfound Family

My family's reunion story.

Sonia Billadeau April 12, 2014
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I wanted to write to share with others my family’s reunion story. When my mom had to tell her parents that she was pregnant at the age of 14, I think it was the most difficult thing she ever had to do. Her father was very sick and dying from heart disease, and her mother was soon to be a young widow. My mother, the oldest of four children, waited six months to tell them. She felt horrible to disappoint them. When she told them, they told her not to tell anyone. They sent her away to the Salvation Army for unwed mothers. They told her brothers and sister she had gone away for the summer to visit an aunt. Back in those days this was proper procedure for a teenage girl who was pregnant.

My mom can hardly remember everything that had happened to her while at the Salvation Army because she blocked out most things. They were good to her there, but being only 14, she was scarred. No one ever warned her about what it was like to give birth. She made a lot of friends and had a councilor that she was very fond of.

On October 2, 1975, she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy whom she named Daniel. She got to hold him and feed him his first bottle. That is most of what she can remember. Then she made the ultimate sacrifice: She gave her precious baby boy up for adoption. When she had to go back home, life wasn’t so easy. Her parents never let her talk to anyone or even tell them about what had happened. She was now 15 and another life-changing event happened. Her father passed away at the young age of 55. Throughout all of this, my mom still managed to graduate high school early and met my father. They had three children, but my mom still thought about her first born, especially on his birthday.

Well, it’s been 27 years thinking about him. We have been looking for him on the internet for about seven years now. Then I found a website called Adoption Forums. I met a lot of nice people, and most of them were eager to help for free. One day I came across someone who had an email address who said they could find his amended name. Right away I emailed her, and she found his name within a few days.

I did more research on my own and found his address. I wrote him a letter, and he called me about a week later. We have since met. He is more than my mom ever dreamed of. He is successful and a great person. I have since met his adopted parents; they are wonderful people. They took us in as their family too and my son as their grandson. I love them both dearly. I couldn’t ask for a better family. They answered all my mom’s questions of how my brother grew up; she even got pictures from them that showed him growing up. This is all more than we have ever wished for. It is like a dream.

Although my mom hasn’t had the chance to meet with my brother and his family yet because she is on the West Coast and they are on the East Coast, she talks to them often. As for me, by some miracle I only live three hours from my brother and nine hours from his parents, so I have actually seen them a few times.

My mom and brother are going to try to get together in the fall. He is in his last year of getting his PH.D and is a very determined man. So any chance we get to hear from him is so exciting. I talk to his parents at least once a week. Although people might say this was a happy ending, I look at it as a happy beginning. Usually it is the adopted person who has a void that was filled, but in this case, I feel I had a void that has just been filled. My mom got much more. She can now put her mind at ease knowing what her parents did and what she did was the right thing. Her mother has since passed on, but I know she is looking over us with a smile.

My mom now knows the feelings his adoptive parents have toward her. They have so much love for her, and she has the same love for them. She now knows everything she went through was worth it, and my brother has the world’s best parents. My mom couldn’t have dreamed they would be so great. As for my mom and I, I have so much more respect for my mom now knowing what she went through and how happy she made my brother’s parents. She is one of the strongest people I know. I love her so much, and we all love our newfound family!

Thank you for letting me share my story.

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Sonia Billadeau


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