Persistence Pays Off Part II

My expanding family circle.

Rebecca Tillou May 05, 2014
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The Ghost Within

Everyday I see her
Glimpses of black hair
to her shoulder, wavy, free
Dark Brown eyes
A mirror to my rejected, lost soul
Every day I hear her
A laugh
that Echoes mine
Words, apologies, soft and sincere
I am sorry
I did what is best
Please forgive me
Let’s be friends.
She is seen and heard
In the confines of my mind
I can’t touch her
She can’t hold me
I think of her
Her being walks right through me
I am left alone
in the corner
Tears falling from my eyes
A lost child.

I found the last known address for my birth mom on a search site I had been using, and sent a letter with our photos in it. The next step was to scour an address website and send letters to every person in the United States with my birth mom’s last name. I did this, and waited.

While I was waiting, a search angel asked me to call her. When I did she said it was difficult to identify biological relatives with a picture. I told her in this case one could.  So, she took a deep breath and said, “Ok, your birth mom is dead.” I took a breath in, and then asked for an explanation. She had found a Passaic NJ Surrogate document online stating her date of death. I had thought she had passed away, given I couldn’t find any information on her. I was able to send $10 to Passaic NJ Surrogate court and receive a list of items in my birth mom’s estate file.

On May 13, 2013, at 6:27 pm, my phone rang. It was a Pennsylvania number. I returned the call and  an older man answered. He asked me how I knew my birth mom. I got all flustered. I stammered, “She is my birth mother.” He replied by telling me he was her first cousin! I was speechless. He then gave me the name and address of my birth mother’s brother.

On May 17, 2013, at 1:12 pm, my cell phone rang. I answered it. The man on the other line had a shaky, uncertain voice. He introduced himself as my biological uncle! He told me he received my letter, then asked me, “What is your relationship to my sister?” I hesitated. I had not stated I was her  daughter in my letter, only that I was related to my birth mother, and that I was placed for adoption. I told him I was his sister’s biological daughter. He then told me he thought that was the case, based on my photo, and then he told me I had identical eyes to my birth mom. My eyes welled up, and a lone tear fell.

I found out I have three biological cousins, and that I come from a line of runners. Now I can attribute my running ability to genetics! I found out most of the men in my biological family are 6’3″ or 6’4″. Now I understand my 5 year old’s height!

I have since spoken to my biological cousins and  have seen photos. I am amazed at the physical similarities between myself, my biological uncle, my little boy, and my cousin’s little girl. They are a close family–all living within 10 minutes of one another. Persistence pays off. I am excited for this new journey, and for my family circle to expand.


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Rebecca Tillou

Rebecca was adopted as an infant. She found her birth family in May of 2013 and continues to keep in touch with them. Sadly, her birth mother passed away in 1999. She and her husband live in New York and are the parents of two beautiful little boys, Dominic and Nicolas. They also have a German Shepherd mix named Chester. She was recently diagnosed with FASD at 34 years of age. She is currently working with and to get the word out that there is hope, and that you are never too old to better yourself.

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