Reunited. It Feels So Good

This is my experience of what it was like to reunite with my family. It feels so good!

Rebecca Tillou June 15, 2018
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I started a die-hard search in 2013. I was obsessed; I searched; I found; I got myself reunited. The person I wanted to be reunited with the most is my birth mom. I don’t think that should come as a surprise The woman who carried me for nine months. The woman who would be able to answer my questions about why she placed me, if I had other siblings, and if she knew who my father was. But this was not to happen.

When I found my birth family, I found my birth mom had passed away in 1999. I proceeded to write letters to every person in the United States with my birth mom’s last name. A couple weeks passed, and my cell phone buzzed as I was eating dinner. I checked my phone, and it was a number I didn’t recognize. No voicemail had been left. I called the number back because you just never know. When I dialed the number, my biological second cousin was on the other end. He had received one of my 43 letters I had sent throughout the United States. He told me about my biological uncle who he hadn’t seen in about 10 years, about my birth mother, and what it was like to spend time with her as a child. He told me she was raised by the nuns. He gave me my uncle’s address, and I sent him a letter with my phone number on it.

I didn’t have my uncle on my original list of people to send letters out to because his last name was spelled differently. I remember I was at work, and my cell phone buzzed. A strange number popped up. I answered it, and this older gentleman was on the other end. He introduced himself as Mark, and I realized he was my birth mom’s brother. He was elated to have a niece. That first conversation was over an hour and was the first of many. He told me who my cousins were. I found one on Facebook along with her children. I looked nothing like anyone, so I had doubts this was really happening. It was all the truth though. We were all related.

Three months after talking to all of them on the phone and by email, I flew to Texas to meet them in person. I stepped off the plane and waited with my one bag outside the airport. A car pulled up, and my cousin and her mom jumped out. It was like time stopped. The reunion resembled a high school or college reunion with your best friends. The genetic gap had been closed. My uncle who is wheelchair-bound rolled down the car window and I leaned in for a huge hug and smile. The first thing we talked about once we got to the house was how I looked just like my uncle’s aunt. That was a first for me. I beamed. I stayed with my aunt and uncle for four days. We stayed up until three a.m. that first night, looking at photos and talking about my birth mom that my uncle had not seen since 1963. We laughed; we cried. I went to my cousin’s house for dinner a few days later, and my cousin’s husband told me I had the “family walk.” Another first.

My reunion was incredible. The best parts were hearing that I looked like someone and that I had the “family walk.” I found my family during this reunion. Will there be another reunion? Yes. Not everyone will be able to attend, but we all keep in touch either by phone or email. I am planning on another adventure to see them. This time, maybe with my family in tow.

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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 nofas.org and thearg.org to get the word out that there is hope, and that you are never too old to better yourself.


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