Finding my birth mother after 53 1/2 years

By
Real Estate Agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty

Baby JayI dedicate this post with the extreme love and affection to my wife Monika who had a very vivid dream on December 21st that she had written a letter to my birth mother.

She woke up that morning and started typing away and she looked a little starry eyed and quite quiet, which is unusual and I asked her if she was, ok. She said she had a dream and needed to finish her thoughts as she did not want to forget. I said cool and I switched the TV to sports channel.

  If you haven't read this letter please stop and follow the link "a letter to my husband's birth mother...wherever you are".

As a little boy I always knew I had been adopted. My parents Joseph J. and Pauline A. McGillicuddy never hid the fact that I was chosen and picked out specially to be their child from an orphanage full of little children. My dad was unable to have children and my mom always wanted a family. My dad was in the service and stationed in Germany and that is when they traveled to Bamberg in Germany to try and adopt a child.

I was born on June 3, 1954 and adopted by my parents on September 22, 1955. I don't quite know how long I spent in that orphanage but I have a feeling I will find out.

I always believed that my birth mother could not take care of me and had to give me up so I could have a better life. I found out today that I was correct. I also found out that I have a brother named Alexander and a sister named Anita. The sad part is that my birth mother Klara, Alexander and Anita do not speak English and I do not speak German.

I always wondered if I might have had a brother or a sister, but of course, I never knew.

What was shocking was that I am the little brother, the youngest child. That really struck me with a thud. Monika and I thought so because when we spoke to Klara yesterday morning she mentioned Alexander's age and Monika was puzzled as it sounded like she said he was 58. later in the day I confirmed that with Klara and she said his birthday is December 17. When she mentioned that Anita was born on January 2nd 1953 a more sinking feeling came over me as I now knew I was the youngest. A million thoughts and questions went racing through my head.

She had shared with us that Alexander was raised by her parents and Anita too was given up for adoption as well. She said life was extremely tough and she could not raise us in one room where she had lived. It was just too tough. When I heard all this, I had mixed emotions a short burst of anger and resentment and the more I thought about this and spoke with Monika's parents I had to imagine what life must have been like after living through WWII. Klara is a couple of years older than Monika's parents and the stories they tell of living in Germany during these times was by no means easy.

Bamberg, GermanyKlara has 10 siblings and she is the oldest and will turn 82 on February 1, 2008. She said she is healthy but her eye sight is not that good. I have worn glasses since grade school and have always been relatively healthy.

Klara says Alexander worked in a sugar factory outside of Bamberg and he is now out of work. Monika and I will call him today so I can hear his voice and ask more questions. 

I have a strong desire to get to know Anita, I think because she is closer to me in age and she too was given up for adoption. I also know she tried for the longest time to find me and kept coming up against closed doors. I wonder if we might have been in the same orphanage at the same time.

What's awkward for me is the realization that I had the key to my past for years and although I have tried to search for my roots at times...I have to wonder if I had tried harder, could I have found them sooner.

God works his way for us and allows us to do things we do in our own way. We do things for a reason whether they are right or wrong. I am a firm believer in fate and if you like, here is an example of a post I wrote, is it fate.

UPDATE AS OF 12:57 PM EST

I literally just got off the phone with Alexander and it was AWESOME to hear his voice and to have a conversation with him. I enjoyed it when he would say my name Holger during our conversation. It sounded so natural like he has known me all along. 

He told us Anita knows and is very happy too. She will be getting a phone soon.

The real good news is that Alexander's son has email and hopefully we soon will be able to communicate and share photos online and learn to become friends.  Alexander was 18 when Anita found them and she was 15.

I missed so many years but I can now look forward to a new chapter in my life by expanding it to include my new found family.

I can't wait to talk with Anita some time soon.

I am going to have to learn German real quick.

 

*** UPDATE *** 

How I found my birth mother 

***Update ***

1-10-08

A letter from Germany 

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Jay McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Exeter, NH
Real Estate Broker

 

***UPDATE***

Some sad news from Germany this morning. Monika also has an Aunt named Klara that lived in Germany. She passed away New Years Eve. Because we were over at Monika's folks on New Years day for a late lunch her mother never told us she passed way, She didn't want to take away from our happiness of finding my birth mother Klara.

I feel really sad and it is really weird and such a coincidence that we find a Klara and lose a Klara within a couple of days.

Life throws us curves that's for sure.

 

Jan 07, 2008 04:26 PM #83
Rainmaker
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Nancy Brenner
Referral Associates of Georgia, Inc. - Roswell, GA
Roswell Georgia Real Estate Agent
Jay and Monica - am so sorry about Aunt Klara.  My thoughts and prays are with you and the rest of your family.  Hugs...
Jan 08, 2008 02:03 AM #84
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Jay McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Exeter, NH
Real Estate Broker

*** Update ***

A letter from Germany

Jan 10, 2008 06:59 AM #85
Anonymous
Anonymous
Justin McGillicuddy
I knew that there was a reason for me to learn German as a kid!!!  I will have to teach you some!  LOL  : )
Jan 10, 2008 12:23 PM #86
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Jay McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Exeter, NH
Real Estate Broker
Justin, Moni just bought a book and CD's for us to freshen up on. Maybe I'll copy and send to you.
Jan 10, 2008 01:45 PM #87
Rainmaker
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Monika McGillicuddy
Prudential Verani Realty/Hampstead - Hampstead, NH
Southern NH & the Seacoast Area
Justin..Your dad is sitting here listening to learn to speak German on cd's...this should be fun watching him study.
Jan 10, 2008 03:58 PM #88
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Jay McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Exeter, NH
Real Estate Broker
*** UPDATE ***

We had another great day today as I was able to speak to my cousin Alex Kuehr who can speak English. I was able to get in touch with him and speak to him for a while and then his battery on his phone was dying and we had to end the call when it finally died. 

Then we spoke to Klara again yesterday afternoon along with my brother Alex's daughter Daniela, who is 39. She emailed us a photo of her at 37 yrs old. Very beautiful. Then we have a photo of her dad Alex at age 30. He is 58 now, and a picture of Klara when she was 50 now almost 82.

We spoke with Alex for about an hour and that was great as we are getting to understand him more. I even understand a lot more words than I did a week ago. Monika has bought me CD's and a book on how to speak German in 10 minutes a day. LOL

To finish the day off, we just got off the phone with my sister Anita. She speaks in a little different German dialect than Monika and she speaks a little faster than Klara and Alexander do so it was a little tricky trying to translate. 

She is very happy and glad to hear from us.

We are looking forward to trying to get to Germany this summer.
Jan 13, 2008 06:12 PM #89
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Dena Stevens
Century 21 Canon Land & Investment - Canon City, CO
Putting The Real Into Realtor Since 2004
Jay, I'm just catching up in the Rain. (Business has been good). Reading all the related posts just made me cry a happy cry, like a Hallmark movie. Congratulations!
Jan 21, 2008 03:05 PM #90
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Jay McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Exeter, NH
Real Estate Broker

Thanks Dena, Klara called us Saturday and that felt good as she tried a few times and we weren't around. We don't have an answering machine at home. It was nice that she called and my brother and her are putting together a bunch of pictures to send me.

Looking forward to a trip to Germany soon.

Jan 21, 2008 06:15 PM #91
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Jay McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Exeter, NH
Real Estate Broker

I received a letter from my brother and pictures of my German family today. This has been a great day. Even pictures of my grandparents and Aunts and Uncles. I may put them up on my website this weekend. Most of them are of my brother and two of Klara and one of Anita when she was 14.

Jan 26, 2008 06:48 PM #92
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Dena Stevens
Century 21 Canon Land & Investment - Canon City, CO
Putting The Real Into Realtor Since 2004
I've very excited for you Jay, we have several adoptions that run in and around my family. How nice you have 2 families that love you. And kiss Moni, she has a LOT more in-laws to handle now!
Jan 28, 2008 11:14 AM #93
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Jay McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Exeter, NH
Real Estate Broker
Hi Dena, thank you very much as this is exciting and having two families will make birthdays all that more fun. LOL
Jan 29, 2008 08:07 AM #94
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Maria Couto
RE/MAX Premier - Berkeley Heights, NJ
Realtor with "Results That "MOVE" You'
Jay, I'm following your links, and I'm speechless. Read your wife's account, You are a blessed man. Parents who chose you, and a wonderful wife. I hope you'll be able to share photos of the family once everything gets straightened out.
Feb 24, 2008 04:53 PM #95
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Jay McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Exeter, NH
Real Estate Broker

***Update***

This post has a picture of my biological father that we received yesterday. 

Feb 25, 2008 06:13 AM #96
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Brad Andersohn
Zillow - Nat'l Outreach Mgr & Dir. of Zillow Academy - Fairfield, CA
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Jay - this is INCREDIBLE!!!!  I just had a similar experience.  My lost brther from childhood found me on AR.  He sent me an email, the miracle is still unfolding!  My grandmother came here from Germany and then passed away when I was 5.  I have not seen or heard from my brother since then....until yesterday! :-))))  I wrote a post about it, and was referred to your story here.  We have some emotional and memorable experiences in common. Maybe we can chat and compare notes sometime.  Thanks for sharing this story, miracles do happen when we believe!!   :-)

I'm off to snoop around and see you updates, photos, and rest of your story!  Thanks again my friend!  

Mar 02, 2008 01:39 PM #97
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Jay McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Exeter, NH
Real Estate Broker

Brad, I called you this afternoon and left a message on your cell. We'll talk soon.

Hopefully you will get some sleep. It took me awhile and I still wake up everyday thinking about Germany.

Mar 02, 2008 05:19 PM #98
Anonymous
Anonymous
Mark

 

 Hi my story is very similar to yours.

I was born in  New Zealand  in 1964 and adopted out at birth two years ago I found out via email that my birth father  was wanting contact with me after 41 years.So many questions went through my mind Could this be true ? How did the person at adoption information services track me down ? The answer to that one was google. I live and work in Tokyo Japan so it really was amazing that they were able to find me.

That August I flew to Melbourne Australia and met him for the first time.It felt really weird as he is the spitting image of me.I also got to meet a half brother and sister.It turns out that both my natural parents were also adopted out at birth and that both were reunites with their natural familes later in life.

When I returned to Japan I started a search for my birth mother and after one year I was able to locate her.After I was born she couldn't have anymore children do I am her only child. I'm going to meet her for the first time when she flies to Japan in just over two weeks.

 

Thanks for sharing your story

 

Mar 02, 2008 10:15 PM #99
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Jay McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Exeter, NH
Real Estate Broker

Thank you so much for reading my post . Please stop back and let me know how the visit went with your birth mother.

I am so happy for you and thanks for sharing. 

Mar 03, 2008 05:54 AM #100
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Brad Andersohn
Zillow - Nat'l Outreach Mgr & Dir. of Zillow Academy - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad 707.646.1876
Jay - I did get your message, I will definately be calling you soon.  I had come 36 VM messages today, 236 emails at yahoo.com, and 3 pages (over 150) Active Rain comments!  Today was a record day for me....just getting caught up, but we will most certainly chat when I get a moment.  I have your message saved and your phone number!  Thanks Jay, looking forward to it!!  :-)
Mar 04, 2008 12:40 AM #101
Anonymous
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Anonymous

Jay- how lucky you are I had your story emailed to me as I am registered on adoption.com.  You are so fortunate to have found Klara.  I was not so lucky.  I am a twin and had an older sister, Tamitha who was given up for adoption by my biological parents.  I searched and searched for her only to find out she died at the age of 30.  I was devistated and heartbroken.  The good thing is she left behind a son, my nephew who I am grateful to have met.  So again I say your very lucky to have found your family.

Aug 18, 2008 04:30 PM #102
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