Celebrating my 100,000 points and how I found my birth mother

By
Real Estate Agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty

Jay's dad andstep-motherWe were half way through the month of May in 1990 and my father was lying in the hospital dying from Emphysema. He asked me to come over to his bedside as he needed to tell me something very important. I leaned over and sat at the edge of his bed while he said in a soft voice that I should know what my birth name is. I really don't remember ever asking what it might be before but deep in the back of my mind it sounded a little familiar. Holger Rainer Bezold is what he said, I remember the tears welling up inside me as I tried to fight them back. I was 35 at the time and real men don't cry, not this guy anyways.

He also wanted to let me know that my mother had my adoption papers. My dad passed away on May 17, 1990 and I think of him everyday and one of the things he taught me was how to sell real estate and how to always follow the "Golden Rule".

As the years passed by I never felt the burning desire to try and find my birth mother. I think it was in the back of mind but I just never really gave it much thought. At that time we were in a downturn in the Real Estate market and I had enough to think about just trying to survive.

Sometime around the mid to late nineties I did a search on the internet using my birth name. When I keyed my name in I was directed to a web page that I really didn't want to visit. While it cracked me up, it turned me off for quite a while on searching my birth name.

Then in 2002 we had clients offer us 2 weeks in Aruba for all the work we did selling their house. 911 was less than a year old and I needed to try and get a passport so we could travel without a hassle. I knew I had a Baptismal certificate but no birth certificate and somehow I had misplaced the Baptismal certificate. It dawned on me that my dad said my mom had my adoption papers and just maybe my original Baptismal certificate. I called her and she reluctantly gave them to me. I did find my certificate and a lot of other great information. Most of it written in German.

Reading through the documents I found the name Klara Bezold and I wondered what life might have been like if I had never been adopted. When we got home I put the papers in a safe place and we tried to do a Google search for Klara's name but no luck.  We then asked Monika's cousin who frequently travels to Germany for help. She also had no luck.

Fast forward to December 21, 2007 and Monika's post about the dream she had and the letter she felt compelled to write. We pulled the adoption paperwork out so Monika could verify Klara's exact spelling

With all the comments pouring in on Monika'a post  and some of you experiencing what I was going through, it made me re-think about aggressively seeking to see if we could find my birth mother. I always felt she would have been younger than my mother, Pauline. Pauline is 76 years old. I figured Klara was probably around 70-71.

We decided to do a google search again and I keyed in Klara Franziska Bezold and Monika keyed in Klara Bezold. While sifting through page after page I gave up. However, Monika kept at it and went deep into Google and found a telephone directory, Klara's name popped up a few lines down on the directory. Everything was written in German and we could not read or speak German.

Then, Monika said she recognized the word Ziel am Main and we grabbed the adoption papers and flipped through to see what Monika had seen. Sure enough there it was Ziel am Main.  Monika thought it may be where Klara worked and Monika would mention it to her father. Monika and her family are Germans and her parents still speak fluent German and they still have their accent in tact. 

On Christmas day we brought the paperwork and our laptop to Monika's sister Heidi's house who was hosting the family Christmas dinner. 

Monika and her dadMonika's dad looked at the paperwork and the listing on the internet and told us it was an address and a phone number and that it could indeed be her.

Could it possibly be? Monika really didn't think so, but, I felt the odds were with us.

We agreed that Monika's dad would call Germany and discreetly try and find out if the Klara Bezold listed was the same Klara Belzold born in 1926.

We thought if it wasn't her, then at best, maybe this Klara would end up being a distant relative of the Klara we were seeking. Maybe she could lead us down the right path.

The telephone number in the directory ended up not working, so for days we got nowhere. Enter Monika's cousin who looked at the number and told us to drop the zero as it is only there for in country calls. Monika's dad said he would try again on Saturday morning.

On Saturday December 29 my father in-law tried again and this time the number worked and a woman answered the phone.

Monika's dad asked in German if she was Klara Franziska Bezold, she told him that she was, he asked if she was born in 1926 and she said yes.  Then he told her he was calling on behalf of man once named Holger Rainer Bezold....and immediately she cried out "That's my son..That's my son"!!!!

 

 

 

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Ambassador
1,028,438
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
RA, CRS, Hawaii Mililani Oahu Real Estate
Okay...tearing up again. Thanks for the update Jay. Please keep us updated as time goes on....especially when you get to finally meet her!
January 07, 2008 10:12 PM #47
Rainmaker
315,766
Monika McGillicuddy
Prudential Verani Realty/Hampstead - Hampstead, NH
Southern NH & the Seacoast Area
I hope we get to plan a trip soon. But it might not be till next year.
January 08, 2008 02:32 PM #48
Rainmaker
315,766
Monika McGillicuddy
Prudential Verani Realty/Hampstead - Hampstead, NH
Southern NH & the Seacoast Area
I hope we get to plan a trip soon. But it might not be till next year.
January 08, 2008 02:32 PM #49
Rainmaker
157,610
1SG (Ret.) David Kucic
Hawaii Military Realty, Inc. - Ewa Beach, HI
President and Owner
Sorry to hear about that Jay.  Our condolences to Monika and your family. 
January 09, 2008 12:37 PM #50
Rainer
138,958
Jay McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Exeter, NH
Real Estate Broker
Thanks Dave much appreciated.
January 09, 2008 07:30 PM #51
Rainer
138,958
Jay McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Exeter, NH
Real Estate Broker
January 10, 2008 06:56 AM #52
Rainmaker
291,797
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Jay- I do not know why I missed this.....but I am so Happy for both you and Monika......unbelieveable that because of Monikas dream you have gotten to this point.......with the warmest of hearts for your story, and the outcome,

Kathy

January 10, 2008 11:50 AM #53
Rainer
138,958
Jay McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Exeter, NH
Real Estate Broker

Thank You very much Kathy

*** 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.

 

January 13, 2008 06:13 PM #54
Ambassador
884,344
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Crofton, MD 21114 - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation
I had missed this post, Jay, but went looking today for updates.  This is all such a great story.  Another happy adoption reunion story!  Every one that I know personally - or in your case, know of - has been positive and I look forward to keeping this record on track.  Good luck on the German!
January 17, 2008 11:02 PM #55
Rainer
138,958
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.

January 26, 2008 06:50 PM #56
Rainmaker
212,106
Maria Couto
RE/MAX Premier - Berkeley Heights, NJ
Realtor with "Results That "MOVE" You'
Jay I can't wait to see the pictures. This story just gets better and better. I've not doubt that you'll find your father.
February 24, 2008 05:01 PM #57
Rainer
138,958
Jay McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Exeter, NH
Real Estate Broker
Maria, I have not scanned the photos in yet, but I will do this week.
February 24, 2008 05:08 PM #58
Rainmaker
334,601
Ann Cummings
RE/MAX By The Bay - NH and Maine - Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth NH Homes - Service With a Smile!

Jay - I've re-read your posts and Monika's initial post, and have tears filling my eyes as I think about the journey you've been on and what the results have been........ amazing.

Ann

March 02, 2008 05:16 AM #59
Rainer
138,958
Jay McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Exeter, NH
Real Estate Broker

It's pretty amazing and the toughest part is trying to learn German. I study at least an hour a day and more on some other days when traveling in my car. I used to listen to sports talk and different rock stations and now just German CD's.

Thank you... 

March 02, 2008 05:58 AM #60
Anonymous
Anonymous
Catherine from New York
I rarely wear mascara and of all days to read this!!!  What a wonderful story! Enjoy your new and expanded family!!!  How great!!!
March 03, 2008 09:06 PM #61
Rainer
138,958
Jay McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Exeter, NH
Real Estate Broker
Thank you Catherine it has been fun speaking to them and now I am able to email them.
March 04, 2008 05:43 AM #62
Rainer
290,737
Richard & Carol DeGrace
1st Colonial Community Bank | Bank - New Jersey - Cherry Hill, NJ
Mortgage Loan Officers NJ 609-209-3700

I'm reading this 1+ year later ... I hope things are still great - what a fantastic story. For all the ill things the internet can dish out, this is utterly fantastic. I'm very happy for you.

May 02, 2009 01:57 PM #63
Rainer
138,958
Jay McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Exeter, NH
Real Estate Broker

Thanks Steve, yes we keep in touch via the telephone and I have a cousin I sometimes Skype. It is pretty amazing and I hope to get there soon.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

May 03, 2009 07:00 AM #64
Rainmaker
151,950
Margaret Mitchell
Coldwell Banker Yorke Realty - York, ME
Seacoast Maine & NH Real Estate

Wow.  I am verklempt.  I came late to read this but I found it very moving.  I read some of the blogs e.g. Monika's letter and what a great story.  I was deeply struck by your father's thought of you on his deathbed and glad that you were with him.  I am up the road a bit from you in York, Maine and wishing you all the best.

May 16, 2009 08:05 PM #65
Rainer
138,958
Jay McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Exeter, NH
Real Estate Broker

Thanks Margaret for stopping by and taking the time to read all the stories. We were just up in York the tail end of April at the Union Bluff hotel enjoying a weekend getaway.

We keep in touch with our new found family in Germany at least once every two weeks and will try add get there later this year.

May 17, 2009 06:03 AM #66
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