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I am 56 years old, married with 4 children, and live in a small town 35 miles northeast of Grand Rapids, Michigan. My name is Jan and my husband of 33 years is John.
Our children are Jill, 31; Julie, 25, married 8/01 to Dennis; Joel, 24; Jeff, 20.
I have always loved the shore and anything to do with it. I collect miniature lighthouses (I also try to visit as many as possible!!), sailboats, shells, and ANYTHING that has to do with the shore!!

I decided about 12 years ago to seriously search for my birthmom. However at the same time, my adopted mom was diagnosed with Alzheimers, so I decided to hold off searching as I did not want her to feel like I wanted to replace her.

I have always known I was adopted, my parents made sure I and my abrother knew that we were very much wanted and loved. My parents have always been supportive of my searching, my dad doesn't know why I waited so long!! I never thought much about being adopted, this is until my children were born. I thought it was so neat that finally there was someone who resembled me!! Also, I wondered their heritage. My husband is 100% Polish, so we knew they were half Polish, but what about the other half......were there any tall people in my family, or were the kids all going to be short like my husbands family. All these questions, but no real answers.

I didn't decide to search again until after I got on the Net and found the Adult Adoptees Chat Room. These are the absolute best people around, one visit and I was hooked! It's like we've all known eachother for a hundred years!! After hearing their stories and with their support, I decided to start again.

December, 1996, I contacted the court and submitted the petitions to search my file. My non identifying information came a week later. I found out that I had been named Kathleen. I was stunned, I had never thought of myself as anyone but Jan! My bmom was 21 when I was born, my bdad, 25. Maternal Grandmother was Norwegian and Maternal Grandfather English and Irish. My bdad was Polish and Irish, 5'6", dark hair, fair complexion. That's all that is known about him, he didn't even know bmom was pregnant. Bmom was 5'5", 150#, (this explains a lot!!!), dark hair, medium complexion. Now I know why I had dark hair and a redhead's complexion, never tanned, just freckled!!! I also found out that she was from Northern Lower Michigan, the 6th of 9 kids. Her mother died when she was 8 years old. No one knows if any of bmom's sibs knew about me.

On January 3, the court approved my petition and assigned an intermediary to search. She (intermediary) requested that I write a letter to my bmom so she could share it when she found her. The letter was one of the most difficult things I've ever written. Have sent the letter and a picture, have not heard any more from the intermediary.

January 13, I called my intermediary. She had just finished talking to my bmom. Was a very bad time however, as bmom's daughter lived with her and answered the phone, and NO ONE knows about me so bmom could not talk... also, bmom was TOTALLY shocked. Intermediary didn't want to push the issue at that time so she just left her phone number if bmom wanted to talk again. At this point I was very concerned. I didn't want to cause problems for bmom.. was afraid I opened a can of worms, so to speak. The next day, 14th, I called the intermediary to tell her NOT to call bmom again. Well, she said, too late, your bmom just called me, she talked and talked and talked. She seemed so relieved to be able to talk about me after 48 years!! I was the first of her 9 children, besides me there were 5 girls and 3 boys. 2 of the boys are deceased. She told her daughter that lives with her about me the night before, now she just had to decide whether or not to tell rest of family. Her husband is deceased but she has always been close to his family and seeing that I am a product of affair while he was overseas, I understand her hesitation. Bmom also asked for my letter and picture. Sounds like she had a difficult life, she said her husband was an alcoholic, had been seperated from him for a while. Also, her sister had a child out of wedlock and KEPT her child, must have been VERY difficult for bmom. Along with my letter and pic, the intermediary also sent a release form for if and when my bmom wants direct contact with me. Until then, we can exchange info through the intermediary. Needless to say, this is very exciting!!!

UPDATE 1-31-97...This morning the intermediary called my bmom again. Bmom is really happy that I have had a good life, is glad that she heard about me and is happy to have the picture of my family and my letter to her. She said that one of my kids (didn't say which one tho) looks just like one of her other grandkids. Then, thru tears, she said there is absolutely no way her husbands family can ever know about me, so contact with me at this time is out of the question. She put my letter and pic in her Bible and told her daughter to please contact me whenever she passes away. My hope now is that she will continue to look at my pic and at some point will decide to meet me.

UPDATE 7-18-97.... My birthday, very mixed feelings, wondering if birthmom is thinking of me, and place my Mom into a home.

UPDATE 8-12-97... My Mom passed away today, will miss her terribly, I love you Mom, you'll always be my REAL Mom. much has happened in the past year, life without Mom is different, and much easier on Dad physically, but he is very lonely, even with all his friends. Life has been much fuller for him, he got his freedom back, no more worries about Mom. Even so, as time went on, he missed her more and more. She died 3 weeks short of their 56th wedding anniversary. Well, on May 6, 1998, my daughter's birthday, Dad was working in his garden, finished planting, came in the house, talked to my husband on the phone, sat in his favorite chair to relax and fell alseep. He never woke up, he is now with Mom. Life sure is different when a big part of it is gone. I miss my parents so very much, but I know they are eternally together singing God's praises and waiting for all of us to join them.
I don't think I'll be updating this again soon... not much to update!!... I'm glad Dad was here when bmom was contacted, but I know he wished he could have met her. Maybe someday I'll get to tell her all about Mom and Dad!!

10/5/05....Today I became a Grandma! Daughter Julie and hubby Dennis have a beautiful litte girl, Kiersten Michelle! Another generation carrying my genetics... all the family resemblances being passed down.... totally fascinating to me, an adoptee who had no family resemblances until my own children!!

Michigan Search Tips:

You must contact the Probate Court in the county where the adoption took place, ask for a petition for Non-Id information, the court will then advise you which steps to take from there.

You can also contact the following:

Adoption Connection
Julie Carter
P.O. Box 293
8072 Kingsbury
Cloverdale, MI 49036-8060
(616) 623-8060

Adoptee Idenity Movement of Michigan
P.O. Box 812
Hazel Park, MI 48030

Chris Buelhier
(Adrian area)
(517) 486-3444

Trudy Sumpter
Lutheren Social Services
21700 Northwestern Hwy
Suite 1300
Southfield, MI 48075

I have many many more search groups in Michigan, if you want more, email me and ask for them.....




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Last updated 12/17/05.