The picture above is from right to left – John (biological grandma’s brother), Don (biological grandma’s husband), Carol (biological grandma), Katy (biological grandpa’s daughter), Elsie (biological grandpa’s wife), Ernie (biological grandpa, and me in front!

In 1954 my biological grandmother found herself pregnant at the age of 19, out of wedlock, with a boyfriend that left upon the news, and a father as a minister. She was sent to Seattle to live with her sister during her pregnancy to avoid causing humiliation upon her father and family. While attending doctor visits in Seattle, she learned that her nurse’s son and his wife desperately wanted a child but were unable to naturally conceive. As my biological grandmother’s intent was to adopt out her child, this was a perfect fit. A few days after my father was born, he was adopted by his loving parents Gene and Winnie. 

Fast forward 35 years and you find my father, now married to my mother, and me a child of five. My father never had an interest in finding his biological parents as he felt he had a family and had no need or curiosity. However, it was his parents that made the push for him to do a search. My grandpa’s sentiment was my dad should know his medical history. Really, we all just knew they were curious to see where he came from. 

In 1990 the search began. Seven days later, mind you this was without the Internet, they had located my biological grandmother and her husband in Southern California. Working through an adoption support group – WARM – she was contacted and asked if she would like to be in touch with my father. She didn’t hesitate and a call was set up for the next day for them to speak over the phone, their first real form of communication. The phone call went over without a hitch and she was able to provide insight on my father’s birth father. We were able to locate him within another week and set up a similar welcoming call. By the end of the week plans had been made for a large reunion from all parties. 

My biological grandparents and their spouses have turned out to be some of the most loving and inspirational individuals I have ever met. My biological grandmother stopped having anxiety attacks that had been plaguing her for the last 30 years. We were able to meet their children and developed two whole new families. I have never heard of such a wonderfully successful, joyous, and heart-warming adoption story. 

For years I have been wanting to document it with interviews and video editing software to surprise my father with the story of his life. In 2012 I flew down to California and set up an all day meeting with my father’s biological mother and father and their spouses. I recorded each of their perspectives of the story from finding out of my grandmother’s pregnancy to the current day. It included dialogue between my biological grandparents debating what happened and includes incredible raw emotion of how my grandmother felt in the process of telling her parents to leaving my father in Seattle. When I came back I planned to interview my grandparents I grew up with in Seattle. However, while I was in California, my grandpa passed away. It is now more important to me than ever to ensure that I am able to finish this documentary and share it with my dad. You don’t know when life will take you and I don’t want to let this pass by me. 



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