Posted by: Kathy White | October 25, 2018

The Journey — One Adopted Child’s Story

This story is real. No names will be changed. No details are “fake.” This is my life.

I was born March 13, 1967. I was given up for adoption. I wasn’t able to be adopted until 1968 because they thought I had epilepsy– no.. Just a really pissed off baby.

So, I was adopted March 7, 1968 by two wonderful people. I always knew I was adopted. Always a part of my growing up and story. I was “chosen” — no weird sit-down conversation. I just always knew.

As I grew up, I knew I would eventually want to find my birth parents. I started when I was 19. California is pretty locked down on information for adopted children. I got nowhere. Later, I used the resources of Adoption Liberty Movement. Got a little more info but, still, not much to go on. After that, found a non-profit that worked with adopted kids and birth parents to help them reunite. From this, I had names. Baby Lay, Baby Nall, Baby Fleming. I was one of these. More research. Still, not getting much. I have the papers filed via the SF Social Services who handled my adoption. Redacted documents, but it still had information. Birth mom got pregnant from a man she met at work and never told him. Then left California for NC to join a mime troupe. Yes, you read that right.

So, 2018. I decided to take a DNA test via Ancestry. What the hell, right? My results came back and an immediate match came up: Randolph Lay — my cousin. OK. That matches earlier information. I email him. We figure out that, after many communications, that Mary Lay is my birth mother. His aunt.

I ask him to reach out to her (they know one another) and see if we can have some contact. I figured it would be shocking to know I found her. I didn’t want to upend her life. So… he did. He immediately was met with “don’t tell her.” Of course he did. And now I had a name, address, email.

I waited. And waited.

Then I emailed her directly. Nothing.

Few weeks later I get this anonymous card — no return address and no signature. It just says: “If you are who you say you are, there are a couple of people who may want to be in touch.” It followed with an address for Chris Nall (that other name) who lives in England. And then says “And half-sister Dana Reddick” — email address.

I falsely assumed Dana had sent the card. I sent her a long email about how excited I was she had reached out and about my life and how I hoped we could be in touch. Whoops.

Dana didn’t send the card. Birth mom had sent it. But, Dana and I started talking. And the story gets really complicated from there.

I also sent a letter to my birth father with pictures of my life.

My birth mom lied about a lot of stuff — both in the papers she did for my adoption and things with my sister. My sister had found our birth mom 15 years before I had. She hired a PI and she actually ended up meeting Mary. Dana asked her if there were other children. Mary lied. Said there was no one else.

Dana was born March 2, 1968. We are Irish twins. Mary got pregnant about 3 months after I was born. Dana was also given up for adoption — in NC. The story of how Mary ended up in NC varies. She supposedly was moving there when she relinquished me. She told Dana the only reason she was born there was that her car broke down there. Uh.

So, here we are. I got the chance to talk to my birth dad on the phone. He is a very nice man. He sent me pictures of himself and how he looked over the years, too. OMG. Yeah, no doubt he is my dad. My birth mom, when I called her on her lies and asked why — she just shut me down and wants no contact. I have 2 half brothers from my birth dad but none of that family wants to be in contact, either.

So, I found them. I know where they are and what their lives are like. They don’t want anything to do with me. Fine.

I HAVE A SISTER. Dana and I text, talk every day. I have a wonderful nephew and my brother-in-law is the bomb. I got lucky. I feel really lucky.

Love comes along in sometimes unexpected ways. No, my story is not what I hoped for or wanted with my birth parents. Every adopted child has a fantasy of how it will all go. But, I have another family. My Mom has met Dana via FaceTime. My mom is very thrilled with all of this. As am I. Dana and I are so similar and the love is so incredible for us both. It’s still weird to say Sis. I love it!

And that’s my story.


  1. I think everyone is extremely happy that you found Dana and her family. I hope I’m somewhere the neighborhood when you finally meet….

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