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Monday, January 10, 2011

Happy New Year!

The end of 2010 and beginning of 2011 had some very exciting happenings for me!

Let me start at the beginning.  My beginning, I mean. I was five weeks old in November of 1977 when my parents adopted me from an agency in Evanston, Illinois called The Cradle.  Mom and Dad talk fondly of getting 'The Call" and rushing to pick me up.  Glad that they didn't think that I was a Halloween prank, seeing as they got the call on Halloween! People always ask me if I remember a moment when my parents told me about being adopted but I don't have a specific memory.  I have always known that I was born to another family but adopted and raised in the Runkle household.  What a truly amazing feeling to know that my parents desperately wanted a child and I was chosen both by them and by God to be in their family. I had a wonderful childhood and was spoiled rotten, getting nearly everything that I wanted, save for a Barbie pool, but that's another story altogether.  I had every advantage and was so grateful that my birth mother had been so unselfish in allowing another family to raise me.
Fast forward to October 29, 2011.  I was sitting in a fantastic little Italian restaurant called Mama Mia's with my Dad enjoying lasagna for lunch when my phone rang.  I was expecting a call from my endocrinologist because I had just had my full-body scan (cancer recheck) the day before and was waiting for the results (in case I forgot to post, I'm still cancer-free!).  So, even though I was in the middle of the restaurant, I answered the call.  It turned out to be Nina from The Cradle.  I don't remember every portion of the conversation but I do remember her asking me if I was somewhere where I could talk.  I probably should have called her back but I didn't.  Her call intrigued me and I wondered what was up.
She began by saying, "We've had a match on the mutual consent registry." (So you don't feel left out, here's a brief description of the registry: Both the state of Illinois and The Cradle have a database where you can submit your name and contact information.  If both the adopted child and the birth parent(s) register, the agency will put the parties in touch).  So, my first thought was that my birth mother was searching for me.  Then, Nina says, "Well, it's actually a very unique and interesting situation."  She was speaking slowly so my first reaction was to think the worst, that someone had died or that someone was in jail.  However, as Nina continued, she revealed to me that my birth mother, who was barely 16 when I was born, and my birth father had gotten married.  And, to make the news all the more interesting, she told me that Debbie and Ed, their names(!), had three sons.  These boys are my biological brothers.  Nina kept asking me if I was ok, if I had anything that I wanted to tell the family, and if it was ok for her to send me a letter that Debbie had written.  I was in a bit of shock so I agreed to let her send me the letter and thanked her for the call.  WOW!  Now that was some information to absorb.
After receiving the letter, I found out more about the family.  The boys had names!  Robert, Jeff, and Thom.  Nice classic names!  Fast forward a little bit and we began corresponding by e-mail.  I got e-mails from Ed and Debbie and I also got e-mails from the boys.  I learned so much about them in the first few weeks, it was overwhelming and exciting.
So, instead of being patient, I decided that we better make a trip to Chicago, where (most) of the Lorenty (that's their last name!) clan call home.  Peter and I made flight arrangements and begged his parents to watch the kids for a few days.  THANK YOU Neil and Irene, we appreciate it so much!!
Can I just stop for a minute and let you know how blessed I feel to have a wonderful father who has been so supportive of me conversing with and meeting my birth family?  I know that his life partner, my mom, isn't here to bounce his feelings off of, something that must be unbearably difficult, and yet, he is positive and encouraging of my new friendship with the Lorenty family.  There truly is a God who listens and helps us through when we can't do it ourselves.
Fast forward, again, to December 29th, 2010.  We're off to Chicago!  I'm nervous and excited!  I hope they like me.  Friends on facebook assure me that the family will love me but I still feel apprehensive.  It turns out, that I had nothing to fear.  The family Lorenty is so welcoming and loving, I felt like a long lost friend.  The boys and I get along very well and continue to talk on the phone and share photos of our children and dinner plates; the whole family appreciates a good meal and they all like to cook!  It's so very interesting to find out what we have in common and what things I may have learned from growing up with Mom and Dad.
I realize that I've typed more in this post than in several posts combined so let me leave you with a few photos from our trip.  You can let me know who looks the most like me; I'd love to hear your opinions!  This won't be the last that you hear about Ed, Debbie, Robert, Jeff, and Thom.  It's the beginning a great friendship!
Ed and Debbie, still together after 30 years of marriage!

Jeff, me, Robert (in the back), and Thom (Hey, Thom, notice that your shirt says, "Moto"!)
At the nature museum; can't wait to take the kids here!

We're all dressed up like bugs.
I want to know why it looks like the boys are all out to get the poor little ladybug!?!
Robert and me on New Year's Eve.
Yes, I know that the picture was taken on a cell phone but I look skinny so I had to include it.

Jeff, Debbie, Thom, me, Robert, Ed at the Lorenty's home in Chicago


The Sandersons said...

I can't get over the resemblances!! I so enjoyed hearing this story and looking at all your pics on Sunday. Thanks for sharing! How cool!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow,that's some story! Your father that raised you sounds amazing, too!
Thanks for sharing and happy New Year!
PS: if you can get shadow on one side of your face, you will like the other photos as well!

Ronnie said...

Okay, I did not push anonymous :)

Mary Shelton said...

thank you so much for sharing this. A simply lovely story. I'm pretty choked-up... Blessings!

Elizabeth said...

Hi Anne. Ok...I came here to look up the bassinet you emailed about for the auction and got swept up in this amazing story! Wow, that's just unbelievable! God has mighty things planned for you all!

Carrie, The Modern Housewife said...

WOW! That is so awesome. I even think Alexander kind of looks like your dad!!!

Carrie, The Modern Housewife said...

I'm sorry. Birth father. I have an adopted brother - I should know better!

Anonymous said...

Im in your blog! Score one for moto..... Glad to see that you like us as much as we like you. not that I didnt know that already..... Ill have you know bella was laughing the whole time I was looking at the pics of all of us. She too was looking with me she also said who is that and pointed right to you. In turn I said auntie anne. She then smiled and laughed again. She seems to laugh when she likes something. High five anne. Cant wait to learn even more about you and come visit you!..... And meet your beautiful children.... Oh and cant forget peter he Is the perfect man and I couldnt ask for a better man to be weded (im sure I spelled that wrong) to my biological sister. Love ya

P.s. I didnt know how to put my namw on here so im anonymous. But you can call me Thom