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Adoption Secrets, Nature Versus Nurture and the Magic of DNA

Updated On: August 30, 2023

Family Twist Episode 21: Adoption Secrets, Nature Versus Nurture and the Magic of DNA

Our guest, Ann Hince, has a remarkable adoption and DNA magic tale. Ann was conceived in New Zealand to British parents, and given up for adoption to British parents back in England. By the time she was 16, she lived in Barbados, Sierra Leone (West Africa), Hong Kong (Asia) and Bahrain (Middle East). Her birth mother, who lives in New Zealand, kept up with Ann’s whereabouts after accidentally seeing Ann’s adoption paperwork. Ann met her when she was 17, and her adoptive mother died when she was 19 (both her adoptive parents were alcoholics). It took a lot of tenacity for Ann to discover her birth father’s family, and it’s a wild story. Undoing the trauma of her childhood has led to a unique place of growth for Ann.

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[00:00:00] Corey: Thanks for joining us again on Family Twist. We're very excited about today's guest, Anne Hints, who has a remarkable adoption slash what we like to say, DNA magic type of story. So thank you for joining us today, Anne. Thanks. It's lovely to be here. So we would love for you just to really start at the beginning because your story is pretty wild from day one up until, you know, recent days,

[00:00:25] So let's just go back to the very beginning. And you can kind of set the stage for us.

[00:00:30] Ann: Okay. The very, very beginning, like when my parents got together or, Sure. Yes. Yeah, absolutely. Okay. Okay. So I've learned obviously most of this since, So my mother was engaged to a young man in New Zealand. They were both from England and they went in in New Zealand, and they got engaged and my mother realized that he was not the right person for her, and she went to say goodbye to him or to say that she was breaking up with [00:01:00] him one night.

[00:01:02] Ended up staying that night and as she left, he said to her, Would you please let me know if you get pregnant? ? And she left on a boat to travel home to England and found out she was pregnant on the way. And she never did say anything to him, so he never ended up knowing that I ever existed. But she kept going on her journey, which was, she went up to Canada and she hitch hiked across Canada in 1966 in mid-winter

[00:01:36] And you know, my first trimester felt really sick the whole way, but eventually got back to England and made the decision along the way. You know, it was a tough decision, but made the decision that she was gonna put me out for adoption. So she, she went through that. So I actually was born and I was born with my right foot, had some issues with it.

[00:01:56] It was kind of up against my shin. So I ended up having, [00:02:00] had to be massaged, kind of physical therapy for the first six weeks. And then she went to the justice of the piece to perform the adoption, to go through the adoption and. Let, let me, then I'll go back to the other part of the, the story. Okay. So my, my adopted parents had already adopted a little boy.

[00:02:21] So they had a little boy. They had my brother who was also adopted from different parents and was about one and a half when they had adopted another little go, and they raised this girl for six. Then the birth mother changed her mind and she, they had to give this little girl back to the birth mother, which I can't imagine it must have been devastating for them and for my brother, right?

[00:02:48] He'd had this sister for six months. His whole life had changed because she existed, and then she was taken away. So my birth mother had no idea that that had [00:03:00] happened. In fact, I didn't know about that other little girl until just a few years. And my mother has since, since, you know, she would not have put me into the, that family if she had known that it happened, but those days you're not told that kind of thing.

[00:03:14] So I was the replacement into the family for that lost little girl. And at the adoption itself, the justice of the Peter talked to my mother about this family, the Blevins family, about the little boy. The justice had said to her cause she was asking questions, you know, that's what you'd wanna do. had said to that, that he couldn't tell her anymore about the family or what he did, what my dad did for a living.

[00:03:42] Because if she knew that she would know where he lived. So what she said was the miracle happened at the time of the adoption cause she was handed the wrong adoption papers and she saw our surname. And she saw the address, so [00:04:00] then she was able to put everything together and she realized that my dad worked for a company called Cable and Wireless because the, the Village Port Kono in England only had one big employer, so it had to be them.

[00:04:14] And so she had that information, which just went with, went with her for the rest of her life. And so then she was able to follow us around. Cause at the age of six months, we started traveling around the world, right? At six months. My parents knew my birth mother was not gonna change her mind. And my dad worked for a company where he did travel around the world.

[00:04:35] So we moved to Barbados first, and then we moved to Sierra Leone in West Africa, and then we moved to Bahrain. Then we moved to Hong Kong. Between Hong Kong and Bahrain was when we were told we were adopted. I didn't know I was adopted until I was 13 and my brother was 15. Wow. Okay. Wow. Yeah, and we were only told that at the [00:05:00] time because we moved back to Port Conno for a little while.

[00:05:03] Right. So the possibility of someone knowing about the adoption was there, did

[00:05:08] Corey: they sit you down and let you know that this was the situation?

[00:05:12] Ann: They just did that. They just sat us down and told us we were adopted. Now I had an inkling that my brother was, cuz I used to rifle through the papers that we had in the household

[00:05:24] And I thought I had seen something that said he was adopted, but I had no idea I was adopted. You know, I thought I was the one that was not . So it was a bit of a shock. Yeah, it was a bit of a shock to be honest. Cause that's kind of late to be told. I think if you're gonna be told it's kind of late. We all had brown hair, so we didn't look that different.

[00:05:44] It wasn't that obvious, but that changed my whole life. You know, my, both my parents became alcoholics, right? My adopted parents became alcoholics and, and I hated life at home, right? It was really, [00:06:00] really hard to be in that situation and then to suddenly realize they're not my parents. And to start thinking about, Ooh, I wonder what my parents like.

[00:06:10] Right. . And your mind just starts going, It's like, well, you know, maybe they're really nice people. , do you

[00:06:17] Corey: start asking questions of your adoptive parents of what they do about your birth

[00:06:22] Ann: situation? I did, but they hardly knew anything. It was a close adoption. They just weren't told. Yeah. I mean, they, they knew my brother.

[00:06:32] Had come from a less stable situation, like maybe gypsies or something, and my parents had come from somewhere overseas. My mother thought because I tanned easily, that maybe, you know, there was some foreign in me somewhere, but, but that was it. There really wasn't any information there.

[00:06:52] Corey: So in the meantime, your birth mother, she's got this information that she was able to tuck away about your family.[00:07:00]

[00:07:00] Keeping up us to your travels or did she have any idea where you.

[00:07:04] Ann: She happened to have, I think one of her parents' cousins worked for the same company and it was a big multinational company and they had a company magazine. So yes, she followed us as we moved around the world, she knew exactly where I was and she ended up getting married and then she had two children and they all knew about.

[00:07:26] I mean, she didn't keep me secret at all. And so in fact, when we were in Hong Kong, they went on a family trip to Hong Kong because she knew I was there. And she told me later that they actually went swimming in the Y M C A swimming pool. And I used to swim there weekly, same swimming pool. But at that point I didn't even know I was adopted , you know?

[00:07:49] So, but pretty weird to, to have. That coincidence happened. So when I got to 17, her parents were [00:08:00] starting to age, they were starting to have medical problems. So she wrote a letter to my parents and asked me if I would be willing to meet with her. And that was devastating for my adopted parents. Of course, you know, it's not legal until you're 18 , so, but I would absolutely, I'm not passing that up, so,

[00:08:23] Corey: They did share, She, they shared the fact that your, that your mother reached out?

[00:08:28] Ann: Yeah, they did. And we all went down and met her and her son and her parents. Cause she was actually lived, she was living in New Zealand, she still lives in New Zealand. So she went back to England, gave me up for adoption, was there for another couple of years, found another partner, got married and then they both moved back to New Zealand.

[00:08:50] Kendall: Hm. Wow. What was that meaning like?

[00:08:54] Ann: Amazing. I mean, that was one of the hardest things I've ever done was to [00:09:00] actually look her in the eyes. I couldn't, I couldn't lift my eyes up, right? The force I had to use to lift my eyes off the ground to look her in the face and the eyes was, An amazing amount of force I had to do.

[00:09:17] Cause I just, I just didn't wanna look at her. So, Yeah. And I, I remember that. That's, yeah. One of the most powerful events in my life.

[00:09:27] Corey: Were you scared? I mean, it sounds like the relationship you had with your adoptive parents at this point, not the best. So were, what was going through your head as you prepared to meet and, and finally lock eyes with this?

[00:09:40] Ann: I don't remember what was really going through my head, but it was amazing to see her. We looked so much alike, . I looked so much like my brother and, and we, we drank the same drinks. I mean, it was weird. I used to drink, back then I used to drink tomato juice and I used to drink a drink called Chiana Bianco, [00:10:00] which is like a, some MOUs type drink and none of my family drunk those drinks.

[00:10:07] But my mother, Interesting. Yeah. So that was, that was pretty weird for me. .

[00:10:15] Corey: So it was what, what entailed during the meeting? What, what was it like? Did you, was it just a conversation, a meal, or what, what, what happened?

[00:10:25] Ann: I just listened. Yeah. Cause my parents were there. It was her. Talking to my parents, but then she did take me with her son.

[00:10:32] We walked along the beach. We, she talked, She told me things. Yeah, we, we talked. I don't remember a lot about that first meeting, to be honest. I think I was just so emotional that if it was such a relief to know her, I, there was, we, I think we hold ourselves intention, but we don't realize we are doing. But when we actually meet the parent, there's a relief and we feel different because we we're now [00:11:00] relaxed in a way we didn't know was possible before.

[00:11:03] Yeah.

[00:11:04] Corey: Your brother on your adoptive side was a little bit older at this point. Did he, Once they told you, does he have interest in finding his birth family? What was the situation there?

[00:11:15] Ann: He didn't. He didn't have any interest. He didn't have any interest for many, many years. He did eventually. Track his mother down and they actually went, him and his wife went to her house, knocked on her door, and she refused to see them.

[00:11:33] Which, and must have been just heartbreaking. I just can't imagine. Must have been heartbreaking. Yeah. Yeah. Which makes me think, you know, maybe they were the results, he was the result of a rape or something that she didn't want to think about again. Yeah. But he ended up becoming alcoholic and he's died already.

[00:11:52] Yeah. And, and it makes you wonder, or it makes me wonder how much all of that was involved in it. Right. The abandonment, early [00:12:00] abandonment, which adoption is, and then losing the sister, Right. Which happened pretty early too. And then, you know, re abandonment when he, his mother wouldn't see him.

[00:12:11] Kendall: Right. God, Wow.

[00:12:14] Thanks. Is sad. So it

[00:12:16] Corey: wasn't long after you had this meeting with your birth mother. That your adoptive mother passed?

[00:12:23] Ann: Yes. Right. So I met my birth mother when I was 17, and then my adopted mother died when I was 19. So there was two years overlap, and then it kind of felt like I was handed back. It's like I'd been, I'd been loaned out to this family for 19 years and then the kind of, I was handed back.

[00:12:41] It was a weird feeling. For

[00:12:43] Kendall: sure, for sure.

[00:12:44] Corey: I imagine it was, had to be tough on your adoptive father. All of this, you know, happening and, and you've got sort of another family on the side. I mean, was what was the relationship like with your adoptive parents around the time that your

[00:12:57] Ann: mother died? Well, they were both alcoholics [00:13:00] still.

[00:13:00] I mean, it was, the last year with my mother was just awful. I mean, she, she had throat and lung cancer and she just, she drank a bottle of wine, a bottle of sherry a day. So she. Pickled most of the time. So it was really awful. And my dad was working overseas in Saudi Arabia at the time, so didn't see much of him.

[00:13:20] And what I saw of my mother wasn't great, so they didn't really know that I was still in touch much with my birth mother. It wasn't something I felt comfortable sharing with them. So yeah. And when my mother died, my adopted mother died, it kind of, the family kind of dis. So I moved out to California when I was 21, so two years later when I graduated.

[00:13:46] And then I was able to, you know, have that free relationship with my mother, you know, across the world. still, I'm in California, she's in New Zealand. My dad's in England. So, [00:14:00] yeah,

[00:14:01] Kendall: it seems, and I could be wrong, but it seems like you didn't have animosity toward. Birth mother for the circumstances and under which she gave you up for adoption is, is that true?

[00:14:12] I

[00:14:12] Ann: mean, I questioned it for sure, but yeah, she wasn't, I mean, she clearly did not want to give me up. Right. So she shared that with me Also, when I was pregnant with my first child, she wrote me a 10 page letter about the whole. That whole period, Right. What she was going through in her mind, the, the idea she had on what we could have done and what could have been different.

[00:14:37] And then she realized that really it was, it was for my best goods to be in a, a family, a whole family. So, yeah, I know how hard it was for her and, and for her kids really know. That this had happened. They grew up knowing that their older sister had been given away, which I don't think really sat well with them growing [00:15:00] up.

[00:15:00] It was hard on them as well. So yeah, I don't, I don't have any animosity. It's like, it's like it was meant to be. I mean, I would not have experienced the changes that I have in these last few years if I had not had that difficulty in those first few years of my.

[00:15:20] Corey: It's interesting, and I, Kendall mentioned this a little bit earlier because, you know, he found out that he was adopted as, as early as he could possibly understand what that was.

[00:15:28] His parents were always open about that and so, you know, kudos to your birth mother and you know, her husband for being open with your siblings about the situation. You know, we're not parents of children, so it's, I guess I can't really say what exactly I would do. I would, I would think that I. Want to, you know, share this information and not keep it from, you know, anyone, you know, to the point where then you get to be all over teenager or an adult or, you know, go to the grave not [00:16:00] knowing that kind of thing.

[00:16:01] It's a, I I just, you know, I can't imagine keeping that kind of

[00:16:05] Ann: secret from someone. Yeah, it's, it is interesting cause my mother, When she was pregnant with me, she went back to her mother, right? So she was at home with her mom when she was pregnant with me, and she went through the whole, you know, the pregnancy and, and the birth, and then giving me up for adoption.

[00:16:23] Her mother. Had given a child up for adoption as well. My mother did not know about it and she didn't say anything that whole time. And it wasn't until years later that my mother found out that she had a half brother who'd been given up for adoption. So yeah, it's amazing what we hide in in families.

[00:16:45] Kendall: Oh my goodness.

[00:16:45] Well, and I, and I think you, you kind of alluded to the fact that it was a different time too, you know, it was just, Social acceptance now probably is different than it would've been. You know, when you and [00:17:00] I were born, there was just a different stigma attached, you know, to to people and so, yeah.

[00:17:08] Ann: Yeah. I expect my mother would've kept me if it was today.

[00:17:12] Yeah. Right,

[00:17:16] right. It's very different.

[00:17:19] Kendall: Yeah, and, and you know, I think that's for people who are younger, it's probably hard for them to relate to that, to understand, you know, that, that times were truly very different. And my parents, actually, my adoptive parents, felt slightly at risk when they decided to adopt just because of, you know, even the, the, the possible stigma of adopting a child.

[00:17:44] You know what I mean? Like, it's so interesting. There's, there's nothing to be said negatively about, you know, giving a child a home. But, you know, I was from a tiny town in the American South and it was unusual, you know, that my [00:18:00] parents were doing that. But they also were like, You know what, you want to give this baby a good home?

[00:18:07] You know? And that's what it's about, .

[00:18:11] Ann: It's great that there are people that want to do that. I realized, I, I, I'm not sure I would've done that myself, Right. But, but that's because I went through my own adoption experience and life was so difficult. My brother was such a difficult child, and so I did not want to adopt myself.

[00:18:29] And that's fine. . Yeah.

[00:18:31] Corey: Right. At what stage in the conversations with your birth mother, did you start asking questions about your birth father or did she start sharing information? What'd she do about your birth father?

[00:18:42] Ann: Well, she did share some information, but there was, there was like a little twist to it.

[00:18:46] It's like she also had a one night stand. In that time period. So she was never entirely sure whether it was the person she was engaged to or whether it's [00:19:00] what this one night stand, which made it really tricky for me when I was started looking for him. Cause I had one photo of the person she was engaged to and I had his name, but I didn't have any information for this other person.

[00:19:15] And she actually did not want me to find. The person she was engaged too. Cause she's realized that he really wasn't a great person, , Right? So she didn't want me knowing him. So that made it really tricky. So she really wasn't particularly willing to help me in that in that search, which was fine, I suppose.

[00:19:38] It was just the way it was supposed to be. But yeah, at some points I did. Got photo copies of the white pages of his last name in the town in England that he came from. And I would call from California. I'd go through the list of numbers and I would call every number. It's like, have you, have you heard, Is there a Clive heard there

[00:19:57] I never found anyone, so I spent a lot of [00:20:00] time searching, but I, I gave up on it cause it's, it w was just not going anywhere. until technology changed . So I ended up having, my son had a DNA test for something we were doing with him. And at some point I, I didn't even know this was through Ancestry. I didn't know Ancestry gave you names of people who might be related to you.

[00:20:27] So at some point I was looking on there and I saw there was a last name heard, showed up in that list, which was so exciting. . I was so excited and I contacted him and it turns out he was a cousin of my dad's. But my dad had left England as a, a teenager or or so, and they never had any further contact with him.

[00:20:52] So it was a dead end again, . So I would kept waiting for someone else to show up and [00:21:00] they did. And

[00:21:01] Corey: so what year was this that you, that your son did the DNA test and, and heard, popped up in the.

[00:21:07] Ann: This was probably about five years ago, but then a dead end, un until last year, until kind of the beginning of this year, the end of 21, the beginning of 22, Ancestry had a special where it was free to look on any of the, the lists they had, you know, birth lists and death lists and all of those things.

[00:21:30] I thought, Okay, well let me, let me just check and see if there's a Clive herd anywhere, . And so again, it was really exciting. And, and I did, I found a death record of Clive Herd and a photo of his tombstone. So he had died in 2013, so I, I never did get to meet him, but the tombstone said her father to cle.

[00:21:57] Grandfather to her two [00:22:00] sons. And so, oh, well maybe I've got a half sister somewhere, . And so that was really exciting. But then, but then what I tried looking up her name, Clea heard, but you know, she got married, it wouldn't be that name. And, and the people at the cemetery told me that it was Spellt wrong.

[00:22:19] Lisa was spellt wrong. So then I looked. A different smelling, a cle, and it's like, no, that's, there's none of those around. So then it was kind of another dead end. And then one day I realized, okay, I, they, they've gotta have some kind of records right, of the cemetery. So I contacted the cemetery, I found their website, contacted them through email.

[00:22:43] Told them a little bit about my story and they replied and said, No, we don't have anyone. We can't, we can't give you any information, Right? Cause it's, it's not legal to do so. So then I responded to them again. I said, Well, could you contact the person? Right? You must have some contact information. [00:23:00] Maybe you could call them up.

[00:23:01] And, and the lady did, which was great, but there was no response. There was no response. So then, you know, a couple of weeks go by and I send them another message. Could you, could you call again ? And it's like, it took three times, but eventually they got hold of this man, Jim's wife, and he was willing to talk to me.

[00:23:22] So we connected. And here was a neighbor of my dad's, his best friend for the last 20 years of his. He was the one who organized his funeral. He took photos of him. My dad had written up a life summary and this man, Jim had it on his computer that he hadn't booted up for 15 years, booted it up and all my dad's writings and and his life story were on his computer that he sent to me.

[00:23:53] Corey: Wow. It's amazing. , what kind of revelations came out of this? This. [00:24:00]

[00:24:00] Ann: Well, he used to be a zookeeper and then he became an Opal Minor in New South Wales in Australia, which is what he was for most, a lot of his life. And Facebook, believe it or not, has a group for Opal Miners in Lightning Ridge in New South Wales, Australia.

[00:24:18] So I went on there. I asked if anyone knew life heard. And multiple people did. He used to be called Castro cuz he looked a little, little like Fidel Castro, . But I got stories from them about, you know, who he was and his life. And it was just amazing what I could find out about this man who had died so long ago.

[00:24:40] I mean, not that long, but you know, 2013 and then. I got my sister's, my half sister's email address from this man, Jim as well, and I contacted her and . That was pretty wild for her. You know when you are, She was probably 54. 53. 54 at the [00:25:00] time. And someone emails you and says you are her oldest sister .

[00:25:06] Kendall: Yeah.

[00:25:07] Does she know anything about you? She

[00:25:10] Ann: knew nothing. No. She's. She's only 16 months younger than me.

[00:25:16] Kendall: Well, she couldn't have, Your father didn't know, right? Your father didn't know, right. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:25:21] Ann: Right, right. My dad didn't know. Right. ? Yeah. So she's only 16 months younger than me. So my dad got married fairly soon after and had another, had a child.

[00:25:32] Right. He didn't know he had the first child, but. Yeah, and it turns out he wasn't a great guy, particularly, she, she wasn't that fond of him either. ,

[00:25:43] Corey: that was gonna be my next question because, you know, your, your birth mother had said that she wasn't, didn't wanna help you because she kind of felt like he was a great guy,

[00:25:51] Ann: so, Right.

[00:25:53] So my sister wasn't actually that thrilled to hear from me because it brought everything back up for her. Right. [00:26:00] All her dad's stuff back up. And of course she had no idea that I didn't know anything about him either. Right. So, But it, but it's good. We're in contact now. We, we message, you know, every week or so and it's really nice.

[00:26:15] And she's got two sons. They're way older than my two sons, but, but we've both got two sons and. Yeah. And we're both artists. We both, we both have done pencil portraits in our life, even about the same timeframe. We did a pencil portrait of a, a ma man with, uh, white beards . Really? So, yeah, it's just fun.

[00:26:39] That's

[00:26:40] Kendall: amazing. We

[00:26:41] Corey: do, we do talk about the nature versus nurture topic a lot, you know, on this show and just what, what you. You know, genetically, and it's just, it's, it's fascinating to hear people's stories about what, not just the resemblance, but just the, the mannerisms and, you know, what do you know, but their interests and things like [00:27:00] that.

[00:27:00] It's just pretty wild to be, you know, have no idea that someone exists for half a century. And then come to find out you have all these things in empower. Yeah. ,

[00:27:11] Kendall: like, like beverages with your mother, right? .

[00:27:15] Ann: Yeah. Right. Yeah. And one of the other things with my half sisters is like, so my, our, our dad was an Opal minor, right?

[00:27:23] And opals are many different colors, right? And you can't see the room I'm in. I know people who are listening can't see it at all. But I'm in a little room that's got a green ceiling with a yellow great blue wall, purple wall, pink. Another purple wall. So it's full of colors, a little room that's full of colors, and she, my sister has a hallway that's got block colors all throughout it.

[00:27:47] So it's almost like we both got a little opal in our house to reflect the opals that our dad would find. Because when you find opals, right, they, they're in, they're in rock, right? And you break them open [00:28:00] and inside is all a color, right? So we all have our, we have our own individual opal in our house.

[00:28:07] Corey: What's the relationship like with your birth mother

[00:28:09] Ann: today? It's, it's good. Yeah. I mean, she's, she's getting a, a little older, she's writing her stories down. She's written a book. She's, um, kept all that information and, you know, it's great. It's not the same as if you've grown up with a mother. Mm-hmm. great.

[00:28:27] I think the relationship when you grow up with a mother is so much. Closer because you've been through everything together. Right. So it's not quite the same as a, a mother-daughter relationship, but it, but it's great and glad she's here around.

[00:28:42] Corey: Yeah. How has it been sort of, um, introducing the next generation of children to their cousins?

[00:28:51] Ann: Um, Well, we are kind of isolated, right? It's just my husband and I and my two boys in America. [00:29:00] Mm-hmm. . We've got a bunch of family in England and a bunch of family in New Zealand, so they don't really know each other very well. I mean, my boys certainly know that my family history is pretty weird. Weird.

[00:29:12] The unusual. Yeah. Yeah. So they, they don't really know each other particularly well. Right.

[00:29:20] Corey: Do you get the opportunity to travel? So see

[00:29:23] Ann: family, not very often. Yeah. I do need to go to New Zealand now because I've got this other family that I need to, I need to actually see and interact with and and meet.

[00:29:34] So that'll be fun. But there aren't a huge number of children in that family. I mean, my half sister has the two boys and my other half sister. Interestingly enough has adopted a little girl, but that's all there. That's all there are out there.

[00:29:52] Kendall: Yeah. Wow. ,

[00:29:57] Corey: it's, um, so when you sit back and just sort [00:30:00] of, uh, take account of, of your life and, and all these twists and turn, like what comes to mind?

[00:30:05] What do you think about, what

[00:30:06] Kendall: are your, um, what are you thankful for?

[00:30:11] Ann: Well, strangely enough, I'm just thankful for it all. It was all supposed to be all that crazy. I mean, I had a lot of trauma in childhood. We, we only touched on it a little bit, . Mm-hmm. . But you know, I know from my journey I had to go through all that trauma in order to undo it later in life.

[00:30:30] And that's enabled me to develop some abilities I didn't know were available before. I didn't know that, you know, I could make the changes that I've. In my light, and I couldn't have done that if I decided that normal, calm, peaceful childhood, or it would've been nice in some respects, but I wouldn't have grown in the way I've grown

[00:30:53] Kendall: now.

[00:30:54] Mm-hmm. . Right, Right. I know, I, I can relate to what you're saying because when I tell [00:31:00] people that, you know, my adoptive parents died very young, I. They were 46 and 53, and I was 10 and 16, you know, when they both passed. And when I say that to people, you know, of course there's a little bit of empathy and, and even pity at times.

[00:31:17] And, and I say, but that was just my reality. You know what I mean? Like, um, I've never been, um, a wallower. And so, you know, I, I just kind of thought, well, things happen, you know, and you learn from it. It's not easy, but you move on. And, um, yeah, to your point, I think it makes you the person you are today, you know?

[00:31:43] Yeah,

[00:31:43] Ann: yeah. Right. And would you really want it any different? , right?

[00:31:47] Kendall: I mean, yes, I wish that my parents had lived longer, but you know, you just have to, um, remember them and, you know, remember the good times and you know, and then embrace [00:32:00] this new reality.

[00:32:01] Ann: Did you get to meet your birth

[00:32:03] Kendall: parents? My father, uh, lives really near where Corey and I live now.

[00:32:09] He lives in New England. He's the reason that we moved from San Francisco to New England. Um, not only because he was here, but because two of his other children are here. So that's been wonderful. Um, I've never spoken to my birth mother. I think it sounds a little bit like what your adopted brother experienced when he found his birth.

[00:32:34] Mother, Um, you know, I, I don't have much, I don't really know why she doesn't want to connect. I, I mean, she describes to, not to me, but to my siblings on first side. She explains that it was just a really, really difficult time. I don't, you know, she was 15 years old when I was born, and she wasn't given a choice to keep me, you know, And [00:33:00] so I can relate to that and I have a lot of.

[00:33:03] But I'm also the kind of person that, you know, I, I still wanna meet her and I would hope that someday she wants to meet me, but yeah, we'll see.

[00:33:13] Ann: You know? Yeah. She's only 15 years older than you, so. Exactly. It's got a while yet. Hopefully. Well, her,

[00:33:19] Kendall: her birthday was just Friday , you know, so it's like, Yeah. So, yeah, she's quite young still, so I, you know, I, I hope that that happens.

[00:33:28] Um, and I hope that she listens to this and understands. I have no animosity about her circumstances. You know, that, that her parents, um, did what they thought was best, you know, and who am I to say, you know, it's, I loved my adoptive parents, so I can't say anything. Happy about that ,

[00:33:52] Ann: you know? Yes. But yeah, I mean, that's the inner work that we get the choice to do if we want to.

[00:33:57] So if she does that work, right, if we, [00:34:00] if we let go of all those emotions around those events, right? Then we open ourselves up to do more things. So she might at some point do that and then be willing. Yeah.

[00:34:12] Corey: So Anne, I mean, I know it was, you said, we just kind of touched on. They're not great childhood. Do you have any people that you're still in touch with from, from that time, from your, you know, adopted family side of they're cousins or anything like that that you're still in touch with?

[00:34:29] Ann: I do. I do have a cousin. In fact, she's the one who told me about the other little girl because she remembers bathing her cause she's about eight years older. Okay. Wow. So, yes. Yes. She's actually been really helpful. I, I would love to know, um, I would love to know what they had called that little girl.

[00:34:46] Right. Did they call her my name or did they change names? That, that would be an interesting thing. I would like to know. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, my birth mother named me Francesca Louise. [00:35:00] Oh. Then my adopted mother called me Helen. You can tell just from those names, right? They're very different people.

[00:35:09] Kendall: absolutely. Right,

[00:35:13] Ann: Right. But if you're a doctor, a little girl, and you have her for six months and. And you give her the name that you want your little girl to have, and then you hand her back. Would you name the second little girl the same name, or would you give her different names?

[00:35:28] Kendall: I wouldn't. I wouldn't use the same one.

[00:35:30] No, no. Yeah,

[00:35:32] Ann: but, But Helen, which is my first name, is my mother's favorite sister's name. Oh,

[00:35:39] Kendall: yeah.

[00:35:40] Ann: So who knows? Maybe what Helen Ann, maybe it was Helen, something else.

[00:35:44] Kendall: Right? Yeah. But that's a nice tribute anyway, right? Like to to honor your sibling that way. That's a wonderful thing.

[00:35:51] Ann: Yeah. There is a little girl out there who was about six months older than me, right?

[00:35:56] Who was right. Adopted for six months and then [00:36:00] went back to her birth mother. So, If she ever listens to this, let's have to

[00:36:06] Kendall: hear from you. If she'd ever known that part of the story, you know, she might, right? She might not know that ever happened. Absolutely.

[00:36:13] Ann: Yeah. I didn't know. I didn't know about it until my cousin told me a few years ago.

[00:36:20] Corey: Sorry. What does your cousin think about everything that's happened since and you're, you're

[00:36:25] Kendall: being able to connect with your birth, Sam.

[00:36:29] Ann: Yeah, I think she thinks. Okay,

[00:36:34] Kendall: It's weird, isn't it? Because the, what I've found is that adoptive cousins almost feel like they're, they've lost a part of you. If you've found your biological family, you know, it's, Yes.

[00:36:51] Ann: And maybe I would feel

[00:36:52] Kendall: that way too. I can't understand their side of the equation, but, I'm just one of these people, like the more [00:37:00] family the better, so just bring 'em on , you know?

[00:37:05] Ann: Yeah. I mean, for me it felt, once I knew I was adopted, there was a feeling. It's like, okay, I, I don't feel like I really fit in. Right. There's a, there's a reason. I know a lot of kids feel that way. Anyway. Right. This isn't my family . Right, Right. But when you know it's not your family and you realize, okay, that that is why I'm so different.

[00:37:26] Right. That's why I was great at art. There was no one in my family who was good at art, and so my parents downplayed it because they didn't want to be embarrassed. Right. To have to answer someone is like, Oh, who does she get the A artistic abilities. Right. Mm-hmm. . Right. Who does she get the clearly hear from?

[00:37:45] Yeah. Right. But it's been a closed adoption and you don't know that they, the parents don't want people asking those kind of questions. Right. Once my new, I was adopted. Right. Then I, Okay. That's why I don't fit in. That's why [00:38:00] I'm not the same.

[00:38:01] Kendall: Yeah. Interesting. I

[00:38:03] Corey: wonder, did they, How many people did they share the fact that.

[00:38:09] The first little girl was taken back by her birth mother and then adopted another order that they just, um, gloss over that and kind never happened as far as other people were concerned.

[00:38:21] Ann: Yeah, I don't, I think it probably was glossed over or they were told not to say anything. , but my cousin was only eight at the time, and she remembered it.

[00:38:30] And, you know, once all the, the, the older generation had passed away, she felt free to tell me perhaps. Right.

[00:38:37] Kendall: Well, and the fact that your, your adoptive family was able to move around a lot, like, you know, people wouldn't have necessarily known the story at the time that you were adopted, you know?

[00:38:50] Ann: Right.

[00:38:50] Yeah. Yes. Yeah. So I'm sure it was only the, the close family aspect that was told

[00:38:56] Kendall: right. Because my hometown is about as big as the room that we're [00:39:00] sitting in . And so, no, no one, everyone knew everyone, you know, And so my parents couldn't have hidden it if they wanted to unless they moved away. Um, but yeah, it, it's a very different dynamic when you're, you know, from a small town where your family stayed.

[00:39:19] Yeah,

[00:39:20] Ann: yeah, yeah. I'll hide. It

[00:39:22] Corey: really just comes down to. How fortuitous that your birth mother was handed that wrong paperwork, . Yeah.

[00:39:30] Ann: And, and in that 10 page letter she wrote me, she said, You know, it was a miracle. Yeah. It would've been very different otherwise. I mean, I planned to look for her when I was 18.

[00:39:41] I, I absolutely intended to do that. And my mother had said she wanted to do that with me, although I would not have let her done do it with me. I, that just, the emotions there were too much. So it made it really easy for me that she contacted us.

[00:39:56] Kendall: Right. Yeah. And, and how difficult it [00:40:00] would've been for your birth mother had she not had that?

[00:40:04] Think about the time of that, it would've been so difficult, .

[00:40:10] Ann: So it would, although she would possibly have been able to let me go more than she did. Right. And move on with life with her new family, her new children. Mm-hmm. . So, but it was the way it was supposed to be. . Yeah. Yeah.

[00:40:27] Kendall: What a positive outlook. I, I appreciate your approach a lot.

[00:40:32] I wish more people felt that way. You know? Uh, I think it's healthy to approach it the way that you have. Yeah. And psychologist,

[00:40:47] I applaud you.

[00:40:49] Ann: Thank you. Yeah. I mean that, that's, that, that made me do the work that I was supposed to do.

[00:40:57] Kendall: Mm-hmm. , Right, right.

[00:40:59] Corey: Yeah, it's a, it's [00:41:00] a really remarkable story and I, I do hope that there are some opportunities soon for you able to, um, for you to be able to travel or for them to be able to travel so you can, you know, spend some, some physical time together.

[00:41:11] Cuz that's, you know, no replacing that really, I mean, it's phone, phone calls and FaceTime and everything is great. I just spent the, uh, the weekend with my mom and sister and made some memories that I know I'll have forever. So, so I hope that to, uh, get some opportunities soon to do.

[00:41:28] Ann: Yeah, I hope so too.

[00:41:29] Yes. haven't even done FaceTime yet. No, just text .

[00:41:35] Kendall: Right. I mean, because honestly, even this is, it's wonderful to get to connect peop with people. Um, especially, you know, what we've all lived through with c. It's been nice to be able to connect with people visually at least. Yeah,

[00:41:50] Ann: yeah, yeah, yeah. It might be easier this way too, cuz she's so much taller than I am.

[00:41:56] she's like four inches taller than I am.

[00:41:58] Kendall: Well, you've just [00:42:00] described my dad, he's, he's tall. I'm the only short person in my family. I think that, um, yeah, I was shocked because I'm five seven on a good day and. I always thought that when I found my birth parents, they'd be, you know, tiny creatures and my father is like six two.

[00:42:18] And it's just, it's interesting to me.

[00:42:21] Ann: And what about your siblings? Cause you're the oldest, aren't

[00:42:24] Kendall: you? I am, but I'm the shortest of all. Yeah. Yeah, I think I'm the sure rest of all of them. Yeah. I

[00:42:31] Ann: would think that's unusual. I would think the older ones would

[00:42:34] Kendall: normally be Stephanie. Might be it slightly shorter but not much.

[00:42:38] Pretty close. Pretty close. I always joke and say in my next life, I'd like to be a normal size human. That's all.

[00:42:50] Wow. Well, this has been fantastic. Um. Really well spoken and I appreciate the way that you've kind of described your, your story. [00:43:00] It's been, I think the listeners will find it as fascinating as we do. Absolutely. .

[00:43:06] Ann: Well, thank you. I think of it as a wild story. It's like sometimes, you know, it's hard to believe.

[00:43:11] Yeah. But that could really happen. But you know, it did. So Yeah. Hopefully someone enjoys Syrian.

[00:43:17] Kendall: Absolutely. They were sure. For sure. Well, Anne, thank you so much again. It's, it's been a.

[00:43:23] Ann: Thank you for your time. It's been lovely.

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