Today I read two amazing articles that remind me again of how powerful the bonds of biological roots are to people involved in adoption–both as a person who is adopted, and as a parent who relinquished a child. The first recounts the story of a 100-year-old California woman who gave up a daughter 77 years ago. The second is about a 57-year-old man in Nebraska who searched for and found his birth siblings and other relatives. Happy 2012!
SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (AP) — For most of her 100 years, Minka Disbrow tried to find out what became of the precious baby girl she gave up for adoption after being raped as a teen.
She hoped, but never imagined, she’d see her Betty Jane again.
The cruel act of violence bore in Disbrow an enduring love for the child. She kept a black and white photograph of the baby bundled in blankets and tucked inside a basket.
It was the last she saw of the girl — until the phone rang in her California apartment in 2006 with the voice of an Alabama man and a story she could have only dreamed.
A few days before Christmas, Orion Knee got a telephone call from his uncle, Don Frazer, in Omaha. “I think you’ve got a brother,” his uncle said. “I was blown away,” Orion said. He had no idea that his mother had given up a child for adoption 57 years ago, before he was born. Recently, in north Lincoln, the two brothers met for the first time.
Rick Nolze, 57, of Clearwater in northeast Nebraska, was welcomed into a family that a few weeks ago only existed in his imagination. “I’ve got aunts and uncles I didn’t know existed. I’ve gotten hugs… And that guy over there looks like me,” Rick said, pointing to his uncle, Frazer, a few feet.
Rick is grateful for the love and care of his adoptive parents, Fred and Shirley Nolze. He doesn’t want his search to take away from the wonderful life they gave him.”I felt like the prodigal son. They put a robe on my back and a ring on my finger and said, ‘This is my son.’”
But he’s always been curious about his birth family. He has his original birth certificate (Larry Dean Knee) and was aware from adoption records that he had an older sibling.