My first conversation with my biological father – Hamilton County Reporter

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By AMY SHANKLAND
perfectly imperfect

As my story of adoption and reunion continues, I have changed some names, places and dates.

I thought I could wait a few weeks after speaking with my biological mother before writing to Jack, my biological father. But a thought haunted me. If he and his family were from Indianapolis, maybe he still had family nearby that he would visit in the summer. What if I waited too long and he was only 30 minutes away from me and I couldn’t meet him? I knew this was all long, but I didn’t want to miss this opportunity.

I wrote a letter like the one I sent to Linda and mailed it. My gut told me I wouldn’t have to wait that long for an answer – if I got one – since Memphis is a little closer to Indianapolis. And that was correct. Within five days, I received a brief email from Jack.

Dear Amy,

I am so happy to receive your letter. It’s wonderful to hear from you. I do a lot of teachings in the evenings but I will review my schedule and let you know some possible times for a phone call soon.

I can’t wait to be there, Jack

Chills traveled up and down my spine. I felt like I really hit the jackpot. Both of my biological parents were happy to hear from me. Both were ready to talk to me.

“I just want to pinch myself,” I told my husband, John.

And another Wednesday night, a few weeks later, I had the chance to speak to my biological father. This time it was on my cell phone while waiting to pick up the boys from the youth group. Jack called me at 7:30. His voice was deep, strong and steady. My hand went to my face in astonishment upon hearing it.

“How are you Amy?” He asked.

“Oh…I’m fine, excited and nervous!” ” I answered. He laughs easily.

“Well, I think I am too.” said Jack. I watched the sunset over the soccer field near our church as we talked, knowing that I would never forget that moment in my life.

“So tell me how you found me,” he said. I explained the different steps I had followed. Jack also hadn’t heard of the Ohio State opening up its archives.

“I did the state registry years ago, but nothing ever came of it.” Jack replied. Wow, I thought, he was looking for me!

“I did the same thing, but in the state of Indiana,” I said. “I’m afraid I got a little mixed up. I’ve heard since that registries don’t often bring people together.

“I called a few other places and also got a brochure for a non-profit organization that helps bring people together in Ohio,” he said. “But I didn’t get very far. After I retired I thought I would take a trip to Columbus and try to get some answers in person.

John and I had wondered if one or both of my biological parents had ever looked for me. Now I had an answer. Sooner or later, I would have at least met my biological father.

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