062 – One Month Of Bonding Helped Me With A Lifetime In Adoption
Tim was adopted into a Lutheran family and his curiosity about his roots started when he was very young. When he met his biological mother, she portrayed her husband as Tim’s father, but the truth came out when her daughters suggested a different version of the truth. It wasn’t until Tim’s early 70’s that he made paternal links and solved the mysteries of his life
Read Full TranscriptTim: 00:01 So they were staying with me and then they brought me along to the convention, into the Party afterwards and brought me to the party and these are old friends of theirs saying, well, who is this? Who is this? And again, they played the kind of joke routine, oh, he’s the, he’s relative doesn’t he, look like us, don’t you think he looks like us then. And then there was a lot of laughter and that crossed the line. That was one of the lower points of this whole thing for me.
Damon: 00:48 Who am I really a podcast about adoptees that have located and connected with their biological family members. I’m Damon Davis, and on today’s show you’re going to be Tim who called me from Brooklyn, New York. I asked him if he was a native New Yorker and he said, no, I’ve only been here 50 years. He was born and raised in Minnesota. You’ll hear him describe a life where he was allowed to bond with his birth mother early, which he feels made a huge difference in his adoption. Later. His faith, which he followed a long way, turned out to be quite different from his heritage. Tim shares how his birth mother first didn’t want to meet, but was convinced to do so by Tim’s father or so he thought many decades later, Tim searches over as he’s found the missing pieces in his seventies. This is Tim’s journey….Tim was born in St Paul, Minnesota in 1944 at booth memorial hospital run by the Salvation Army in connection with a home for unwed mothers.
Tim: 01:50 I like to say I think it was significant that my birth mother kept me for a little over a month. I don’t know if that was a policy back then, but uh, I look back and think… I’m not a bitter person. I think the fact that she. She nursed me and she kept me for a little over a month. I think that… That helped in this whole adoption process.
Tim: 02:18 I’ve read a couple books. “Primal Wound” being a being a pretty significant book and it just feels to me like I had that connection. I had that bonding with, uh, with my mother, with my birth mother and as a primal wound refers to the sounds and the smells and all that of the woman whose body you were in for nine months. But I… that remained for at least a month, a little longer than a month. I think it might’ve even been the policy at the salvation army back then. I’m not sure, but she kept me there at the home for four or five or six weeks. And so to me it feels like that helped. Uh, I think then I’m sure there was a trauma who really knows, but when I left that and was placed in basically an orphanage for five or six months, um, I’m sure that was traumatic on some level, but at least I had that one month of uh affection and closeness and bonding that I could relate to. And then, and from what I can figure, of course, who knows when we’re that young. But, uh, when I was adopted by my adoptive parents, I seem to cling to my adoptive mother affectionately for actually the rest of my life.
Damon: 03:57 What you’ve said is really interesting. You’re probably right if you were born and bonded to your mother for a month and then you know, separated when she left you to be adopted, the next person that you would have gotten a hold of with your tiny little baby hands would be somebody that you cling to. That’s really interesting.
Tim: 04:23 I mean I just have a vivid memory as does my adopted mother of me just being beyond affectionate with her her whole life.
Damon: 04:33 After that first month of bonding, Tim’s mother transferred him to Lutheran social services where he stayed for five or six months. At some point, he developed either measles or mumps, which held up his adoption. Then he was placed with his family. Tim’s adoptive mother had been a social worker at the very agency through which he was adopted. He figures that professional experience made her particularly sensitive to the needs of adoptees. She quit the social work job five years before bringing him home. After adopting their first daughter, his older sister, he was placed in 1945, but since then he’s found out that he was officially adopted in 1949, asking others about the five year gap between his placement and his official adoption. Folks who know the process well say they feel that timeline is unusually long. Tim speaks very highly of his adopted mother and juxtaposes his affection against his older and younger sisters.
Tim: 05:33 I refer to her. Of course she’s been dead for quite a while, but um, I refer to her as my lifesaver really because she was the absolute epitome of unconditional love as far as I was concerned. She, she had my back no matter what and I’m sure she was happy to get all the affection that I was her, my, my older, a sister adopted sister, uh, was not very affectionate and, and neither was my younger sister who was their child, their biological child, but neither of them were a super affectionate type as II was and still am to some extent
Damon: 06:21 That’s really cool. The kids always knew they were adopted tins. Older sister, five years, his senior was adopted through the family. Her birth mother was their mother’s sister. In other words, she was raised by her aunt, but Tim sister never knew that her aunt was her birth mother until a drunken uncle spilled the beans. As a quick side note, Tim’s sister approached her aunt, her birth mother, to try to reconnect, but her aunt wasn’t perceptive. They had a strained relationship and his sister spent a lot of time trying to find her birth father and trying to locate a daughter that she had given up for adoption. So in Tim’s immediate family, there were two older adoptees. Then six years after Tim’s adoption, his parents conceived his younger sister even though his mother was prompted to adopt after a few miscarriages.
Tim: 07:10 The joke is everybody thought she had the flu but it was to my younger sister and to this day I still refer to her as the flu baby! and like I said, I think honestly I think mothers in their forties and she raised us too and she was tired. I get the feeling kind of tired, so she kind of let the younger one, become a bit of a wild child and strangely enough there was a bonding and even my sister was saying she never really bonded with mother that much.
Damon: 07:55 Tim says that the sisters within 11 years spread between them never bonded either. Actually, his words were, there was no love lost between them. Tim said that if he mentions his older sister’s name, even though she’s deceased, the younger sisters still implodes with furious, feelings about their relationship. I kind of speculated that his older sister and adoptee who already wasn’t the affectionate type, might have questioned her adoption and the introduction of their biological sister could have been sobering for their older sister. I don’t know, and neither does Tim.
Tim: 08:29 My oldest sister was never really a happy go lucky person at all. I, in fact, that makes. She told me that when they went to pick me up at the orphanage, she I was not the one she wanted him to take, let’s put it that way. Oh yeah. she let me know it. Believe me me. She had own demons. He was fighting most of her life.
Damon: 08:58 I asked him to return to his childhood and his memories of clinging to his mother. He said he had a great childhood and was happy at school and it wasn’t a popular kid, but he said he did have a couple of moments of questioning the whole adoption thing.
Tim: 09:11 I think I was in fourth grade and I just casually mentioned to my best buddy at the time that I was adopted and he almost fell over. was like, what couldn’t be true and blah, blah, blah. And I, this was kind of stunned me. Like, yeah, what’s the big deal? I was adopted. So. And then that night he called and said he didn’t want to speak to me, wanted to speak to my mother, and so he spoke to her and asked her, is that really true? Was Tim really adopted? And that starts me thinking, good Lord, this is more of a thing that I’m really making it or it is to some people. Anyway, so my mother, again, being the wise, a former social worker threw out the line that know we chose him. You’ve heard that word chosen, I’m sure by other people. But uh, you know, so she kind of reassured him and said, yes, it’s true with Blah Blah Blah.
Tim: 10:16 So, okay, that’s fine. And then the next day, fourth grade show and tell this little friend of mine gets up and his show and tell is that guess what Tim
was adopted. And I’m like, good Lord, wow me for a loop. And then the teacher who again, that was a good student and popular and all that. She said, uh, so Tim, I’d like to see you after school for a little bit that day. So I saw her and she said, is it true? So, you know, that’s the only real experience. And Times I remember as a, as a kid that I, I kind of had to face the reality of being adopted, but uh, and it threw me off a little bit but really didn’t, didn’t make, didn’t change me much.
Damon: 11:19 It must have been such a shock for Tim’s fourth grade buddy to call his mother for confirmation of his adoption and then to out him during show and tell the next day. But that wasn’t any real catalyst for tim’s curiosity to search for his birth parents. Thinking back on when his curiosity was peaked, he mentioned his older sister learning. Her aunt was her birth mother when he was in college was one big moment, but she wasn’t the only one adopted within the family
Tim: 11:47 And then we hand a cousin in the extended family who we all knew was adopted through the chain. Father’s cousin was actually his birth mother. It was kind of common knowledge, but us three, my sister, my cousin and myself are the only three int a rather large extended family on both sides. Both my adoptive mother and adopted father’s side, but we are the only three that were adopted and those two having been adopted through the family chain really made me curious about, okay, one of these guys or gals walking around here that I know his aunt or cousin or something if I want to know my birth parents. And so that really peaked my curiosity. And then it was about the time this. You have to realize this is a long time ago, 1968. Probably before you were even thought of, but the agency. There was a social worker, and I wish I could remember her name because she was a big advocate for the rights of adopted adults and she had written an article in a Church magazine on the rights of adopted adults and it spoke to me, not only spoke to me, but she was from the very agency through which I was adopted. and I thought, you know really? Yeah.
Damon: 13:20 Tim read that article back in 1968. He was working as a vista volunteer in Oklahoma, sort of a domestic peace corp. When he told his adopted mother about his desire to search for his birth mother. She said she was supportive, but he could feel she was kind of hurting inside, so he didn’t involve her much along the way. He was home in the summer of ’68 before his big move to New York.
Tim: 13:44 So I went to the agency and met with a woman that had written the article and she just was extremely gracious and said, we can only share with you what we call non identifying information, but you’ve got two routes you can go. One is we can make it a court case, kind of a landmark court case to open records, but uh, she estimated it might end up costing about $10,000, which at that point could have been $10,000,000 office beyond anything I could do, but for non identifying information that she gave me, a in conjunction with my, my adoptive parents gave me at that point my adoption record or not record certificate, which had my name before I was adopted on it and it was an unusual last name
Damon: 14:45 Using the non identifying information. The agency provided that his mother was a nurse at the Mayo Clinic at the time of his birth and the uniquely identifiable information, including the uncommon surname, Tim opted for option two, hiring a $125. Gumshoe private detective in St Paul. Tim delivered the money to the man at his office downtown and they agreed Tim should call back in a few days.
Tim: 15:10 The detective called my birth mother. I’m not sure what the conversation was, but I’m pretty sure it was something like we have reason to believe you gave birth to a baby boy 24 years ago and she had hidden This away and I’m sure it shocked her to death and he arranged to meet her in the parking lot of a shopping center. Car To car, you know, his car next to her car. Sounds pretty dramatic
Damon: 15:46 It does, like two spies meeting from warring countries or something.
Damon: 15:51 Tim waited patiently for a few days allowing the detective to do his job. Then he called to check in.
Tim: 15:57 Much to my surprise, he said, well, we found her and she doesn’t want to meet you. She wants to know you’re okay. And I’m like, Oh my God, I didn’t expect results like that that fast. And so I said, this is, this is a little much. Let me come down to your office and talk with you about it in person. So I did. The next day went down to his office and they did a little bit of musical chairs putting me in one office and then eventually he called me into his office and he said, well, I didn’t want you to meet the man I was talking to, who is your birth? Mother’s husband, and very well could be your father, uh, didn’t want you to just bump into each other, but if you want them to eat in these downstairs in a coffee shop. So that’s how it went. And I said, Oh yes, I definitely do. So downstairs I went.
Damon: 16:57 When Tim arrived at the coffee shop, the man was the only patron in the place. Tim said the guy was nervously chainsmoking lighting one cigarette off of the burning end of its predecessor. Between his lips. They agreed to go for a drive around the twin cities. The man asking tons of questions, scanning Tim for signs of a relation to himself or his wife, Tim’s birth mother. The man went home to try to convince his wife to at least meet Tim.
Tim: 17:24 I was trying to play it as cool as I possibly could because it was in retrospect, kind of a frightening thing and I wasn’t involved in my parents, I had nobody to talk to about it, so I was trying to be strong and tough and keep it in perspective. So I’m thinking A, she doesn’t, she said she didn’t want to meet me, B he’s going to probably try to convince her but let it sit a couple of days and then I’ll call them. I could, I could kind of tell right away that he was really, really anxious and interested, but so I let it sit a couple of days and then called him and he said, Oh yeah, we’ve been waiting for you to call Blah Blah Blah. But this was me taking control, if you understand what I’m saying. He had convinced her to meet me. Uh, and then in her words, which he told me years later, he said, uh, you’re going to find that this guy is going to be a blessing in your life so you don’t want to turn this down. So, which was sweet.
Damon: 18:30 That’s an incredibly nice thing to say. Wow.
Tim: 18:34 So, uh, yeah, so we met a couple of days later at a restaurant and it was a high end kind of restaurant and she was dolled up and he was, and it was a bit awkward, but uh, they both enjoy a cocktail now and again, and I didn’t that much but I certainly did when I was with them and uh, that helped things move along. So we hit it off pretty well and I’d say very, very well as a matter of fact. And I’m all of a sudden I was kind of part of their family, but they had two daughters that were teenagers and they didn’t want to tell them at least not right away. So I popped into their house a couple of times and they very strangely, they ended up just coincidentally living maybe two miles, maybe not even that from where I was raised by my adoptive family.
Tim: 19:37 I mean, and they had lived in Cleveland, Ohio for a while and they lived in different parts of Minneapolis just coincidentally. They lived. Not only that about two miles from my house, but then when I discovered years later, exactly where it was born, the salvation army Booth Memorial hospital is five blocks from where they live. I’ve blocked, if this was a traumatic thing was, I’m sure it was, but why she would choose or how she couldn’t even bear to live so close to when you know that thing happened, but who knows
Damon: 20:18 Yeh that’s an amazing point, you’ve placed a child into adoption, you probably never to see them again and you drive past the very building where you transacted that unreal. Tim’s parents didn’t tell their daughters his sisters about tim just yet. He moved to New York and his birth parents visited him there together. Tim returned home for the holiday season that year
Tim: 20:46 and then I came home at Christmas and went over to see them and the two girls came out of the bedroom wearing bows. And this was my Christmas present that they had told the girls I was their brother, uh, well listen, here’s a couple other hysterical things. Okay. That a funnier or stranger than that. The first time I went over there with my adopted sister, my younger sister, and we’re close even to this day, we speak every week and all, but I said, I finally told her about the whole situation. I said, you got to come over and meet him. So she came over, we went to their house in the summer. They had all bought a black chewing gum. The cover up some of their teeth, so it would look like they were toothless hillbillies came from toothless hilbillibes you know, that’s their sense of humor and even worse than that. Okay, where’s is that?
Tim: 21:49 The very first time I was invited into their house, mind you, the first time you can imagine there’s an awkwardness. Twenty four years finally. And I thought at that point that this guy was my father too. But anyway, so I’m sitting there and as I mentioned, enjoyed cocktail and also they asked if I’d like one too this day I like to drink that they chose, which was a vodka gimlet by the way. It’s pretty good. So I said sure. So they brought it to me so we’re sitting in their living room and a do you know what a dribble glasses.
Tim: 22:29 It’s a cut glass, fancy looking glass for a cocktail, but it has tiny little slits in the side so that when you drink the drink it dribbles down your hand that comes out the side of the glass. So they set me up with practical joke. It’s a practical joke. First Time I’m there for God’s sake feeling awkward and my vodka gimlet is drink is dripping down my arm and I’m trying to be cool about it. Like what am I doing here? And then eventually they stopped. I think you’re getting an idea what they were like,
Damon: 23:15 That’s hysterical, oh my gosh, they tortured you with a… that’s hysterical.
Tim: 23:23 Say some of my friends who I share this story with, their kind of appalled, they say, no, that was. That was, that was passive aggressive or whatever. And maybe there was a bit, but honestly it was funny. Believe me,
Damon: 23:45 I could see how somebody that was passive aggressive because that is a pretty intense situation to immediately pull up practical joke. But
Tim: 23:51 I mean, on the other hand, it did kind of cut the tension.
Damon: 23:55 Yeah, that’s right. Tim referred to the man by saying at the time I thought he was my biological father, referring to his birth mother’s husband, Tim shared that her husband was one of the only male nurses in the nursing program at the Mayo Clinic, which afforded him the privilege of living with the doctors with virtually no rules. Conversely, she had to live with the nursing staff under the strict rules of the nuns a fact she always resented. Somehow they began seeing one another. Then he was deployed to World War Two.
Tim: 24:28 Actually, I’m on the day I was born. She pulled out an old telegram that she had received from him dated the same day as my birth, just saying he was thinking about her and kind of telling them about the time she was having, etc. Etc. So say they me to believe that he was. My father was sort of seeing him and ended up marrying him five years after I was born. Uh, so yeah, that was the story. And that lasted for from when I met them in 1968 until she died in 2005. That lie perpetuated itself.
Damon: 25:15 Tim says during that time he got very close with his sisters, his godfather to one of their children and they’ve gotten pretty close, but he recalls a time when he was visiting his sister in California and the other sister and his birth mother were in town as well. They were chatting away when the subject of blood types arose.
Tim: 25:34 So everyone is asking what your blood type. and I knew mine because I donated blood. And I said, well mine is my attitude on life. It’s positive. This is back in the early seventies. So they took that information and file that away so to speak. And after margaret is my birth mother, after margaret died in 2005, they then came to me and said to him, we do not think our fathers, your father. And I’m like, what, how could that be? And he, I mean he came to New York to visit me on his own a few times and blah blah blah. And then they said, well, do you reMember years ago when we asked you your blood type now you know, there’s a formula for blood type that only type blankety blank and have the child was uh, I was not on top of it still to this day, but one of my sisters had studied medicine and she had figured that out way back when in the early seventies and, but never shared it with me. She would, they were all kind of afraid of dear old mom. She just kind of an intimidating sort. So they waited until she died to tell me this. So I immediately did a sibling dna test with one of my sisters and it came back that we were half siblings. So that was in 2006 actually when we did that test. So some 2006 on that. I then started hunting for who was, who was the guy who did the deed.
Damon: 27:26 Just for clarity though, you feel like they intentionally misled you about who your biological father was?
Tim: 27:38 Yeah. I have no doubt that both of them probably did. I threw in probably but from what I can figure out, while the time at which I was conceived, what was in november of 1943, her husband was in europe at the time, so it would’ve been a amazing fedex job to send his sperms to… So I think it was pretty impossible. I, I think he knew too. I think this is part of a little another secret. And I was, by the way, a secret even after I met them, I was supposed to be a deep, dark secret for everybody. Nobody else was supposed to know. And it wasn’t until she died that my sisters listed in the obituary and then everybody is like, oh my god, who was that?
Damon: 28:34 So in reunion you were only known to the nuclear family.
Tim: 28:37 Absolutely, exactly rIght. Exactly right. Yeah. I mean I met some of their friends and, and okay, here’s something relevant. They came to New York, uh, in those early days and they went to a convention. Her husband was a hospital administrator and there was a convention of those folks in New York. So they were staying with me and then they broUght me along to the convention. Then to the party afterwards and brought me to the party and these are old friends of theirs saying, well, who is this? Who is this? And again, they played the kind of joke routine, oh he’s a relative doesn’t he look like us, don’t you think he looks like this then, and then there was a lot of laughter and that crossed the line. That was one of the lower points of this whole thing for me. I couldn’t deal with it, you know? It was like, okay,
Damon: 29:34 because your relationship had become a joke?
Tim: 29:36 YeAh, exactly. And as a matter of fact, I in the middle of the night, I called a mentor of mine in Oklahoma city, a roman catholic nun who was a up on all the searching I was doing and I woke her up and I just had an event and say, I can’t handle this. It’s making me crazy. So that was. That was hard. That was hard.
Damon: 30:03 Tim feels sure Margaret knew who his birth father was. Given the timeline she outlined with her future husband, overseas the sibling dna test with his sisters confirming their half relation to each other. He tried to figure out what direction to go next, thInking back on a rumor from one of his older cousins that his father was a doctor, but tim could never figure out how she knew that she would never divulge their source. He hits several dead ends, including one with the best friend of his adopted father, a doctor. That man had a cabin on a lake in Minnesota right next to tim’s families own cabin. That same doctor also knew margaret and her husband pete, and they had been out to visit his cabin before tim had seen their name in the cabin’s guestbook. Tim reached out to the guy’s daughter.
Tim: 30:52 She was unbelievably understanding and said, well, what do we have to do to find out whether it’s him? I said, let’s do a dna test. We did a dna test again, a sibling test, and it came back with an 83 percent chance that we were half siblings and the company said, we can’t say that you are, unless it’s above 90 percent. I’m thinking 83 percent is pretty high and given the fact that he knew both my mother and my, you know, so we kind of went with that, but then they suggested we do a y dna test with his son because the y dna I’m sure you’re familiar with from father to son does not change and that would kind of confirm or rule about. So we did and it ruled him out. Again, that was another low point after the search, and again this gal was so forthcoming and willing to accept me and helped me and all that, but it was another dead end.
Damon: 32:05 other unsuccessful dna tests to one with the daughter of margaret’s friend whom tim sisters thought looked like him and one lead from margaret’s nursing roommate in rochester whose daughter found a picture of a guy she thought looked like tim, but nothing panned out. In 2007. Tim caught wind of fte dna ancestry dna and 23 and me through Richard Hill, a former scientist, author and dna advisor. Tim credits richard with guiding his search to all of those dna tests.
Tim: 32:39 That was about 2006, 2007. I started with all those dna tests and as a result discovered that my biological father was jewish. This was a big revelation to me as I was basically raised in a waspish little neighborhood in northeast minneapolis, a etc. Etc. Now, thank god I’m in downtown brooklyn, which is as diverse as you can get. And I think most of my neighbors said jewish, but that, you know, this was a surprise to me to say the least. Also, my adoptive parents were well known in the lutheran church circles. My father had started a church in the neighborhood and uh, I had gone to a seminary to study, to be a lutheran minister as though it came from that kind of a background. So, so This was a big move. Yeah. And, and then, uh, in that process I thought, okay, and now we know he’s jewish, probably a doctor at the mayo clinic and since that’s where she was. So I started searching sites, have doctors working at the mayo clinic in 1943 and looking up names that sounded jewish. Again, this is a pretty thankless search, but I tried it and then they were kind enough to share with me a couple of photos, but after I think the third or fourth photo I asked them to send me, they said, well, we’re not a genealogical site. We can’t do that anymore.
Damon: 34:22 But tim kept at it. Finally in January, 2016, he had just returned from a vacation in Florida. It was 2:00 AM. So he checked his dna profiles online.
Tim: 34:36 Boing, there’s a close match, Second cousin, first cousin once removed.
Damon: 34:39 That was an exciting moment for tim, but he didn’t want to send a message at 2:00 AM for fear of seeming like a crazy man. But when he woke up the next day, there was a message from the cousin waiting for him.
Tim: 34:52 So the next morning I got up anxious and bingo, there was a message from this person say, who are you’re my closest match? And she shared her information and she lives in brooklyn, New York, not too far from me. So she, um, so we emailed back and forth and she had her parents test and her mother did it first. And her mother came back as a first cousin to me, so if you’ve got a first cousin match, you’re pretty close to. The guy was and her mother’s had no brothers so we could eliminate that side. And her mother’s father had three brothers, so it was down to one of those three brothers, pretty much
Damon: 35:47 tim asked for contact information for cousins that he might reach out to. And the family was very kind, but they didn’t have a whole lot of information to share. Finally, a few months later, the family sent him the address for a possible connection to a woman who lives in California. Tim wrote the woman a letter to introduce himself and sent her some pictures of himself,
Tim: 36:07 a couple of emails back and forth, and the woman said, well, you look like the levines the dna points to it. And my father was a surgeon in training at the mayo clinic for three months, october, november and december of 1943 period of time. Yes. He was on his way to the war. So they just had specific war battlefield training I guess. So he was only there those three months. But one of those months happened to be the month that I was conceived. So that’s incredible. That answered and answered it and the followup was that is that she ended by saying she did not want to pursue this at all. I said, okay, well I can. I’ve dealt with a cantankerous women before and I can, I can put this in perspective. So I just, I, I email her and once in awhile ask for some medical information because her father was a doctor and her husband had been a doctor and she responded. And then about a year later I said, I’m coming out to California, but I want to be sure you’ll be around so we can at least meet. And she said, okay. Was a little over a year ago. We met and she did a complete 180 degree turn and uh, brought me to meet her granddaughter the next day and was introducing me as her brother. And she lives in California. We did get together with one of her sons in dc last october. But then the most recent thing that you’ve probably read that I posted was that she invited me and my partner to Israel to travel with her and meet her son who’s a professor at the university of tel aviv and we did, and it honestly, I’m, I’m talking about it and I’m getting a little bit of a shiver about it was, could not, could not have been a better sort of end to my ongoing search. He was as wonderful a guy as you could find. And my I think the post you probably read was when we got together for dinner the first night he wanted to give a toast and he basically said that basically he said, you know, “there are no words” and that was it and it was so moving and kind. And that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Damon: 39:01 That’s really amazing. Gosh, that must have been, must have felt Incredible. I mean even starting all the way back at her to be accepting of your visit and willing
Damon: 39:11 to meet you. And then for you guys to travel internationally to tel aviv. wow. I wanted to go back for a second to tim detecting his adopted mother’s pain, about his search for his biological family. I inquired about how things went with her as it related to his reunions.
Tim: 39:29 Again, as I mentioned, I was so close to my adopted mother. I was really afraid of hurting her. She knew initially that I was searching and she did share with me my adoption certificate and then she gave me a couple of people to contact in the state. May be if I wanted to get some more information, but she very significantly, she signed a letter when I was in Oklahoma with some of this information. She signed it, love blank. Every other letter was loved mother. This letter was blank. Her first name. So I just deCided I would keep her not hurting with sharing it too much, but eventually. And also, eventually, as it became more of a thing that other people were finding their birth parents. Uh, I did share it with them. It’s, it seemed to be okay. And then at one point my, uh, the guy that she claimed was my birth father. He died about four years after I met him and so she was a widow for many years, but I wanted to have them all meet, so I took them all out to dinner, her and my adoptive parents, so we had, it was rather awkward dinner, but we didn’t have a dinner. Everybody was polite and they got to at least meet each other so that, you know, I didn’t have to feel like I was perpetuating another secret here. And uh, and so I was glad I did it, you know.
Damon: 41:11 Very cool. I’m really happy for you man. And, and especially, you know, you said you, you went. How old will you must have been 60 something years old when you finally made this discovery of who he was, your biological father?
Tim: 41:26 I was 71. I’m going To be 74 and a couple of months.
Damon: 41:30 Wow. You’ve made is discover at 71. That’s incredible, man. That must feel great.
Tim: 41:38 I had my sister on my father’s side. She just turned 80, so you know, I’m glad we’re doing this before we all disappear into the never, never land.
Damon: 41:55 Wow. Super happy for you, man. Thank you so much for getting on the phone. I enjoyed hearing your story. thanks for sharing.
Tim: 42:03 Oh, Damon, thank you for being interested. Like I said, part of my reason is if there’s any, any information or anything that help anybody else that I’m just here for that. I’ve got to do that.Youou’ve got to pass it on, you know, I appreciate it, man. Take care. All the best to you, tim. Thank you, Damon taking you too. Bye. Bye.
Damon: 42:29 Hey, it’s me. Tim says, all of his sisters have really been great and are interested in at least meeting one another. He admits he doesn’t know the extent of the relationship between Dr. Levine and margaret, but he’s very glad he’s solved the mystery of who his birth parents and siblings are. Tim discovered his paternal biological family in his early seventies. To me, the fact that his curiosity continued to this day is exemplary of the innate passion so many of us feel for knowing more about who we really are. It sounds like tim was really fortunate for how things unfolded and he acknowledges that any aspect of his search could have turned out much worse than it did.
Damon: 43:10 I’m damon davis and I hope you’ll find something in tim’s journey that inspires you, validates your feelings about wanting to search or motivates you to have the strength along your journey to learn who am I really?
Damon: 43:24 If you would like to share your adoption journey and your attempt to connect with your biological family, please visit who am I really podcast.com/share. you can choose to share your whole story, maintain some privacy about parts of your story, or share completely anonymously. You can find the show at facebook.com/WAIReally, or follow me on twitter at WAIReally and please, if you like the show, you can subscribe to who am I really on apple podcasts, google play, stitcher, tune in radio or wherever you get your podcasts and while you’re there, it would mean so much to me. If you would take a moment to Share a rating or leave a comment, those ratings can help others to find the podcast too.
Tim: 44:19 Here’s something I wanted to share with you. Sure. Damon, because it was pretty interesting. I just started the search for my birth father and I don’t know where I was in the dna testing. I’d probably done some, but I was really getting nowhere and on one of the adoptee dna sites. Someone had mentioned a psychic and I thought, okay, what have I got to lose by contacting a psychic and it’s some guy upstate New York who’s a minister I think, but someone had said he’s, he’s legit and blah blah blah, and it was $75 which I could handle. So long story short, I called him. We set up a time over the phone where he’d do this a reading or whatever it was called and he recorded it and sent me a copy of it and it was pretty nondescript. A lot of things would a fit. A lot of people gave me a few names. That dIdn’t mean too much, but this is the part that gives me a little chill. He said, oh, I’m looking and I see significantly a Christian Cross, but interestingly enough, right next to it of equal size is the star of david.