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Adoption Secrets, Nature Versus Nurture and the Magic of DNA
Episode 2118th October 2022 • Family Twist • Corey and Kendall Stulce
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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.

Guest Links:

https://annhince.com/

https://www.facebook.com/AnnHinceWisdom

https://www.facebook.com/groups/onapathwaytoinsight

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTc4hb7ZKvih1LlRHK0cUjg

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Transcripts

[:

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

[:

[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

[:

[00:01:56] 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.

[:

[00:02:48] 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.

[:

[00:03:42] 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.

[:

[00:04:35] 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.

[:

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

[:

[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.

[:

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

[:

[00:06:22] 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.

[:

[00:06:52] 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]

[:

[00:07:04] 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.

[:

[00:07:49] 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,

[:

[00:08:28] 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.

[:

[00:08:54] 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.

[:

[00:09:27] 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?

[:

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

[:

[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.

[:

[00:11:03] Yeah.

[:

[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.

[:

[00:11:52] 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.

[:

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

[:

[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.

[:

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

[:

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

[:

[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.

[:

[00:14:01] 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] 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.

[:

[00:15:00] 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.

[:

[00:15:28] 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.

[:

[00:16:05] 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.

[:

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

[:

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

[:

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

[:

[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?

[:

[00:18:11] 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.

[:

[00:18:31] 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?

[:

[00:18:46] 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.

[:

[00:19:38] 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

[:

[00:20:27] 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.

[:

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

[:

[00:21:30] 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.

[:

[00:22:19] 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.

[:

[00:23:01] 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.

[:

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

[:

[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.

[:

[00:25:06] Kendall: Yeah.

[:

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

[:

[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.

[:

[00:25:43] 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,

[:

[00:25:53] 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.

[:

[00:26:39] That's

[:

[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.

[:

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

[:

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

[:

[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.

[:

[00:28:51] 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.

[:

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

[:

[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.

[:

[00:29:57] 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?

[:

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

[:

[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

[:

[00:30:54] 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.

[:

[00:31:43] Yeah,

[:

[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.

[:

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

[:

[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.

[:

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

[:

[00:33:28] 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 ,

[:

[00:33:57] 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.

[:

[00:34:29] 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.

[:

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

[:

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

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

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

[:

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

[:

[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.

[:

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

[:

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

[:

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

[:

[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.

[:

[00:37:45] 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.

[:

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

[:

[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.

[:

[00:38:37] 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] Yeah. Yes. Yeah. So I'm sure it was only the, the close family aspect that was told

[:

[00:39:19] Yeah,

[:

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

[:

[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.

[:

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

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

[:

[00:40:47] I applaud you.

[:

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

[:

[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.

[:

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

[:

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

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[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.

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

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

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[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.

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[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.

[:

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

[:

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