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The Search for My Three Children

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I am a 43-year-old birth mother who placed 3 children for adoption in the early 80's. My first child did not have the same father as the last two children. When I relinquished my rights to these children I told myself I would never look back and I would never interfere with their futures. For twenty years I kept away, I never looked, I did not search for these children.

I had an idea where the last two children were because they were adopted by paternal relatives. At first I was told I would have visitation rights if I would just sign the adoption papers. It was for the best, because I had had my son removed from my custody due to my having beaten him once. I signed both of my children over to their father's sister and her husband custody. Because my son had several medical conditions and needed monthly clinic checkups, it was suggested that if I allowed the aunt & uncle to adopt the children, they would be covered under their new parents health insurers. It would be more convenient and less costly to me. Feeling so guilt ridden at the time for what I had done to my son, I agreed only because I was assured I would have supervised visitation with my children.

By the end of the following year, the children had been taken out of the state, and I had no contact with them at all. Their grandmother was not returning my calls and I was becoming more unstable due to my own undiagnosed emotional and mental illness.

In 1989, I remarried, and in 1991, my husband was being transferred to a new military base across country. I called my children's grandmother to let her know I was moving and to let her know how to contact me if something happened to my children. I was told by the family to stay away, and I was not in any mental or emotional shape to go up against their father's family at that time.

From 1991 to 2003, I never again attempted to contact my last two children. They shared the same birth day, Dec. 16th, and each year I was so saddened and depressed on that day. There were two times I attempted suicide due to my belief that I was such a horrible person for having given up on my children. Finally I came to realize that I didn't have the ability to care for those children as they would need to be cared for back then. I came to understand over the years that the best thing I ever did for my children, the greatest act of love I could ever have shown them, was to have found them a better home and other parents to care for and raise them. I only hope and pray that the people who raised and provided for my birth children did nurture and love them as I was not able to at that time.

I began searching for my children in January of 2003. I think I found my daughter. She is listed at an address living with her mother in FL. I sent her a letter telling her who I am and saying I hoped she would want to have contact. I told her about not finding her brother and asked her to please send the letter or my information on to her brother. I haven't heard a word back from her. I am trying not to be too negative about that.

I am still new to this. I contacted the agency that handled the adoption of my first child; they want $200 to do a search. I live on a small, fixed income now and just can't afford to pay fees for searches.

Here are the birth and adoption info on my children, in case any one knows anything or can help me with my search. Send info to: onefairelady@yahoo.com.

Male born 04-17-1980, Christopher Patrick Gissendaner @ University Hospital, Jacksonville, FL; Mother's name - Katherine Gissendaner

Male born Dec. 16, 1981, Daniel Jeremy Stenli @ University Hospital, Jacksonville, FL; Birth mother's name- Katherine Gissendaner, Adopted by Norman and Linda Plummer - Calahan, FL; adopted name: Daniel Jeremy Plummer

Female born Dec. 16, 1982, Amanda Katherine Stenli @ St. Luke's Hospital, Jacksonville, FL; Birth mother's name - Katherine Gissendaner, Adopted by Norman and Linda Plummer - Calahan, FL adopted name Amanda Evelyn Plummer
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