The Rest of the Story

The Rest of the Story

A message board friend wrote, “. . . I am happy to see you made it back safely from your once-in-a-life-time Thanksgiving trip.”

I had just returned from St. Louis where I met my daughter for the first time since surrendering her for adoption over 44 years ago, and the term kept bouncing around in my head . . . “once-in-a-lifetime”.
In the preceding weeks I couldn’t imagine what would happen when we would meet at last.

What did happen in that magical (for me) moment?
(Pregnant pause for effect)
I took hold of Sandi and began to sob, holding my precious daughter and releasing years of fears and tears.

We spent the next few days asking and revealing, listening and learning.

Part of me was awed by this remarkably strong, compassionate woman and although I felt proud, I had no right to be. Her life and accomplishments are testimonials to the two loving spirits who nurtured and guided her, her mom and dad.
Any doubts I’d harbored that I’d made the best decision for Sandi those many years ago, evaporated as she spoke.

And then, I was amazed by what we had in common.

We’d both been married four times, our third husbands being the really problematic ones.
We both:
– had a daughter, followed by two sons
– enjoy rural life
– have a strong dislike of shopping
– don’t wear make up
– like to travel and will go anywhere at the drop of a hat. Sandi has already realized two of my bucket-list dreams by visiting Ireland and Machu Picchu. Maybe I’ll follow in my daughter’s footsteps
– had a son become an Eagle Scout
– are strong proponents of organic gardening and are avidly against genetically altered foods
– were hospice volunteers

We’re both “wordies”, which I define as taking delight in the use of words; we are writers, pleased to share our published pieces.

Even though Sandi is a Registered Nurse and my highest level was a Certified Nursing Assistant and Medical Aide, we have common fields/interests that have included in-home care, pediatrics, work with developmentally disabled and rehabilitation of those suffering from brain trauma.

The old question of nature verses nurture arises and it would seem that we do possess a natural inclination toward some things, physical traits being only the tip of the iceberg.
As far as nurture, well, I think it trumps nature and it turns out that my concern for Sandi’s well-being in the home in which she was placed was unnecessary.
Her parents are two incredibly awesome individuals who did a magnificent job in raising Sandi. They have my eternal gratitude for the loving, supportive environment they provided for her.

Special thanks to my sister Laurie for opening her heart and home to Sandi, me, Sandi’s husband John, and their friend Pat, who helped with the driving. We’re grateful for Laurie’s overwhelming hospitality.

Well, we just wanted to share the rest of our story, our once-in-a-lifetime meeting and hopefully help bring together others in similar situations.

Our message to you . . .
When all seems lost, when something appears impossible, when there is no hope left, don’t give up!

Chrissie and Laurie (right) flanking ours daughters Sandi and Niki

Sandi reunion

5 responses on “The Rest of the Story

  1. Marie says:

    Thank you Chrissie for having taken the time to fill us in on your recent reunion. What a heart-warming update!
    I too am fascinated by the question: genetics versus upbringing and your post made me even more curious.

    I am so happy for all of you. And the fact that you included a picture, well, that was the cherry on the cake!.

    All of this sounds like an early Christmas present. Merry Christmas to you and your growing family!

    Marie-Thérèse (QT’s Alsacienne)

  2. michael alex says:


    • Christina says:

      Very. Thank you. We’ve been blessed – big time! (Aside to others – Mike is one of my “new” grandsons whom I’ve yet to meet. Nice to know at my age I still have SO much to look forward to.) 🙂

  3. Cris says:

    Ohmigosh Chrissie! Your face says it all you’re grinning like a kid who got everything she wanted for Christmas. I’m so happy for both of you and your family.