An Adoption Reunion


     A Story as it happened




The Letters

July, 2008  [Posted: July 12, 2008]


The letter started:


 “How do I begin a letter to a stranger?  Someone I have never met but I have always longed to meet. Someone who gave me the gift of life…  Sheryl”


Along with the letter came a face from then and now.



Within a few days the return letter started:


“My name is Martha. The last time I saw you, you were wrapped in a pink blanket and all bundled up. I unwrapped you and undressed you, just to make sure you were real and all the pieces were there. I put your onesie back on and secured you in the blanket again and held you gently. As you lay in my arms, I prayed for your family, your health and for your bright future. I knew you did not belong to me, but already to your adopting family. With the confidence of the decision already made, I called the caseworker and signed the legal forms. Then went back to my room and cried buckets of tears…”


The favor was returned with then and now pictures.


At the moment we are both going through the legal steps that will allow us to meet.  We have both shared personal information about each other in writing through the adoption agency. Hopefully, in the very near future we will be allowed to communicate directly with each other.



Saturday July 12, 2008 [Posted: July 13, 2008]


Saturday was Announcement Day. When Sheryl was born it had not yet become acceptable for a single girl to raise a child. When I returned home from placing the baby for adoption, my parents chose not to discuss it openly with friends and family, so it never became general knowledge. The adoption was closed and there was no real reason to believe there would ever be an adoption reunion.


Koleta, our daughter, was the first to be told. She and Andy took the news very well.  We then shared the news with Luke our son.


Then Warren shared the story with his parents.  We then had to wait for Martha’s sister, Donna, to get home from work so we could share the events of the last few weeks with her. 


With all of the immediate family contacted, we spent the evening sending out our family news release.  Now that we have made the news public to family and friends, we feel we can be open with Sheryl and answer any questions she might have.



Sunday July 13, 2008 [POSTED:  July 14, 2008]

Sunday was Encouragement Day.  Throughout the day I have received numerous emails and calls from friends and family offering encouragement and support.  Thank you so much for this out pouring of thoughtfulness and love. I know I’m not the only person to go through this experience, but I have been surprised at how many of you have been touched by a similar story.  We are ready for the next step, especially with your prayers as support.



Monday July 14, 2008 [POSTED:  July 15, 2008]

Monday was Process Day.  We really do not know if we are just hours or weeks away from being given the green light to communicate.  We sent a letter last week to Sheryl through the adoption agency to let her know we would be going through the necessary steps.  She has expressed a desire to meet, but may not have a sense of urgency until she knows for sure we are doing our part. We know Sheryl had already completed some of the steps but we do not know how far along she is in the process. I completed all of my steps and paperwork last week, but the agency told me it had not all been processed yet.


Monday also brought many more supportive emails and calls. Thanks to all who have encouraged us during this time.



Thursday July 17, 2008 [POSTED:  July 17, 2008]

Thursday has been a day of good and bad news. After several days of waiting (bad news), things started moving again (good news).  We contacted the adoption agency to see if they could tell us what was holding up the process. Then the roller coaster started, the answer was – They didn’t have everything they needed from us.  Oops!  (bad news).  Because some of our steps had to be done with another agency, not all of our paper work had been signed off and forwarded to our adoption agency (bad news).  Martha drove down to the agency that had the paperwork and begged them to fax it to our adoption agency before they closed at 4:30PM. They said they would try (good news). We knew our case worker normally does not work on Friday, so if everything was not done by close of business Thursday we would have to wait until Monday to get the green light (bad news).  By 2PM our agency notified us they only needed one more email (good news). Just after 4PM we learned the final email had been sent (good news). We contacted the adoption agency only to learn the person authorized to release the records actually left at 4PM (bad news). However, we were told the person that can release the records will be in the office tomorrow (good news).  So tomorrow morning may be when our records are released and we will be allowed to contact each other (good news).  


First Call

Friday July 18, 2008 [POSTED:  Friday July 18, 2008]

We made our first contact this morning with Sheryl by phone.  She sounds like a wonderful person and it was a great first meeting. We are working on arrangements to meet on Saturday.  We will provide more information soon.


First Meeting

Friday July 18, 2008 [POSTED:  Monday July 21, 2008]

Martha and Sheryl decided they could not wait until Saturday to meet. So, at 3PM with spouses in tow they both left for Oklahoma City.  At 7:30 PM Friday evening, the two met again for the first time since Sheryl’s birth.



Friday - Saturday July 18-19, 2008 [POSTED:  Monday July 21, 2008]

Time of Discovery

The reunion could not have gone any better. They immediately hugged and from that point on it was a great time of discovery for both of them. They are the same height.  They are both left handed.  They were both cheer leaders in high school.  Both played in the band in high school.


Look we have the same size hands and the same size feet.


Martha and Sheryl stayed up until 4AM going through pictures and comparing notes.  Sheryl grew up on a Dairy farm in Dimmitt Texas. It was difficult to learn how Sheryl lost her real mom to ALS when she was 18 and her dad is in a nursing home. Only after learning Sheryl’s parents had given her permission to seek out Martha did Martha say ‘If your parents are OK with it, you can call us Mom and Dad’.


Who would have ever guessed? Martha and Sheryl both like to shop.


Saturday - Sunday July 19-20, 2008 [POSTED:  Monday July 21, 2008]

Meeting the Grandkids

After shopping for a while Saturday morning, the bonding was complete and the question came up. Are you ready to meet the grandkids? In less then 15 minutes J.B. & Warren were in one car and Sheryl & Martha were in the other headed for Kansas for a grandparent/grandchild reunion.  Once Warren & J.B. finally had a chance to exchange words with each other they bonded as well.


What a beautiful family. What a great bunch of grandkids.


Tiffany, Sheryl and Martha. Do they look related?


Martha who grew up in El Paso went to Sheryl’s school named El Paso Elementary and the two teachers compared teaching techniques.


More pictures soon as the Reunion Party moves to Texas on Monday. Stay tuned as this unfolding story appears to be headed for a very happy ending.


Meeting in Texas

Monday - Tues July 21-22, 2008 [POSTED:  July 23, 2008]  

Last Sunday night Warren and Martha spoiled the reunion by having to return to Dallas. Warren needed to go to work and Martha had a Monday evening aerobics class.  We solved the problem by just moving the reunion to Texas.


J.B. (Sheryl’s husband) had to finish up a project before he could leave. So J.B.’s mother Marie who was visiting from California volunteered to ride to Texas with Martha and Warren. The rest of the family (except Tiffany pictured in the last posting) drove to Texas on Monday. We miss you Tiffany.


Monday evening Sheryl attended Martha’s water aerobic class.


On Tuesday we all went to Six Flags and had a great day just having fun together.



Six Flags Picture from Left to Right

Warren – with hat is Martha’s husband

Martha – with blue top is Sheryl’s mother

Skylar – with solid pink top

Todd – with yellow shirt is Skylar and T.J.’s friend

Ashley – with blue and red top

Sheryl –  holding Peyton is Martha’s daughter

Peyton – being held by Sheryl

T.J. – with ‘Do Work’ T-shirt

J.B – with sunglasses is Sheryl’s husband

Brady – with black and white top

Marie – J.B.’s mother


Wednesday’s plan is for Martha & Sheryl to visit Edna Gladney and take a tour of the hospital where Sheryl was born.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008 [POSTED:  July 24, 2008]

On Wednesday, Sheryl and Martha visited the Gladney Center for Adoption and met with the case workers that helped bring them together. An interesting story is Koleta (Martha’s daughter and Sheryl’s sister) actually worked at the Gladney center while she went to school in Ft. Worth. When Koleta took the job, Martha called the Edna Gladney center to make sure Koleta didn’t find her mother’s records by accident. When Sheryl sent a letter to the Gladney center to her birth mother they realized she was looking for Koleta’s mom. Because Martha had contacted the Gladney Center when Koleta worked there, they knew how to contact Martha.  After visiting the new center, they went to the old Gladney center to see where Sheryl was actually born.



Sheryl spoke on the phone with Koleta on Tuesday.  On Wednesday Sheryl had a chance to meet her little brother Luke for the first time.


Uncle Luke and Aunt Lindsey also had a chance to meet some of their new nephews and nieces.


Thursday, July 24, 2008 [POSTED:  July 28, 2008]

The counselor’s had warned that after the initial euphoria of meeting there could be some conflicts as everyone gets to know each other better. Thursday was a hot day, Luke came over and an all out family war broke out. It started with Luke’s water balloon launcher.  Then it escalated into throwing water balloons at each other.


Next the water hose was brought out and then the sprinkler systems were turned on. 

It was wet and it was wild, but it is good to have the first family fight behind us. 


Friday, July 25, 2008  [POSTED:  July 28, 2008]

Most of the day was spent at the outlet malls getting ready for the new school year.  Friday evening Sheryl, J.B., Martha and Warren went out. We first met with Luke and had supper.  Sheryl and Luke had a little time to get to know each other a little better.  We then had tea at an African restaurant. We had a great time and we all laughed until our sides hurt.



Saturday, July 26, 2008 [POSTED:  July 28, 2008]

It has been a great an exciting reunion.  The reunion ended as Sheryl and family had to return home.  The reunion is over, but the family has just started.  There are still extended family members to meet.  The plans for our next meeting will be to travel to where Sheryl was raised and visit her Dad in the nursing home and honor her Mom where she is buried.


Go To Chapter 2:  The Story Continues


Start of most Recent Updates



Chapter 1: A Story as it happened


*      The Letters


*       First Call


*       First Meeting


*       Time of Discovery


*       Meeting the Grandkids


*       Meeting in Texas


Chapter 2: The Story Continues


*      Worlds Apart


*      Dubai UAE


*      Texas


*      Raider Fan


*      Welcome Nathan


*      Panhandle Trip


*      The Game


*      Lubbock, TX


*      Dimmitt, TX


*      The Dairy


*      Sheryl’s Dad


*       Sheryl’s Mom


*       Amarillo





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You might enjoy seeing what Koleta, Andy, Abby & Nathan are doing.


Koleta, Andy, Abby & Nathan



Family Portraits


J.B. and Sheryl


Martha and Warren


Martha and Tiffany


Ashley and Martha


Martha and Skylar

T.J. and Martha


Brady and Martha


Peyton and Martha