Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Search

OK so the picture has nothing to do with the story today but Jessica wanted to see a pic of me when I was younger. Sorry Jessica no big bangs here! lol This is me and my husband (before we were married) We were both 18 here. Even though there are no big bangs you cant see the pants but they are stirrup pants with ankle boots and yes scruncie socks.

Well as promised I will finish my story from yesterday.

I was going to tell you about my mother. Like I said yesterday I lost track of her when I was 12. Before that I received a Christmas card and birthday card every year and the occasional letter with pictures of my brother and sister that she had with her new husband.

After I got married at the ripe old age of 19. I started to realize that she would want to know how I was doing, and I wanted to reconnect with her I felt like I was ready, but I guess the time was wrong. I sent a letter to the last known address I had for her but I never got a reply. My husband was in basic training and then went onto AIT and our first duty station was Germany, so the search was put on hold for about 3 years until we came back state side.

I started looking but never had any luck I searched the Internet till I was blue in the face but nothing. I used all the names I had available to me, to include her name her husband's name, and other family members that might know where she was.

Finally I had a break and I found a phone number for her mother (my grandmother!) But apparently the listing I found online was old and it was disconnected by the time I called. A dead end. I got really frustrated after that and slowed my search but I prayed about it all the time I asked God to help me find her.

I even enlisted anyone I knew who could help, my parents mostly they have always been very understanding about the whole thing and were willing to help me in anyway they could. I had a friend who told me she could find her for me but she needed some info on her, stuff I didn't have. So I called my parents they didn't know either, but Daddy told me that Tom (2 daddy from the first story) might have what I needed. So I called him, nothing. My dad knew he could help if he wanted to so he put in a call himself to his baby brother and let him have it :)

Dad: "This really means a lot to Cheri and you could help her if you wanted to"

Tom: "Yes but she is just opening up a can of worms and she has no business looking for her"

So this really ticked me off! Who was he to tell me I had no business since when did he care what I did? Since when did he ever show any interest in my life whatsoever!?!

So we kept on without his help (stupid jerk.) Mom and Dad had remembered that during the court proceedings to gain legal custody of me (technically not an adoption since my last name did not change) the were told by their lawyer to hire a Private Detective to check on my mother. I had the names of the Lawyer and the PI, I called them, nothing. But there was also the name of the company that her husband worked for in the papers my parents had. I looked it up online and called. I explained that I was looking for someone who worked there a long time ago, and gave the mans name. The man on the other end of the phone remembered him!!! But said he left the company a long time ago, he had heard that he was working for another company and was killed when some equipment fell on him. I asked if he remembered his wife but he didn't. Yet another dead end.

After years of praying and searching I was in a church where I grew so much and learned so much about prayer and being patient. So my prayers changed from "Dear God please let me find her" to "Dear God you know what I want and if you say no that is OK, just help me accept it and move on"

Apparently that is what God wanted to hear. A few months later I decided to look again, and instantly I found my grandmother, but I didn't get my hopes up yet it was disconnected the last time I found her number. But it was her!!! She was living in San Antonio! WOW! What kills me is that we lived there for a year and at the time I still was looking. I lived in the same town as my grandma for a year and didn't even know it.

Unfortunately she had no idea where my mother was either she had not heard from her in 2 years. But I was so thankful to have found my Mammaw (as she likes to be called) I was satisfied with that to have some kind of connection. I stopped looking and just thanked God for the gift on finding her. I started to call her every couple weeks and I sent her some pictures of my kids (I was pregnant with number 3 at the time)and she sent me some pictures of my mother that I had not seen before.

Well the army called again for us to move AGAIN! this time to Ft Campbell. I was hopping to have at least one of my kids born in Texas but oh well. So off we move to Tennessee. I still kept in touch with my Mammaw and made sure to give her our new number when we got there just in case she heard from my mother.

In January (before my baby was due in February) the phone rang.

I answered: "Hello"

voice : "Cheri is that you?" (she was crying)

it took me a minute to realize who it was

I answered : "yes, is this....?"

My mind was racing, I couldn't even think what to call her or what to say.

she said : "Its your momma, baby"

at that point we both started crying!

We talked for a while before I had to pick up my kids from school. I was in shock I couldn't the years of searching were over! After I hung up from her I called my parents, my sister, and everyone else who would want to know because they all knew my story. We were all so excited!

It will be 2 years in January since I first reconnected with my mother. I have been to see her several times. I have had a chance to meet my little sister and brother. Come to find out my brother is also in the army! I guess it is in my blood.

I am so thankful for this chance to get to know the family I never had a chance to know. But as I get to know them more I am also unbelievably thankful for the fact that God spared me from so much by allowing me to be raised the way I was. It amazes me to look back on my life and see what all God has given me even though I don't deserve it.


Jessica said...

Oh yeah, you whipped out the big guns with the stirrup pants! AWESOME! BTW, you posted this entry twice.

Cheri said...

ok I removed the extra posting of this one OOPSIES

Michelle said...

That was a nice story.. thank you for sharing that. I might write my own mom entry.. but only if I'm brave enough.