Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Letter

So, back on December 20th, I believe, I received a letter. THE letter. The one that gave me "non-identifying" information on my Birth Parents. Very interesting letter.

To be honest, it told me WAY more than I expected in some areas, and NOTHING in the areas that I was really looking for information in. But, nonetheless, I learned things. And have a decision to make. And I'm finally writing it today, because I've wanted to for awhile, and sweet Katie asked me to update her blog for her birthday... (love you!)

So - for starters, my Birth Mom isn't from Bismarck, North Dakota. She's from a "far away state" - I'm going with California or New York, but probably California. Here's why I think that: She and her brother and her parents are all 100% Austrian. And Russian Orthodox. And my birth father and his immediate family is 100% Armenian. Well, I know, very well, that there is a HUGE population of both of these in California.

So, here's the story (According to her - and it may not be true, but then again, only cynicism causes me to think that, so I'm going to lay that aside and go with it... for now)

She went to a party and says her drink got drugged, because she was a virgin, and although she knew my Birth father, she was engaged to another man. When she realized she was pregnant, she told a close friend who told her to talk to her priest (She was not Catholic, but that's what the heads of Russian Orthodox churches are - priests). He made arrangements with a nun he knew in Bismarck for her to go there and live with a family, doing light housework and babysitting, until she had the baby, at which point she would give it up for adoption and return home. She told her entire family and fiance, that she was going to North Dakota for additional job training. The case worker said that she kept in close contact with her family, etc the entire time she was in ND, but never told anyone what was really going on.

A short time after arriving, she met another single gal, and they got an apartment together and she got a job at the hospital where she worked until the baby was born.

The baby was born January 24, 1967. The baby was discharged from the hospital on January 29, 1967. The birth mom's rights were relinquished on February 2, 1967 and the baby was placed in foster care.

I was adopted on March 12, 1967. My parents arrived and were sent to the room where I was in a bassinet. According to the case worker (And this is my favorite part), my mother seemed so overcome with emotion that as she bent over the bassinet she didn't seem to know whether she could/should pick me up or not. And my father chattered happily about his new responsibilities as a father starting today, in a very wholesome and enthusiastic manner. (perhaps from nervousness, said the case worker)

She was 25 at the time of my birth. The information also says she had a brother who was 25 at the time of my birth. Does this mean she was a twin?

That's REALLY REALLY old in the 60's to be still single. My parents were adopting me at that age.

I understand how frightening it must have been for her: pregnant, engaged to another man. The shame, the fear... these, however, are not mine to carry.

The case worker said that she seemed to be well educated and intelligent, and very concerned about making the right and best decisions for me.

I received no real health information, except that 44 years ago, everyone was healthy (with the exception of HER mother who had ulcers). This is the area that I wanted to receive much more information.

Her one request was that I be placed in a Protestant home.

After my parents said yes, they wanted me, we all went to a Methodist Church where I was adopted.

I DO wonder if I'm still a secret. The case worker has said she doesn't imagine that she will want to acknowledge me, particularly if she's kept me a secret for all these years. However - I think I need to see this through as far as I can. Cowboy agrees.So, we'll see.

Also - I was given the name Maureen Francis. Name meanings are important to me, so I looked up the meaning: Maureen means "bitter". Francis means "Like a man".

Sohailah Houri: Sohailah means "Morning star". Houri means "heavenly being". Thank you Jesus for redeeming me in every. single. area.

I'm not sure I've really processed all of this. So much is happening in my life, these days. Good things, to be sure.


  1. This comment is not intended to downplay the amazing redemption story of yours. For, indeed, God has redeemed you miraculously.

    However, your birth name struck me because I know a few different (very pleasant) meanings for "Maureen" and I also know that Francis was one of the first (maybe the first) emperor of Austria (one of the Holy Roman Emperors).

    You have deep roots.

  2. Wow, Kaylan - that's really interesting. THANK you for telling me that.

  3. wow...what a story! i am so stinkin' happy that you have some much needed support through this, in the way of a handsome man lovingly referred to as 'cowboy'! thank you for sharing, and i pray that peace surrounds you as you search and find!

  4. I found a few other meanings of the name Maureen--one popular meaning being "star of the sea." In Celtic usage, Maureen means "great". In France, Maureen means "dark skinned". In Hebrew usage, Maureen means "wished-for child; rebellion; bitter". In the Republic of Ireland, Maureen means "dark".

    I wonder why you've landed on "bitter" when there are other lovely meanings?

    Francis? In Latin America, Francis means "free" or "free man" or "frenchman". I find it interesting that the second name was the male version and not Frances, the feminine form. Maybe it was a family name?

    Its something I've thought about since you first read me the letter, although I'm just seeing the spelling of Francis now.

  5. You nailed it: you are REDEEMED in EVERY area!!!

    Soh... it's a beautiful story any way you look at it. You were cared for from conception. LOVE the info on your parents first seeing you... so lovely.

    And really, no matter the meanings of any of your names, you ARE Sohailah... and we are ALL so grateful for you!!!

  6. Well! No matter the circumstances with regard to how your birth mother came to be pregnant with you~ she did go see the priest, she did carry you term and she wanted to best for you so we'll give her credit for that.

    And the amazing gift she gave your parents is priceless~ I can just picture them seeing your for the first time.

    I am so lucky to have you for a friend (sorry about that lapse of 20 years)!! I hope as you continue your journey down this path of discovery that you find the answers you seek.

  7. I'm loving the part in there where my wonderful Uncle & Auntie saw you for the first time and could just picture the whole scene!
    Good luck as you continue this journey!Love ya!

  8. All I can say is "WOW". How wonderful and awesome is our God and how He loves us and cares for us. You are blessed!!!!