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Nov. 23, 2022

Episode 54: Pursuing My Birth Mother's Story with Edward Di Gangi

Episode 54: Pursuing My Birth Mother's Story with Edward Di Gangi

Edward Di Gangi was adopted at birth in New York City. An only child, he made no effort to explore his heredity until, at age 69, a visit to a cemetery where members of his adoptive mother's family were buried stirred his interest. Over the past three years, through extensive archival research and DNA testing, Ed has peeled back the layers of his once-unknown family. Set in the 1940s, as America emerged from the Great Depression and went to war, Ed's book, The Gift Best Given, recounts the search for his family and tells the story of a young woman's courage as she overcame obstacles to achieve her dreams. Ed and his wife, Linda, live in Hillsborough, North Carolina. Their son, James, and his wife, Renee, live in nearby Durham.

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Transcript

Hi friend. And welcome back to the podcast. I'm so grateful that you're here. Today I have a crate story to share with you. Ed went out on a search for his birth mother at the age of 69. there are a lot of twists and turns in this story and it's really compelling i can't wait to jump in

Melissa:

Hello, Ed, and welcome to the Pursuing Uncomfortable Podcast. Or should I call you Edward?

Ed:

Which do you prefer? Nope, Ed is fine. Thank you. How are you doing today, Melissa?

Melissa:

I'm doing fantastic. Thank you for asking Ed. I can't wait to get into your story. It's so compelling. And I know a lot of people aren't adopted. Some are, but chances are we do know folks who have been adopted or who have a story that they've uncovered through DNA research and ancestry work. So I'm so thrilled to hear your story. Yeah, I, So how would you like to start? Would you like to tell us about the book

Ed:

or, Well story, you know, at Psych I'll tell you a little bit about the story that led to the book. Uh, you know, I went through a good part of my life knowing I was adopted, but, but never pursuing anything about it. My adoptive parents gave me a. Quite wonderful life and yeah, they were the only parents I ever knew and really ever was concerned with. Uh, but somewhere around my 69th birthday, I had the itch to, to go and look. And it really came from a brief stop at a, a Russian Orthodox cemetery in New Jersey where my adoptive mother's parents were buried. And we were kinda standing over the, the Graystone. I said, I would really like to know more about them. And I went to our local library, got on ancestry.com, and you know, wound up with a lot of information coming to me and I sat there and I thought, well, if it's this easy to get information for them, I bet it wouldn't be that hard to find information about the woman who had placed me for adoption at the time that I was. And that's where this journey kicked off.

Melissa:

That's fascinating. So you were 69 when this all transpired?

Ed:

Yes. They called it my late adulthood. It's, yeah, some people are wondering from the time that they're conscious of all of this, uh, some kind of just filled it and never looked. And I, the time came and it was right and, and off I. Yeah,

Melissa:

it sounds like that the resources were there and the information were there, that the time was perfect to dig in.

Ed:

I was, yeah. I was very fortunate. My adoption was privately arranged, so contrary to many people who have no clue or, or no easy starting point, I had a piece of paper, which was in, in fact was the, um, declaration of my adoption. It contained my adopted parents' name, the name of their attorney for, and for some reason I knew that name, I recognized it. And one other name I didn't re, I did not recognize, but Common Sense told me, Yeah, that's your mother. So I, I went back to the library with that name, plugged it into the computer, and, and all sorts of information came back to. So

Melissa:

walk us through this, walk us through your discovery and what you found and what lessons you've taken from all

Ed:

of this. Well, you know, I, I went into this largely expecting that I would, I was born in 1948 and that was in the midst of what was known as the baby scoop. And in the baby SCO era, if a, if a woman was unmarried and became pregnant, typically they were sent off somewhere, uh, typically to avoid fame for their family. And you know, it was, well, yeah, Mary is gun and that's Susan's house. Spent some time, but you know, they would have the baby and the baby would be taken from. And the girl would then return home. And I, I, the greatest part of my belief was that that's where I came from. And I expected that my birth mother had been a high school girl who unexpectedly became pregnant and, and, and went through that, you know, that experience. But when I went back to the library and put her name into the computer, I found lots of information, two, two full screens, and a lot of it was were census records, things like that, that anybody typically would have. But the one that I settled on and I, I said, we'll click this one first was a Visa application to travel for Miami, Florida to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 10 months after my birth. Oh wow. And they said, Okay, that's not something your typical high school girl would be doing. So I done that one and I, I got a picture of that application with my mother's photograph attached to it. And what it told me was that my mother had been 23, had been 23 years old at the time of my birth, so certainly no longer a high school girl. It gave some information as to who her parents were and where she lived, and, and I, I pretty much had figured that out by then. But it then listed her profession and this application was, was printed in Portuguese and it listed her, um, occupation, it, you know, prop for sale as Arta. So that, yeah, that led me to wonder what kind of artesa and yeah. I say in the book, had I had, I opened these documents and found out that she was a, you know, the high school girl, that would've been the end of the story. I would've satisfied my curiosity, but when I found that, yeah, it just made me that much more curious. Well, sure. Yeah. And I just kept on digging from there. Found more and more, and. I think the next document that I opened up was, was a marriage license for her seven years after I was born. So I was, I was the result of a summer romance and an unexpected arrival, and I found her, found the license with her name on her birth name, what ultimately was a staged name. And then her husband's name, so it gave me more to search with, and I, I, I did a Google search with her first name and his last name, and I found a, a blog from an antique Steeler in South Carolina who had been in an auction and bought a number of items that had gone to auction that had been created by my mother and her then husband. And it explained that the two of them had been ice skaters in the big ice skating shows, and then moved on to become a, or to create a company that, that created props for the ice shows, for theatrical events and, and other commercial endeavors. So with that, I, you know, I went back into Google again. You know, Google's our friend and typed in, my mother's name was Genevieve Naroski. That was her, that was her birth name. But I took the, her husband's name, put in Genevieve Meza and didn't get back anything very revealing. But then I put in Genevieve Norris, which was the stage name that she had adopted. And I believe that put in Genevieve Nas performer, cuz that was the occupation listed on the marriage license and came up with another antique Steeler's blog. And this blog though had probably half a dozen photographs of my mother that were taken for use and promotional purposes. And then a copy of her middle school diploma. And a copy of her first professional contract and explained that this, this antique Steeler had, had been at the same auction, found a little box of, of memorabilia, and not knowing who my mother was, Knowing nothing about ice skating. Just thought, glamorous woman, you know, glamorous profession. Let me buy the box of stuff. And I'm sure it was very inexpensive at that point, but, you know, it was gold to me. Sure. So, I, I, I managed to message the, the antiques dealer. They were pickers funeral husband, and, and their specialty was buying small items that they could resell. Mm-hmm. and this auction doc's gonna have taken five year, had taken place five years prior. So I messaged her and, um, The approach I was taking as I did my research was I was exploring a possible family relationship. I didn't wanna make it too specific and I messaged and you know, very, very quickly got a response from her and she said, Yes, I still have this. We haven't sold any of it. Wow. She said, But I'm really busy. Can I get back to you? And I, I, I had no choice there. I said, I'll, I'll wait to hear from you. And it took about a week or so, and I didn't hear anything back. So I, I got a little bit more impatient and a little bit more pressing, and I, I messaged her again and I said, You know, I haven't heard from you, but would you please hold me? The information you have is for my birth mother. And I explained my adoption, and within five minutes she called. The apologist, I just totally forgot about it, but you need to come here right now. And we were in North Carolina. Yes. She was in Georgia and about a week or so later we went to visit with her and with her husband and, and they brought this car of, of materials and a couple of other small items that were, were props that my mother and her husband had had created for one of the shows. And we went through that carton and it was just a treasure trove there and on. Yeah, we were, you know, we, we had my wife and I, as we drove down, we were kind of debating, you know, what is this really worth financially to us or what it, you know, what's its value? And at, at one point I was sort of making notes as we were going through these materials down there and, and the husband said, What are you. And I explained, I said, you know, well these, these photographs all have other people's names and maybe if I could track down those names, somebody would remember my mother. And he said, You don't need to do that. He said, We just said this B this box belongs to you. He said, We've been holding it for you. And they just kind of pushed it across the table at me and, you know, and that's, that was a great, great gift. And it was a very generous act on their, Absolutely.

Melissa:

I love how this is all coming together and I have so many questions, so many things I

Ed:

wanna learn. Yeah. The story has been a series of kind of serendipitous events and generous people. That's just one piece is kind of, kind of tied to the next, and it just, it kept on revealing itself. So tell

Melissa:

us more. What happened?

Ed:

Well, it was kind of interesting, you know, there were a stack of photographs of other ice skaters and each one was signed, and some of them had notes on them. And, and I said, Okay, well, I can go through this stack and I'll look for these people. And remember, Yeah, these were women who were probably in their twenties in 1947. Sure. So, I, I, I, I did it with some. I did it ambitiously, but with minimal expectations, and I went through that pile and I sent some of the women's information. They were deceased. Some of them I couldn't find at all. I got to the last photograph and it was a, A woman, Isabelle Smith, and she signed it, you know, love Izzy to the best roommate. Mm. And I'm thinking, Okay, she was my mother's roommate. She'd know stuff because by Absolutely. At that point, I was kind of curious about who my father had been and I had never been before. You know, when I was, when I was thinking she had, Yeah, my mother had been a high school girl. I thought the father was probably a guy who worked at the gas station. And yeah, so I, I, I became more curious. I researched Isabelle and what I found was, An obituary for her husband. But you know, in the obituary, listed two sons and said, Survived by Isabelle, his wife of 58 years, a 20 year veteran of, of ice folies. Mm-hmm. And you know, and I knew by that time she'd been a pro professional ice skater. So I reached out to one of the sons because I couldn't find the mother, and I sent a picture of my. I sent the picture of his mother and about a week later he called me back and he was very enthusiastic and he said, I showed those pictures to my mother. He wants to talk to you. Yeah, she would like to talk with you. And I said, That's great. So he started giving me contact information. He said, But let me just give you one caution. He said, Mom is in a memory care facility. And he, and he must have heard me sort of deflate at that point. He said, But yeah, he said the good news is, yeah, she can't remember what she had for breakfast, but she knows everything minute for minute about 1947. Oh, so, wow. So I called, I called Isabelle and she was quite a character. She was, I, I started, I, I kind of apologize. This, I cal feel she must be about 92 at that point. I said, I know it's really not fair to ask somebody who's 92 to tell me about what happened in in 1947, and you could sort of feel, you know, sense her puff up. Said, Who told you? I'm 92 I loved her. I didn't say anything. She said, I'm 88 and I quickly did the math. They said she would've been 12 years old. She said, As a matter of fact, I'm 85. So we, we had the, we had a great conversation. Yeah. And she, she told me lots of things. She basically though said, I really don't know who your mother dated. I don't know who your father was, but you know, we, we talked probably the better part of an hour. And at the end of the conversation there was a push. She said, Now how old did you say you were? I said, Well, I'm 69. She said, Well, I'm 65, you know, So it was, it was kind of cute and probably I talked to her in June. In September, my wife and I visited with her outside of Minneapolis at the facility, and we spent four hours with her one afternoon, and we had just a lovely. She kept up saying, This is the best time I've had in years. Oh, and the one cute thing she told us, or it's very interesting was that, you know, she and my mother were skating with ice follies. It was Ship Dad and Johnson's Ice Follies and the ship Dads and Oscar Johnson on show, and she said they were very, very protective. They were very strict about, you know, where the skaters went and with whom. The only time they kinda let down their guard guard was when I was dating Ronald Reagan. And I said, Excuse me. And so, you know, they, they would spend the summer in San Francisco rehearsing and performing, and then they would kick off the season in Los Angeles every September. And it was a major media event. Then, uh, the show was actually broadcast on national radio. All the stars show up, and, and Ronald Reagan took a liking to Isabelle. So that was a, you, it was just the cutest side there. Absolutely.

Melissa:

So what did you learn about your mom from Isabelle? Well,

Ed:

you know, she kind of personality things. She said, you know, your mother was, was very quiet. She was very thoughtful. She was very kind and that's why he always tried to sit next to her in the dressing. And she implied that she was probably my mother, or 23 or 22 at that point, was a bit more mature than the majority of the skaters. They were, There were younger girls, she said. So yeah, she said, Wonderful roommate. She said if she was pregnant, I can't, can't imagine she did what she did on ice with you and Pelli. Because my mother was what they called an AIO skater, and it's, it's kind of a contradiction in terms in that, in that music, in music, aio usually means slow. Mm-hmm. and aio skaters on ice are, you know, they're, they're, they border on the edge of suicidal, you know, that's, Very acrobatic dancing, skating. But my, my feeling is that, you know, my mother didn't know she was pregnant at the time. Sure. You know, so she had left San Francisco unexpectedly pregnant, not knowing it, went through the season openers in Los Angeles, probably still not knowing it, and on the way to Chicago, probably said something's up here. And when she reached, reached Chicago, She called home and she made contact with her eldest sister, who was 12 years older than she was, and basically said, Don't say anything to anybody. I think I'm pregnant. Can you help me? And her eldest sister was, um, married to a man who was a little bit older, still older than he was, and he was, uh, he was in. The production of training films in New York City, but he had been in the Office of War information during the Second World War, was rather connected around New York City. And the the deal was when the show gets to New York, Charles will take you to see someone and you can find that, yes, are you pregnant or not? And if you are, what are you gonna do? But the deal was we will not tell mama. We will not tell. Yeah, because that was a conservative Sure. Polish, Roman Catholic family. Her parents were first generation immigrants and that would've been a very disgraceful thing in its time. Her life

Melissa:

would've been much different for sure,

Hi, I wanna take a quick moment and tell you about my mom. She's an amazing mom and an amazing podcast host, isn't she? She's also amazing at helping people to understand advantage, anxiety, and to build a strong experiential practice. She has online courses, books, and a lot of free resources and downloads to help you live an amazing life. So please check out lightlife and love ministries.com and her YouTube channel. Louis are the show notes.

Ed:

Extremely difficult. And that's, you know, and that's the, the discomfort, the decisions she needed to make when she ultimately found she was. He was taken to a place called Lexington Hospital, which, which within only a couple of years after I was born there ceased to operate as a, a hospital. And I guess in, in hotel terms it would be, you know, a boutique facility. It was a small building and it catered to a limited number of, of clients, and most of those people were. In show business or in some way they were prominent public figures and what it did was it provided medical solutions, but they did it with a great deal of privacy and discretion. So Genevieve was brought there, was confirmed that she was pregnant, and she was offered the options of, you know, well you can go through with the pr, with a pregnancy. And you know, you can. Then she was faced with what do I do with baby and, and what do I do with my career? And you know, she was presented with, you know, the black market option of we could terminate your pregnancy and now we're not recommending this. But, you know, if that's something you wanted to do, we could arrange.

Melissa:

That would've been very dangerous for her in that day. And then that

Ed:

climate. Yeah, I think at that point it was within a medical setting though. It wasn't, you know, it wasn't a back alley option, but she chose to go through the pregnancy. But then the, the, uh, what confronted her was I had the baby, what do I do? Do I go home to my parents in disgrace? And if I do that, how do I support a child? I'm unmarried and I'm an ice skater. Do I take my baby? Do I put him in a backpack and go on the road with him? And that didn't seem like a good option, even though I've found since that there were a small handful of families who chose to do just that, you know? And the, the kids grew up, you know, in those backpacks and became skaters when they were four. Or performing not, not that late after that. And the third option that was presented to her was, you know, you can place your baby for adoption. Yeah. Put 'em in the hands of someone you know who can care for them better than you can hopefully. And, and that was the option that she selected.

Melissa:

That's an amazing story

Ed:

Well, you know, the, the typical, I think people look at adoption in that era as being handled by social services. You know, you sort of handed over your baby and they took charge and they just. Kind of found who, you know, the best home they could, and hopefully a good one. But my adoption was privately arranged and Charles Ster brother-in-law, as I said, was a reasonably well connected in the New York City community. And having worked at, with the of, with the, with the Office of War information. Yeah, in very loose terms. He was spy during the second world. He did some spy work. He did a lot of photography and from the nose cones of fighter planes over battle areas. And in New York City there was a, a studio facility, a big paramount moving picture studio, and the Army had taken it over for the signal core Charles Head business there. My eventual adoptive parents worked for the signal. So they were also in the same facility and whether or not they ever knew or encountered one another is, uh, we don't know, but there was a third party and there were a man by the name of Eddie Sends, and Eddie Sends was probably the most prominent motion picture hairdresser and makeup artist in New York in that era. And he spanned from early 1940s through the, through the 1960. And he seems to be a party who was, who was known to both Charles, the brother-in-law and my adoptive parents. And at some point there had to be a conversation where, yeah, he was aware my adoptive parents would like to adopt a child. And another conversation with Charles, with, Hey, you know, anyone looking for a kid? And, and, and the way I've confirmed this is I, I rarely go. Which is as rarely as you can get spoken to any of my relatives about my adoption. And when I got deeply into this, I called my eldest cousin, who was very, very close with my adoptive parents. And I said, Anne, do you know anything about my adoption? And I kind of expected her to gasp. Fall off her chair or something you never missed a heartbeat said, Well, I only know two things. One is that your mother was an ice skater, and number two is when your parents went to pick you up. You were a day old and my mother went with them. So you know, that was good. I was happy that she could confirm my mother was in high skater because they had found someone else. Same. And not too much difference in age. And I kept thinking, okay, you know, I wanna know for sure I got the right person. So that was good. But that, I don't know, two weeks later she called me back and she said, I thought of one more thing. She said, You were named after Eddie Sends. And I said, Why was I named after Eddie Send? She said, Because he arranged your adoption. So, you know, he was the middle man between thos on one side and you know, my adoptive parents on the. And I, I think the remarkable thing that my mother did, my birth mother did, was she came up with a list of things that she wanted for me, and they, they included, she wanted me baptized. You know, she came from a Catholic family. She wanted that for me. She wanted parents who didn't have any other children. So that I would be special. She wanted people with a, a steady income. My adoptive parents lived in an apartment. She wanted parents who had a, a home with a yard around us. And within months of my adoption, my parents were building a house and you know, so there, there are a number of those things and, and you know, I think, you know, her plant for my adoption was, was something she really thought about. And in the end, I think remarkably achieved it. You know, with the baptized piece. My, my adoptive parents had eloped 10 years. For me to be baptized, they needed to be married in the church. Mm-hmm. And shortly after they took me home, they were married in church, and the next day I was baptized. Wow. Things all fell into place for her, for me, for them. And you know, I, I've been thinking since you and I spoke, I've been thinking about the title of your podcast and Yeah. There's a lot of uncomfortable uncom. Uncomfortable ability, I guess, when, when adoption is involved. You know, there was the discomfort of her making the decisions. She did. I think the discomfort on my adoptive parents side, because what I learned later is that in New York at the time, if you were adopting, you could not do that until you were approved by social Secure social Services and had waited 18 months. And in the interim, I became my parents fostered child, and that just is a, you know, that, that's just a filling term to me, you know, because it seems so, so transitory or temporary rather than here's, here's your son. You know, and then, then even from my standpoint, you know, I, I that kinda let into this, you know, lightly and out of curiosity, not knowing what I'd find. But you know, there's still this little piece that says, you know what, If I find something, I don't wanna know. So that was, that was interesting as well. But, you know, it's, it's worked out. Could not have worked out much better.

Melissa:

When I hear your story, I. So much love for all the people involved in the story for you, for your mom, from your mom who spent and and your birth mom to be specific, who spent time really thinking about one, what she was going to do and how she was going to love you. In her absence and she gave you this life. She had this list of what she wanted for you. Uh, Charles who served as a broker of sorts to, he did arrange this. He took care to find someone worthy of your mother birth mother's requests.

Ed:

When I found, I've found and met three maternal first cousins, so. And when I met Charles' son, yeah, he talked extensively about the, the paternal interest he took in my mother. So I think you're right on board there. He, you know, he made it his project and his, you know, his concern that things happened properly. You know, Genevieve made the, he made the list, but you know, he went out and. He beat the bushes and he found the right person were right people. Well, and

he

Melissa:

found a facility in a place and medical professionals who would care for her and love her. And obviously your adoptive parents, they went to a lot of trouble and a lot of inconvenience. To ensure that they, And you would have a life together, built on something solid. That you would have a house and a yard, you would have married parents, you would be baptized.

Ed:

Interesting, with the story, with the house, the, my. Adoptive mothers parents lived out on Long Island in New York. They owned a big piece of property across the street from them. And I could honestly tell you my father did not like going out there, had no interest, but they lopped off a piece of that property and that's where he built the house and he was, I could also tell you that as soon as my adoption was final, He sold that house, we moved back to New York City, you know, so there was another piece that said, you know, that was something that he did for a reason. Mm-hmm. And as soon as he could get outta town, we were out of there. He also, along with my uncle, my mother's brother, bought a little grocery store around the corner so that they would have a, a source of a steady income. And, you know, my father worked as a, a freelance person. He worked project. So he, yeah, and he always did quite well. But you know, his, his employment history sort of went in two and three month blocks and then there would be a gap, and then more so for the purposes of the adoption, they went and they ran this, you know, tiny little grocery store for a period of time. They also sold that right about the time the house got sold. But it was, they were all vehicles to accomplish and end, which was to you to bring my adoption to completion.

Melissa:

What a beautiful story, and I'm sure there are a lot more details that you have in the book. Can you tell us the name

Ed:

of the book? Yeah, the book is called The Gift Best Given. I always have trouble getting it. To focus here

Melissa:

and yeah. For folks who are listening on the podcast, if you jump over to YouTube, you can see a look at the cover and a beautiful photograph on the front. But, uh, the, the title again is The Gift Best

Ed:

Given. That's correct. And if, if I could take one step back in the photograph on the cover, I ultimately made contact with my maternal f. Hm. And I sent him a letter and I just found a copy of the letter the other day and I read through it and, and I understood why he didn't respond to it initially. But when we finally made contact, you know, I told him who I was and you know, there's some conversation. He said, Well, tell me again what kind of canner way? And I said, You know, you and I have the same mother. We have different fathers. And there was a pause and he just continued the conversation and we probably had three or four episodes like that at different times. And he would ask what kind of skin we are. Yeah. So we finally went down to meet him in Georgia, where, where his parents had moved and, and he had grown up and, and one of the beautiful things my birth mother had done is she kept very elaborate scrapbook. You know, during her career stone where she had been, who she was with, and she labeled every picture. Oh, wow. And they were in chronological orders. So he brought out this photograph album and it started around 1944 or so, and we are flipping through and, and these were the old Kodak Brownies snapshots that she had meticulously labeled. And they were in there and we, we went from 1944 to 45 to 40. And I knew by that time I had been conceived in San Francisco in August of 1947. You know, I had just done the math and I figured out where he was and he was, yeah, he was insistent that, that my mother and her, his father had been somewhere else. So as he was on, you know, on this 1946 page before he turned the page, not knowing what was there, you know, and I said, Ted, one more. I said, we have same mother. We have different fathers. Your mother, our mother was in San Francisco in August of 1947, and he flipped the page, and this is the only color photograph that was in that album, and it labeled San Francisco, California, August, 1947. And he sort of looked. Took a deep breath and closed up the album. Put the album away, and sort of said, So would you like a beer? We had a beer. We left the conversation as is the next day. I gave him a copy of my adoption degree with his mother's signature on it, and she had a very distinctive signature, and I knew it. Yeah, I didn't have a. He looked at it, he knew it, but he was not saying anything. And he handed it back and I said, You can keep it. I said, It's, you know, it's a, it's just a photocopy and it really has no value. And he did keep it. And later that week, you know, he, he said, Well, I thought it so and so, it's somebody he trusted. And I said, What did he say? He said, Well, he asked me if that's mama's signature. And there was a pause and I said, Well, what did you say? Yeah, that's mama's signature. What did he say? And he said, Well, if that's your mama's signature, it looks like you've got yourself a brother. And since that congratulations, Yeah. Opened up another beer. Now he's since, you know, but it, it's, yeah. And, and in re in retrospect, I, that's kind of a big revel. Absolutely. I had, you know, I thought through the process, I, I unfortunately didn't find my mother still alive, but I had thought if I did, how do I gently present myself, you know, because this is you. Maybe the biggest secret she's ever kept. And unfortunately she wasn't. I kind of stormed into his life. Mm-hmm. I did it with, with explanation, but I just, I just kind of, So, you know, I understand now and his, you know, he kept on saying, Mama would've told me. I said, I don't think so. Yeah. But yes, his attitude now is, Well, I guess every woman has a secret I thinking every person I was gonna, That's what I told him. I said, I think it's every person's got some. But it's, yeah, it's been quite the adventure and there's, there's still more out there. I, New York City recently, in the past two years started making certified birth certificates available and that would list your parents more important information. And I, when I got mine, you know, number one, my mother's name was wrong, and number two, her address was, Number three is her occupation was wrong, and I assumed that was done to protect her identity again. Sure. Being the kind of facility was, But the, the curious item there is I looked, the doctor who signed the birth certificate, and remember this is 1948, was our next store neighbor in New York City in 1953. Oh, wow. No idea whatsoever is, I know it's not a coincidence. Right. And I've just not been able to track down what that connection was. So again, you know, it's this doctor and either my adoptive parents or Charles or Eddie sends in the middle, had some connection and I'm still trying. I've, I've found that doctor's daughter, I'm still sitting waiting for the phone to. I sent her a Facebook message, which went ignored, um, just the few days ago. Sent her another lengthy explanation then, and I don't want anything. I just wanna know, you know, do you have any idea where your father was in the 1940s, just so I could try to find that connection. So there's just continuing adventure here.

Melissa:

What a compelling story. And as we close. What would you tell someone who is in that position of knowing they're adopted and curious and frightened all at the same time? What would you share with them?

Ed:

I, you know, I, I have a regret, and it's the lesson I would pass on is, is I didn't ask enough questions of the people who had the answers, and especially, you know, I'm gonna be, I'm 74, right? So most of the people or all of the people who've had those answers are not here anymore. So I think if you have the opportunity, Yeah, any kind of secret that you're trying to research, go ahead and ask. And what I learned from the, from the people who did help me is people are generally helpful and they're generally very anxious to share. If they know anything, they wanna share it. So, you know, don't be afraid to ask the questions and I, yeah, take it from me. I didn't ask them, and I regret that now.

Melissa:

Yeah. Well, thank you so much for sharing your story with us. This has been fantastic, and folks, the book is gonna be amazing. There's gonna be a lot more to the story in the book, and the link to that is in the show notes. So make sure you check the show notes. If you're listening to the podcast or if you're on YouTube, just scroll down and click the link there and check out this book.

Ed:

Thank you, Ed. Melissa, I enjoyed talking with you. Thanks. Thank you so much.