Here I am doing my Sunday night blog at 1:58 am on Monday morning…Why you ask? Because it is my last night in California…And they are three hours behind! So technically it is still Sunday night here! I head out tomorrow to go back home to Indiana.
You may be wondering what in the world I am doing in Cali? Someone who has become very important to me lives here and invited me to come for a visit. She actually asked me last summer, and I was still doing quite a bit of traveling meeting biological family members that I had just leaned about, so I just couldn’t fit the trip into my schedule. But this year…This year, I decided she needed me and I just needed to make it work. And so, here I am…close to the end of my first trip to California.
Jacqui Woods Ochoa…Is truly my “soul sister”. We may not have the same DNA, but the similarities we share, the commonalities we continue to discover, the understanding of each others’ feelings about being Foundlings, as well as Adoptees who both pretty recently lost the only Mothers we ever knew…Has made for quite a unique bond?! Jacqui and I connected through a Facebook Group called “Foundling Finders” that CeCe Moore suggested I become part of, as I mentioned in my previous blogs. How was I to know or even begin to fathom that one of the best parts of my DNA testing and my journey and search for my biological family would lead me to an amazing friendship like the one we have developed?!
This lovely woman (and one of her sons) picked me up from LAX on Thursday, welcomed me into her home, introduced me to both of her sons, showed me around Huntington Beach and Newport Beach areas. We spent Friday at the beach…my happy place. And hers. On Saturday we not only went on a 2-hour cruise looking for dolphins, whales, and sea lions, we also headed out to Crystal Cove State Park to check out a different kind of beach and to see and explore the tide pools for various sea life. Today, we headed back to downtown Huntington Beach to do a little shopping and then wound up back at the beach for the afternoon. One of the things we discovered is that we both equally LOVE the beach! She gets it when I am excited about finding a particular color and type of sea shell, or when the water is that perfect shade of turquoise, and when the waves are coming in perfectly to make that beautiful crashing sound. She appreciates the heavenly rays of sun and the classic smell of Coppertone Suntan Lotion.
Jacqui and I had never actually “met” until last Thursday…But we have spent so much time on Messenger, and then texting, and talking of the phone, and occasionally doing FaceTime, that I felt like I had always known her. There was no “awkward” silence, or feeling “uncomfortable” or “unnatural” or “forced”…There was only familiarity, and hospitality, and laughter, and a little crying, and questions, and more questions? And answers. And hopes. And dreams. We shared some deeply protected information that was held very close to our hearts. Things you can’t share with just anyone…”Foundling stuff”, like disappointment, and rejection, and hurt, and fear, and pain, and how we coped with all of those different emotions and situations and remained somewhat sane. And finally, the realization of how strong we really are and how we still keep the faith and the hope and have a desire to help other Foundlings and be supportive of them…Just as they were to us.
So if you are searching for your family or for answers about your past, don’t get so focused on the end result that you forget to enjoy the journey…Friendships like this don’t come along every day! I will treasure this friendship and the memories of the first time we met forever in my heart. And I will already be looking forward to a return trip to visit one of my Search Angels!