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View Sample Pages : Kokomo Tribune, May 08, 1994

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Kokomo Tribune (Newspaper) - May 8, 1994, Kokomo, Indiana Local Sunday May Kokomo Tribune A3 Mothers Day has anguish for moms Birth mothers in adoptions look for niche By CATHARINE FERNANDO Tribune staff writer Mothers Day is one of those Hallmark holidays held sacred by families the world over But even Hallmark has yet to come up with greeting cards for those children who were given up for adoption at birth and have been reunited with their birth mothers At a recent meeting of the Indi ana Adoption Coalition in Oak ford a group of parents and adoptees talked about their anguish their search and their yearning for those lost years that can never be replaced Lynda Olson 49 has been reunited with her 33yearold son for 12 years and still feels the pain of not having held him in her arms as a baby It took her three long frustrat ing years to find him fighting the bureaucracy and welfare officials who couldnt spare any more of their already harassed schedules to help reunite parents who had given up their children for adop tion umpteen years ago Olson said she became pregnant in 1961 when the pall of illegitima cy cast aspersions on the entire family My parents made the decision for Olson said I didnt have a choice I never held him in my arms I wasnt even allowed to see It was only when she began the search that Olson saw the letter the welfare department had sup posedly sent to her In it she had agreed to give up all claims to the baby When he was Olson said I named him Kevin Thomas Now he has a old whom he has named Kevin Olson said finding her son filled a void in her life Now I see him all the she said Hes part of my family together With my daughter Lori Baxter 36 said she had always felt the need to find her birth parents but Indiana laws did not permit legal searches She was the first in the state toact when the Indiana General Assem bly last July passed legislation to allow adoptees access to identify ing information unless the birth parent had filed a written non release form with the state regis trar Its like a big hole in your soul is how I felt even though my adopted parents will always be Birth mother Lynda Olson with her son Photo provided my mom and Baxter said She sought the help of Candy Jones who acted as her guardian ad litem to locate her birth moth er The guardian ad litem is appointed oy the court to conduct a search and to maintain the confi dentiality of their findings and report back to the court if the party sought wishes to make con tact The main thing I wanted my mother to know was that I under stood why she had to put me up for adoption and that I didnt judge my parents and to tell my mother that she did the right Baxter said Baxter also met her birth father who has remarried But they con nected so well Baxter said that she is suffering pangs of guilt and is unable to visit the grave of her adopted father I know I have to go to his she said through her tears Tracing your lineage is also important from the medical per spective as Barbara Wolfson 50 will vouch Sometime last year Wolfson felt an urgent instinctive need to find the son she had given up for adoption 27 years ago I just felt that he was in danger or illness and that he needed she said She too turned to Jones for help At about the same time her son who was living in Texas had made an attempt to trace his roots because he had a health problem for which doctors needed some knowledge of his genetic heritage It turned out to be a minor health problem but it was important to get some answers Wolfsons problems began when she was 23 pregnant with a second child and going through a divorce When the child was born Wolfson a frightened single par ent allowed her social worker to convince her that adoption was the best thing she could do for her newborn child All this she penned in a journal which she gave her son However the first meeting was not between the son and his moth er but between the two brothers He never knew he had a full blooded brother or twin halfsis Wolfson said When the brothers met the first thing my 35yearold son said was I don t think we need a DNA test I felt like I was looking at In February Wolfson and her husband Len of 25 years who fully endorsed her search met with her second sons adopted parents There were pictures of my son at various stages of childhood all over their house It was over whelming because I never knew him as a Their son is now engaged to be married and when the time comes for his wedding Barbara Wolfson knows that her position is tenuous It will be up to my son and his family to make the she said When he was 47 years old Rick McFall decided he should try to seek his natural parents With his wife Debbies support he too went to Jones to do the search Jones contacted his mothers sister who arranged for McFall to tele phone his mother who now lives in Florida It was probably one of the hardest phone calls Ive ever made in my McFall said I rehearsed beforehand what I would say to her but when the time came I forgot all my When they met in Florida his mother begged that he not judge her harshly and he had to reas sure her repeatedly that he didnt McFall who had always wanted siblings found that he had three halfbrothers At least I know where I came from and I feel like a whole per son McFall said However Olson summed up the one thing all the people in these situations have learned and that is Even though youre reunited you cant go just have to move forward from this point on because there is no shared Indiana Adoption Coalition fears politics may undo adoption gains By CATHARINE FERNANDO Tribune staff writer One group that is concerned over Rep Brad Bayliffs loss to James Buck for the Republican nomination for Indianas District 38 House seat is the Indiana Adoption Coalition Bayliff was the incumbent for District 38 which includes Howard and Tipton counties His loss in the primary was an upset We are concerned that he might undo everything we have fought so hard for in the area of said Candy Jones the most outspoken advocate of the Of course we dont know if Buck will get elected but were keeping our fingers crossed that if he does were not going to lose Jones said Their concern is fueled by the fact that Bucks supporters include John W Donaldson who while state representative from 1960 to 1992 impeded the cause of the coalition Jones and her group has been fighting state legislation since 1984 when the law closed records to adoptees searching tfreir roots and birth parents seeking their children Prior to 1984 Jones explained the judges had discretionary rights So if an adoptee or a birth mother petitioned the court the judge would grant access accord ing to the merits of each case The coalition found a supporter in Bayliff who has since champi oned various changes in state laws regarding adoptions In July 1987 summer hearings were held by the Family and Childrens Ser vices and it was recommended that a medical history and an adoption history registry be estab lished The state legislature agreed and that law went into effect in July 1988 After three years in 1993 Bayliff was successful in getting House Bill 1103 passed which allows adoptees access to identifying information unless a birth parent had filed a written nonrelease form with the state registrar Even in this years short session of the Indiana General Assembly Bayliff and Rep John R Gregg D Sanborn passed a version of a Baby Jessica bill that creates a putative father registry that will Kelp determine the identity and location of an undisclosed father who may have conceived a child who is the subject of an adoption The bill was filed in the wake of the highly publicized story of Baby Jessica who was at the cen ter of a dispute between her birth parents in Iowa and her adoptive parents in Michigan The courts ruled that Baby Jessica belonged with her birth parents even though she had been living with her adoptive parents for more than two years Today both adoptees and birth parents have greater access to the courts because House Bill 1103 was designed so that petition could be filed in any court in the United States Jones said The law was also designed to be cost efficient and allowed individ uals to file their own petitions without incurring attorney fees However Jones said many courts including Howard County will not grant a hearing without an attorneys involvement As far as she knows Jones said she is the only guardian ad litenx in Howard County that is one who conducts searches i for adoptees and birth parents and reports back to the courts Jones said anyone seeking to find a child or birth parent should Register with the state registry Petition the courts any court in any state in the United States Once the petition is filed the judge will appoint a guardian ad litem to conduct a search and report back to the court Valvoline LubeOilFilter f Only I Cars Gall for appt Service Evacuate Recharge Light Cars Trucks Dwight Fouts Tire US 31 Bypass North Kokomo IN 4577274 Jeff and Debbie Lewellyn would like to invite friends family and colleagues to a Retirement Party in Honor of our Parents Norman Roberta Lewellyn Saturday May Western High School Cafeteria Please bring one piece of memorabilia about the honorees community school or local events to add to a memory box for the couple German visitors Five Group Study Exchange visitors from Rotary District 1930 in Germany tour the fire station in uptown Kokomo to learn about life in Kokomo Led by Werner Weiss past presi dent of the Rotary Club of Hochschwarzwald in Neustad the group returns to Germany today The group was hosted by Mayor Robert Sargent Kokomo Police Chief Lynn Rudolph and Kokomo Fire Chief Joe Zuppar do Tribune photo by Tim Bath Alpha Chi honors inductees Thirteen Indiana University Kokomo students were recently inducted into the Alpha Chi Indi ana Kappa Chapter Alpha Chi is a general scholar ship honor society founded at a conference of Texas colleges in 1922 Chapters are in small col leges and universities across the United States The local chapter was chartered in 1986 Students recently inducted locally listed with hometown and major were Seniors Bea K Ferverda LaGro general studies Amy Ree Fields Kempton mathematics Melinda Janel Herman Sharpsville social and behavioral sciences Sandra Humbert Kokomo English Mary Ann Kin caid Sharpsville English Sherry Lynn OBrian Hoblesville gener al studies Scott Quinn Russi aville elementary education and Linda D Webb Winamac nurs ing Juniors Sharon L Berry Kewanna nursing Stephanie L Curtis Sweetser nursing Joyce I Eikenberry Kokomo general studies Amanda S Exmeyer Peru social and behavioral sci ences and Paulla LI Shook Koko mo accounting IUK Chancellor Emita B Hill presided over the induction cere mony at Kejley Student Center with William Nunez vice chancel lor of academic affairs and Gary Dolph faculty sponsor m in s 1 I 1 IfMlMMMBiMMfEMMMJ MEMORIAL DAY SPECIAL WE HAVE OVER 1500 MONUMENTS MARKERS AND STATUES IN STOCK READY FOR QUICK DELIVERY THESE MEMORIALS ARE ALL REDUCED IN PRICE FROM 10 TO OVER COMPARE OUR PRICES MATERIALS CRAFTSMANSHIP AND SERVICE AND YOU WILL UNDERSTAND WHY WE ARE THE LEADERS IN THE MEMORIAL BUSINESS TIME PAYMENT AVAILABLE U 1 1 fin 11 1 H m YOUR CHOICE OF FIVE POPULAR COLORS PRAIRIE BROWN MOUNTAIN ROSE BARRE GRAY AUTUMN1 ROSE and BLUE AS MUCH AS ONLY THOUSANDS OF OTHER MEMORIALS IN OVER 20 DIFFERENT COLORS ON SALE Bring this ad in with you and receive an EXTRA OFF the monument of your choice LongWearly Monuments INSIDE DISPLAY OPEN 9 to 5 ANYTIME BY APPOINTMENT 940 E SYCAMORE ST Opp Crown Point Cemetery 45297024521485 Bl The most celebrated event in Indiana takes place May 29th and you can be there courtesy of the KOKOMO MALL Its easy to qualify simply spend at any of your favorite stores and receive a qualification form You will need to answer 3 questions to make it to the final deposit your qualification form in the entry box near center court The winners will be notified on may 25th the Stuty 500 uiU oik the wtfae oj May AN ACTUAL INDY CAR ON DISPLAY ;