Saturday, July 16, 2011

My name is Lisa, and this is my story........

I've been meaning to write for a long time, but for whatever reason, I just never get around to it.  I've been told that I live too much in my own head. order to ameliorate this, here goes....I'm putting down in prose what goes on in my head, if for nothing more than to curb the emotional conundrum that exists within. This is me....for anyone who cares to read it. My name is Lisa, and this is my story.

I'm not sure how old I was when my mom gave me my adoption certificate. I remember looking at it and thinking, wow.....after all these I know their names. The document read: Baby Girl Strohauer - Mother: Katherine Mary Finn & Father: Dennis P. Strohauer. I tried to call the hospital but the lady said that the records were sealed and she couldn't give me any information. At that point I gave up....I mean....what good would it do anyways. All I knew was that they were very young, and given was probably a part of their life that was long behind them. I had a great childhood and loved my parents more than anything.....but there was something missing....I needed to know. I needed to know where I came from, who I looked like, and most of all....I needed to know if I had brothers and sisters. I grew up an only child and always wanted a brother or sister more than anything in the world. But at that point I figured I'd never find out.

On October 13th, 1994 I gave birth to my oldest daughter, Kaitlyn Eve. Being an emotional person as it is, one could not express the overwhelming flood of emotions that I was going through. The greatest of all was looking at her and thinking, this little baby is the only "blood" relative I know. I can't answer any of the doctors' questions about my history. The overwhelming yearning that I had to look again was greater than before. I decided to try one last time. I knew I was born in Plantation, Fl. I went to the library and searched their phone listings in the south eastern United States for the last name Strohauer. I found a Dennis Strohauer in Richmond, Va. Huh.....what were the odds? I could give it a try. For days I began to dial the number but could never follow through. I had to first accept the fact that they he would probably not want anything to do with me. I was over 20 years ago....a part of his past.....

I began to dial the number.....and this time I let it ring. I had to have closure.....I had to know. A voice answered. "Hi...", I began....I mean...I guess that's a precursor to any conversation. I told him my name was Lisa, and asked if this was Dennis Strohauer. He said yes it was. I told him this may sound a little strange, but did he ever know someone by the name of Katherine Mary Finn. There was a long pause....and then he said yes. My heart stopped right then and there....I knew....without a doubt in my mind, that for the first time in my life, I was talking to my father. He asked me why and my answer was....I think she might be my mother. There was another long pause of silence. I told him of the document that I held in my hand which I was then looking at through tear filled eyes. He didn't hang up.....he didn't tell me not to call again.....instead, he asked me if I was born on November15th, 1972. He knew my birthday. He said...."Lisa, do you know who you're talking to? I'm you're father." And then he said something that I always wanted to hear....he said, "Lisa, you have sister." A sister.....three years younger than me.....same mother.....same father.....a SISTER! He asked if I would do him just one favor.....let him call my mother and tell her.

After a lengthy conversation, during which I also found out that he had an identical twin, we hung up. I was shaking.....I couldn't believe it. I just spoke to my father!! But that was just the beginning. A couple of hours later my phone rang. There was a woman on the other end, she said her name was Kathy. She said, "Hi Lisa.....I'm Kathy.....I'm your mom." Now that was definitely the most emotional conversation I've had in my life! I found out fairly quickly where I got my emotionality from! She apologized no less than 50 times for giving me up. Her and my father were only 17 when I was born, and coming from and Irish/catholic was what was done. I found out something else.....I had a little brother!! Not only a sister....but a brother too!!

That night changed my life forever. In the years to come I would make many trips to south Florida to spend time with my family......and every time I'd go I wouldn't want to leave. It's funny how one can feel a connection to someone that they don't really know.....and how one can feel at home where one has never been. I don't consider myself a religious person, but I definitely believe that certain people are destined to be in your life, no matter what obstacles may lie between.