Guest post is 2 of a 4-part series written by Amy Gaylon, an adoptive mother who assisted and supported her son in his search for his birth mother and her son Alex.
In 2007, when Alex was a Communication Arts major at the University of Wisconsin, he took a documentary film-making class. His professor told him to think of a personal story for his projects instead of trying to make a documentary about someone else’s story. Alex immediately knew that he wanted to look for his biological mother and document the development of his search.
He asked us how we felt and we gave him our blessing and said that we would do anything to help. We gathered as much paperwork and files as we could find and flew to Madison, Wisconsin for Alex to interview us and be filmed by his camera crew. I was a little nervous, mostly because we knew next to nothing about his biological mother, and I didn’t want Alex to be disappointed in any way.
We had dinner the night before the interview and looked at all of the paperwork together for the first time. Alex had never seen any documents about the home studies or any contracts, and we answered his questions about what it was like to go through the process of adopting him. I also had his baby bracelet that came home with him which had his biological mother’s name on it, Trina Dunn. I never thought that name was her real name, but I have no idea why I thought that. It was actually the very first breadcrumb that led his to his birth mother.
The next day, we taped an interview with Alex. He was so composed while taping but we were all a little nervous on the inside. With the new information we gave him, Alex went to Google and searched for the name on his baby bracelet, Trina Dunn. He found several Trinas, and then found a few phone numbers that he might be able to contact. He didn’t call any numbers right away but instead interviewed another student in Madison who was adopted whose biological mom had found him.
There are so many unique adoption stories to tell, but the semester was almost over and Alex had to finish his documentary. So finally on April 17th, Alex took his crew to the radio station where he was a DJ to call the numbers he found and record whatever happened. He tried all the numbers but didn’t get through to anyone. Some numbers went to fax machines, some numbers cut out completely, but the first number just kept ringing. So he dialed the first number back after all the other numbers failed, and finally a woman picked up. Alex said, “Hi, my name is Alex Gaylon and I think you might be my birthmother…”
Stay Tuned for Part 3 coming up on August 7th.
Related: Part 1 – Becoming a Family