Woman’s 15-year search for her mother ends with an emotional call

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Jessica Nicole.(PHOTO: CATERS/WWW.MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA)
Jessica Nicole.(PHOTO: CATERS/WWW.MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA)

Her curiosity continued to grow and at 18, Jessica, who’s from Atlanta, Georgia, reached out to Catholic Charities – the organisation that oversaw her adoption.

But she was told her mother would have to want to see her first.

Disheartened but still determined, Jessica persevered for another 15 years, exhausting every online ancestry website and scouring the Facebook profiles of hundreds of women, using the only common denominator she had: her mother’s first name, Tammy.

“My adopted family have always been open about my adoption and supportive in my search. I always wondered if she [Tammy] ever thought about me.

“I tried online ancestry websites but I was only able to locate third and fourth generations of family.”

In March Jessica decided to set up a Facebook page, Looking for Tammy.

Six month later on 4 September she was contacted by Monica Monger, who works for Catholic Charities.

Monica found the mom of one’s page by chance and reached out to Tammy in secret. Shortly afterward she contacted Jessica.

“Letters were sent and then I got the call to say she’d found her. I always knew we’d find each other – but I still couldn’t believe it.”

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Monica made it possible for the mother and daughter to speak over FaceTime. Jessica was noticeably overcome with shock and emotion as she recalled the encounter.

“I was sobbing on the phone because I felt like I was dreaming. I kind of zoned out. It was all very surreal.”

With a meet-up now in the works, Jessica admits she finally feels complete after more than three decades of uncertainty.

“I’ve always thought about the moment we were separated, lying in her arms as a newborn in that cold hospital room – how she felt, what she was going through.

“I never hated her for what she did.”

Tammy fell pregnant with Jessica when she was still in high school aged 15.

Keeping the pregnancy a secret until she went into labour, Tammy was forced by her mother to give her baby up.

Shortly after her birth in 1984 she was placed into the care of Catholic Charities before a family in Jackson, Mississippi, took her in.

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“My mother is a private person and had been through a lot. We’ve both had our share of ups and downs, but we’re getting closer and connecting.

“The feeling is indescribable.”

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Jessica says they only spoke for a few minutes on FaceTime, but she looks forward to meeting her mom.

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“I’m looking forward to hugging her. She’s also supportive in my search for my birth father. We both found each other at a time in our lives when we both need each other.

“I can’t wait to continue discovering each other.”

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