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Child Of My Heart, Audrey's Story (Volume Three)

Updated on October 25, 2013

A Promise Pending

The night I first brought Audrey home, I promised, if she were still with me when she was grown, I would try to find her mother for her.

I have kept every promise I have ever made to this little girl, save this one. And now she is grown.

Where do I begin?

Come with me now as we discover the path to Audrey's biological siblings together.

Eugenia S. Hunts' Work Is Copyrighted

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

No one has permission to copy or use this article other than for presentation on this Squidoo Website.

Her Most Prized Possession

The Photo

Audrey only had one thing left from her past. She had carried with her always a small, heart shaped frame containing the photo of a young, dark haired girl sitting outside with two other children.

She talked openly about this little girl, who was her half sister, Holly, and how much she wanted to find her someday.

During all the turmoil of running away as a teen, I always knew she would be returning home because she always left the little picture behind. It became my solace as well. I always looked for it each time she was missing, breathing a sign of relief, as I saw it on its place on the shelf.

I felt that Holly must have been the one Audrey turned to as a small child, when in need of a mother. Her older sister had filled the void for her when her mother was unavailable due to the drugs or her time spent in jail.

Photo: The little picture of Holly that Audrey carried with her thoughout her life.

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Hope Is Like The Sun

Photo From Little Frame

"Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us."

S. Smiles

The Search Into Her Past

A Friendship Of Purpose

When Audrey was in Junior High School, I heard that her first adoptive mother was working near our home. I thought about it for several months and decided to follow my intuition. I felt there must be some thread of need in this woman to help the child she had once called her own.

One afternoon, just before Christmas, I strolled into the store as though I had no idea she would be there, showing surprise when she saw me across the isle. She had seen me in the courtroom twice so she knew whom I was immediately.

I walked to her, saying hello and commenting on how nice it was to run into her. She asked me how Audrey was doing and I gave her some of her school information and started small talk about this and that. That first day, I did not bring up the subject I was so in need of discussing.

As the weeks passed, I made a point of stopping by to say hello until she felt more comfortable with me. Sometimes she would take her break and we would sit together at the Snack Bar and share a few moments of our individual lives. Eventually, I was able to bring up Audrey's past and start asking questions, filling my head with any information I could get from her.

On one such afternoon, she mentioned an old boyfriend of Audrey's natural mother's by name. I made a mental note, writing it down once home, and filed it away with other tidbits for future reference. It was a vital piece of information because Audrey didn't know for certain what her last name had been when she lived with her biological mother.

A few weeks later, the woman quit her job, due to medical reasons, and I lost contact with her.

Photo: The Snack Bar where we met and shared our lives, and a child, for a short time.

Coming Of Age

A Need To Know

When Audrey returned home to live with us at the age of nineteen, I realized it was now time for me to keep the promise I had made to her on that first night.

I again contacted my friend in South Carolina who had helped to bring Audrey home from Wisconsin. Cathy and I decided together exactly how this should be handled.

First, I went online and into the New York registry. After entering the name of the old boyfriend of Audrey's biological mother, I found three in the state of New York by the same name. I wrote three identical letters, addressing each to one of the names on the list.

After placing them in their individual envelopes, I addressed each one, using Cathy's address in South Carolina as my return address. I put all three in a larger envelope and mailed them to Cathy. She then mailed them out from South Carolina for me.

I mailed them in this way to ensure the path leading to Audrey would not be found unless I wanted it found.

Photo: My Dear Friends, Gerald and Cathy

When In Doubt

"When life is uncertain, place your concerns, with certainty, in Him."

The Letter

Reaching For The Future Through The Past

Dear Sir:

I have a story to tell you and I hope that you will please just read my letter first before discarding it.

To begin with, this really doesn't involve you in any way except for possible knowledge of what I am seeking. I want nothing from you personally and I want you to totally understand and believe that first and foremost.

In January, 2000, as a foster mother with the state, I received into my care a little Caucasian girl of eleven years old. She was placed with me after being removed from her adoptive home of five years due to abuse suffered in that home. There were no records sent with this child. Her adoptive parents had destroyed all of her past records. Therefore, all the information I have is from her memory of her first six years. The person I hope you to be is a person she remembers as being there for her when she really needed someone as a little girl.

The child was removed from her mother after the mother was arrested for stealing, as far as the child remembers. To my knowledge, there were five children all together, each receiving different placements. She has no medical records of any kind and, as you know, this is an important factor to anyone's life and future.

I have been able to secure some of her past school records from New York so I know she was placed first into DCF as Audrey Lyn xxxxxx but that last name was later changed to another by DCF. Her birthday is March xx, 19xx, and she was born in xxxxxxxx, New York, out on Long Island, according to her altered birth certificate. She remembers her older sister, Holly (of whom she has a small photo which is her most prized position) and a little brother named, Chucky. She said she thinks her mother's name is Barbara but she isn't certain. She also remembers being told that her grandmother died the year after she was removed, around 19xx, when she was seven.

Her memories of those first years are pretty bad but I feel her adoptive family did more damage than those first six years did.

Once my husband and I heard Audrey's story, though we had four grown children of our own, we adopted Audrey ourselves. She is now 19 years old, finished High School with straight As, still lives at home and is absolutely beautiful, though troubled. She really needs to know her past, what happened to her mother, and medical records for the future. I have waited until now, though I had this small piece of information, because raising Audrey has been difficult for both she and I. Therefore, I wanted her to have a chance to level out her life some before digging up the past. She is not aware, at this time, that I am writing this letter, though she has ask me to do so when I felt it was time.

I hope you are still with me, sir, and understand why I am writing you. If you are possibly the gentleman of her memories and have some information about her mother or her sister, Holly, please write to me at: Audrey's Mom, xxxxxxxxxxx, South Carolina, at your earliest convenience. If not, I will assume that you are not this person and will move on in my search.

Thank you for any help you may be able to give and for your time and cooperation.

Sincerely,

Audrey's Mom

The Key To The Door Of The Past

In October Of 2007, A Man Received A Letter And Placed A Call Immediately To A Little Girl's Sister.

Just eight days after the letters were mailed, Cathy called me in tears. Audrey's sister, Holly, had called her that morning from New York.

Holly had been looking for her little sister for years and the call came on her twenty-third birthday. What a wonderful gift the call was for her.

As soon as Cathy gave me her number, I called Holly and we talked several times that first day. She told me how she had gone from school to school with her mother, visiting on parent's night, looking at every face of the children there, hoping to see her little sister. They had celebrated her birthday every year even though she wasn't with them.

When Audrey got home from work that night, I sat down and slowly began to explain my steps of the past week. When I finished my story, I handed her a note containing Holly's phone number and the names of her four nieces and nephews. She just sat and stared at it in disbelief. I took her to the computer where I opened photos I had received from Holly and, as she looked at them, huge tears began to roll down her face.

She went to the phone, dialed the number, and for the next three hours, she and Holly shared the missing fourteen years of their lives with words, giggles, and tears.

I was so astonished to have found Audrey's sister in the state of New York so quickly with only one person's name as a source. I truly believe it was the proper time and God was ready for Audrey's family to be found.

This stranger, who had meant so much to the equation, called Audrey and I several times in the next few weeks, so happy to know she was found.

Five weeks after receiving my letter, he died of an accidental drug overdose. Had I waited longer to begin my quest, we might never have found Holly, whose last name we did not know.

Photo: Audrey's Sister, Holly

A Strange Position In Life

By Eugenia S. Hunt

Life, as the mother of an adopted foster child can be a strange position. You have all the feelings of love and concern for this child in your care that mothers are supposed to have. They did not grow under your heart, however, you find that they have been growing inside it every day. Though this child is very familiar to you, they are also very disconcerting in the way they behave or perceive the world, due to background and genetics that are foreign to you.

You find that you not only share them with the rest of your family, but you must also share them with some unknown being somewhere in a world of memories you aren't a part of.

And then, in the blink of an eye, they are grown and you find yourself on the edge of a cliff, preparing to jump into that foreign world, searching for clues to their past. You realize that you are searching for clues to a mother you will someday have to share your child with.

I now find myself at that point and beyond. Last week, I found my child's natural family, have talked with their biological mother, laughed with her, shared with her, and been caught between my child's happiness and my own unfounded fears. This choice to search was made by me and me alone. I am not sorry that I have made the effort, and I am not sorry that I have made the contact. I love my child, and this is best for them. But the fear still threatens me because sharing the child is difficult and I have an unfounded fear of the possible loss of what the two of us have built. It has been a difficult path that we have walked together, and now that the job is done, I must share my success with someone who wasn't a part of the hard work.

However, when I look at the other side of the coin, I see a woman who, due to many poor choices in her life, has lost almost fourteen years of her baby's life. And now, she must share this baby with another woman whom the child calls its mother. I am sure that she has many fears as well, and finds it hard to finally find her baby, only to have to share her with another. I am sure she has the same unfounded fears of her lost relationship with her baby. She has missed being there to share the path to adulthood.

We must make this a positive experience for our child, treading very carefully, protecting each other and, above all, protecting our child. It is our task to remember that this child has enough love in her heart for both of us, and never expect her to compare or choose either side as more special than the other.

It is a strange position, and I am learning more about myself with each passing day.

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Growing, Not Under My Heart, But Within It

Neither bone of my bone,

Nor flesh of my flesh,

But mine, just the same.

You did not grow beneath my heart,

Instead, you grew within it.

The First Contact In Fourteen Years

Severed Relationships Restored

During the following week, Audrey received a phone call from her biological mother, Barbara. She called from where she was being incarcerated for ten months. It was apparent by the sound of her voice that Audrey was nervous but wanted to talk to her. She had many questions that needed answers.

At the same time, I began to take cautious steps toward this strange relationship with a woman so very different from myself. During our first conversation, she related to me how grateful, and yet surprised, she was that I had searched for Audrey's family myself.

Holly and Audrey immediately began to plan a visit. Holly decided to fly to Florida the third week of October for eight days. Neither girl could contain their excitement and it was infectious.

The day Holly was to arrive, Audrey and I drove to the airport together. Audrey was so excited, she almost skipped across the floor of the baggage area, searching the crowd for someone who resembled the photos she had seen of Holly.

Suddenly, the girls were in an embrace, laughing and talking at the same time.

I stood back for a while to give them time. And I also felt Holly needed time to adjust to my being there. However, as soon as she spotted me, she reached out for me, embracing me. She thanked me over and over for finding her.

The three of us walked together back to the car and, by the time we had shared dinner, were talking as though we had known one another much longer than the two short hours.

As the week progressed, I was able to share with Holly the life she had lived and some of the pain she, too, had endured. She talked openly and easily of her past and seemed glad to share it with me. I found her to be kind and loving with a gentle spirit unless confronted. Holly, a mother of four, and an LPN, had worked very hard to better her life.

We traveled, one morning, to another part of Florida where another sibling lives with his father's mother. He has lived with his grandparents since infancy. He is the little boy Audrey remembered as Chucky.

Now, 16, Chuck and Holly had been communicating and had visited in New York. Holly wanted to share this reunion with him as well. His grandmother welcomed us with open arms and the three siblings began a new life as family.

We now know there are six siblings with different fathers. Holly has found the four oldest but the two baby boys were adopted from the hospital and she has no hopes of finding them.

Photo: Audrey, Chuck (brother), and Holly

Plans For The Future

Needs Met

Holly remained with us for ten days, reluctantly returning to New York and her family.

Before she left, she began discussing her plans to move her family to Florida so that she and Audrey could live close and become a family once again.

By the following summer, her plans were in place and in August, 2008, they were permanently relocated.

Holly found a new job quickly and the family settled in to their new life. Audrey was so happy to have them close and to be able to get to know her niece and nephews.

The girls were quick to include us in their new lives together. Holly and her family were with us in our home for Thanksgiving and Christmas and our other children really enjoyed our time with them.

Full Circle

"To Get A Glimpse, From Within,

Of Whom This Child Could Be,

Would Reach The Depths Of Mind And Soul,

And Bring Us To Our Knees."

When Eyes Were Filled With Wide Eyed Wonder, Their World Was Whole.

Audrey and Holly Have Now Come Full Circle.

Photo: Audrey, 5 and Holly, 8

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A Familiar Stranger

Audrey And Her Biological Mother Are Reunited

In February, 2009, Barbara was released from her incarceration and she, too, moved to Florida. By this time, she and I had been writing to each other for some months and I had sent her various Christian books on life change and enrichment. Barbara had also been reading others from the Prison Library. She felt she was ready to make a life change for herself.

The night she arrived in Florida, I met her on the Interstate so that she could follow me to Holly's apartment where Audrey was spending the night. The girls did not expect her until the next day so we had devised a surprise.

As the door opened, Holly burst through with screaming excitement as her mother and I entered.

Audrey stood quietly at first, observing, finally going over and hugging this familiar stranger. It had been fifteen years since she had seen Barbara. She didn't have much to say that first night. She seemed uncertain. Audrey needed time to take it all in as reality and she still had many unanswered questions. In time, she began to relax and ease into the new relationship.

Barbara talked to Cathy that night on the phone. She wanted to thank her for the part she had played in helping to find Holly and her. She made a vow to Cathy then that she would never do anything to hurt Holly or Audrey again.

Once Barbara was settled into her apartment, Audrey acted on my suggestion that she move in with her biological mother so that they would have time to get to know each other. Audrey was nearing her twenty-first birthday.

Audrey lived with Barbara for a month before finding her own apartment where she still lives on her own.

Their relationship was not quite what either expected but they have come to terms with that and are working toward what is personally in the best interest of each woman.

Barbara has worked hard to change her life and is very proud of her progress and so am I. It is my hope that Barbara will see inside herself as the special person she was meant to be and strive for that goal. Only over time, will we see whether or not she is capable of the permanent change desired by all.

As for Audrey and me, our relationship has improved over these months and she has come to appreciate me in ways she never did before. Her need to find her biological mother was great but sometimes the romantic memories of such things are not the reality of them. Audrey now understands why the Department of Children and Families removed her from her family. However, she is now ready to resume that relationship, with strength in her own character.

This realization has helped Audrey to put her past and what she has been through into prospective. I pray that she will, in turn, be able to put her life on the proper path to insure a brighter future.

Audrey knows that this is not the end of the story but simply the beginning.

Photo: Taken of Barbara the night she arrived in Florida.

Child Of My Heart

By Eugenia S. Hunt

Not a child of my womb,

But my child, in my heart.

She will always carry

Myself, in part.

No matter the path

She chooses to walk.

I'll be here to listen,

Waiting to talk.

We may not always

See eye to eye,

But when she hurts,

It is me, who will cry.

My love is as deep

As she needs it to be,

Wherever she is,

Is that part of me.

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Update

Where They Are Today...

Both Holly and Audrey continue to progress. Holly has returned to New York to pursue her continued education, working toward her RN License. Audrey decided, in September 2011, to move back to New York as well and start fresh. It has been the right choice for her and her life is finally falling into place. She works hard, supports herself, saves her money and is happily rekindling her relationship with her sister and getting to know her nephews and nieces. I feel great pride in both the girls!!

Please continue now to Volume 4...My Letter To My Daughter

Child Of My Heart, Audrey's Story (Volume Four)

And you will now find in Volume Five the story of Audrey's quest and success in finding her biological father.

Child Of My Heart, Audrey's Story (Volume Five)

And Hear About Her Nieces And Nephews

Living Life, Still On Two Feet

My Book For Sale On Amazon - Just click below to purchase or to find another selection.

Who Is Mom To The Zoo?

My Bio

Born in the small town of Pendleton, South Carolina, in 1950, I was the oldest of two, five years my sister's senior. It was a wonderful place to grow up where the entire town raised its children. I was always surrounded by people who loved and looked out for me. I graduated from High School with the same people who were in my kindergarten class. At 58, my childhood friends are still my friends. I feel so fortunate to have known such a childhood.

After college, I worked at Clemson University until May 1972. At that time, I married and lived in Glyfada, 22 miles from Athens, Greece for two years...via USAF. We then moved to North Dakota for another two years before returning to South Carolina.

We divorced after 16 years and two children. I married my best friend two years later and moved to Florida in 1988 and together we have raised my husband's son and daughter and my son and daughter...one federal officer, one pastor's wife, one sixth grade school teacher, and the other, after working for Florida Power and Light since age 19, is now with AT&T. In 1996, I adopted my step daughter. We are blessed with four grandsons and one granddaughter.

In 1999, we became foster parents with the Children's Home Society and had a number of children under our roof in the next 5 years. In 2001, we adopted a 13 year old girl, whom we first met at the age of 11, and is now 21. I also have spent more time in a courtroom than I care to think about, fighting for the rights of the children in our care. In 2004, I turned in my license so that I could be a full time Mom to our special needs daughter and keep our infant granddaughter five days a week while her mother was teaching.

Bill, my husband, is a retired USAF Air Traffic Controller. He is now working out of the country, on Ascension Island, with Computer Science Raytheon, as their chief controller, contracted out of Patrick AFB, Florida. This enables him to continue to do the job he loves, air traffic, and aid the military. He flies in and out on furlough and I handle things here at home. I jokingly call myself a Single Married Woman.

Actually, I am a retired Accountant/Credit Manager, now a housewife, where I enjoy writing, singing, piano, and sewing. I have had numerous poems and short stories published and have sung in churches and for church organizations for years, as well as weddings, a couple of variety shows, and even at my daughter's, and later my son's, weddings, one of the hardest things I have EVER done. We are members of a Baptist church where I am a soloist and sing in the choir. I am also a member of the Women's Bible Study Group and work on the Mission's Committee.

And, last but not least, we have two singing dogs. Raven is a thirteen year old Skipperkee/Chow with bucked teeth and attitude and Whisper, our nine pound poodle, who thinks himself a Doberman.

I have been Mom To The Zoo since the morning after our wedding. My friend, Lee, who was staying with our four children and two dogs answered the phone from a sound sleep, "Hunt Zoo, Zookeeper Speaking."

My life has involved many changes and avenues that I would never have dreamed of and has given me challenges that I never thought I was equal to. But, I have found that God has a plan and, if you follow His lead, you can handle anything he puts in your hands. However, you have to first learn to listen to Him. No matter what we want from life, it must come in His time. He has given my husband and me more than we could have began to imagine back in high school and we have found that what we thought was so important for our futures back then was nothing to what we have done so far. At 58, I have learned from our foster children, to look forward to the future and the next challenge with enthusiasm and excitement. If they can trust and love us after what the world has dealt them, we can surely tackle whatever lies ahead with ease. Life is a series of learning experiences and I continue to find life to be both a challenge and a joy which grows with each passing year. I learn more and more about myself with each passing day!

Eugenia

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    • Momtothezoo profile image
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      Eugenia S. Hunt 3 years ago

      @Sir Daniel UK: Thank you so much...I think she is beautiful also! :) I hope you go on to read Vol. 5...Vol. 4 is just a letter from me to her because I thought our story had come to an end. But, then, we found her father's (he was deceased) family and it was a wonderful reunion with a child unknown to them. She is now living in New York, working, has her own apartment, and a very nice boyfriend...looks like I may have a new son in law soon! :) It was a difficult journey but so worth the trip!!!

    • Sir Daniel UK profile image

      Danny Gibson 3 years ago from Northampton

      Wow. Powerful story.

      And Audrey's beautiful!

    • Momtothezoo profile image
      Author

      Eugenia S. Hunt 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you, Audrey...I am so glad you enjoyed reading about our Audrey and her family...I hope you will continue to Volume 5 and read about her biological father as well.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      That was so beautiful - almost made tears fall from my eyes. What a lovely story!

    • Momtothezoo profile image
      Author

      Eugenia S. Hunt 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Mark, you might want to read this site also Foster Teen Parenting, https://hubpages.com/family/foster-teen-parenting , for some helpful advice. I tried to write down all that I had learned. Good luck!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      What inspiration your story had provided. My wife and I are entering the Foster Care system and after reading about your experience, I know we are making the right choice. Thank you so very much for sharing.

    • Momtothezoo profile image
      Author

      Eugenia S. Hunt 6 years ago

      @mrducksmrnot: Yes, she is, and so is Holly............just beautiful!! :)

    • profile image

      mrducksmrnot 6 years ago

      Beautiful, just Beautiful.

    • Momtothezoo profile image
      Author

      Eugenia S. Hunt 6 years ago

      @sheilamarie78: Thank you so much for sharing Audrey and Holly's story with me. Audrey spent the night last night and she and Damian left today for New York. It was hard to say goodbye but she was surprised at her own reaction. She kept saying she'd be back to see me soon. I don't think she realized just how she was going to feel by moving away from me. I know she loves me...that's really all I need to know. :)

    • sheilamarie78 profile image

      sheilamarie78 6 years ago

      Another moving chapter in Audrey's story. You made the right decision in connecting Audrey with her first family, even if it's hard. She will understand that you are thinking of what's best for her rather than for yourself -- another positive modelling experience to help her learn what real love is all about.

    • Momtothezoo profile image
      Author

      Eugenia S. Hunt 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you, Red...I forwarded your comment to the girls!!

    • myneverboredhands profile image

      myneverboredhands 7 years ago

      I was reading with lens while in tears... I don't know if I were in your place if I would be able to do what you did. You are unbelievable person and a real Mother starting with capital letter. I would bow down with respect if I could.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      You are a inspiring person, as is your daughter and her sister. I wish you all good things, and the strength to deal with things that may not be so good (though you seem to have that ability built in!).

    • Momtothezoo profile image
      Author

      Eugenia S. Hunt 7 years ago

      @myneverboredhands: It wasn't easy...still isn't. When Audrey talks about spending time with Barbara, I cringe inside but I know it has been best for Audrey to get to know her. It has helped her understand why she was taken away and why it was best to be raised apart from her biological family. Barbara has hurt Audrey badly since moving here and it was so hard to watch. However, Audrey learned a huge, valuable lesson from the experience. She and Holly were over tonight with Holly's little girl and we sat around the table and shared bowls of homemade soup and cornbread and talked of Holly's past...stories that would be a novel in itself. The girls love their mother, even with all she has put them through. There is such a bond between mother and child and that has to be understood first to be able to accept the need Audrey had to find her family and her own past. Without that knowledge, she couldn't move on toward her own future...she had to know who she was first. And I am so lucky to be able to share Holly with her...it was a good evening! Thank you so much for sharing Audrey's story with me and for your understanding!

    • Momtothezoo profile image
      Author

      Eugenia S. Hunt 7 years ago

      @SusannaDuffy: Susanna, I have changed the writing to white...it is much clearer. I hope this will help others with the reading. Thank you again for your blessing and your lovely comments. I do appreciate receiving your respect! Audrey and I have been through a great deal. But finding her bio mother helped her so much in finally putting it all to rest. It also drew us closer rather than separateing us. I received the most beautiful Mother's Day card from her this year! I love her dearly and always will!

    • Momtothezoo profile image
      Author

      Eugenia S. Hunt 7 years ago

      @SusannaDuffy: Susan, thank you so much for the blessing...and for letting me know you had difficulty reading volume three...I will try something else to make it easier. Thank you again for sharing our story with us. Audrey did take the job with the law firm...I am so very proud of her!

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I've followed your story of Audrey with a lump in my throat and respect for you in my heart. Although I found this volume 3 very difficult to read with the dark background you've chosen, I've blessed it for the beautiful story.

    • Momtothezoo profile image
      Author

      Eugenia S. Hunt 7 years ago

      @OhMe: Thanks, OhMe...I just felt there were too many colors and they were distracting.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Wonderful update of an already great lens

    • Momtothezoo profile image
      Author

      Eugenia S. Hunt 8 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you, Patrick...so glad you enjoyed the story. It was fascinating to live as well! But I wouldn't take anything for the experience or my Audrey.

    • Momtothezoo profile image
      Author

      Eugenia S. Hunt 8 years ago

      [in reply to Spook] Kevin, Audrey and I both thank you for your angel blessings of her three part story. I told her what you said about the Armed Forces and she giggled her special little giggle that I love so much...it pleased her! She is still working on the paperwork...time will tell. Thank you again for you continued interest and encouragement!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Fascinating story and so well-written. Enjoyed every line.

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 8 years ago

      If the armed services take on this girl the world will be a better place. Blessed by an Angel.

    • Momtothezoo profile image
      Author

      Eugenia S. Hunt 8 years ago

      [in reply to LoKackl] Thanks, Lois...I am glad you enjoyed reading Audrey's story. Part one was especially hard for her to edit but she had wanted me to write this for some time...she is proud of the results and proud of herself. At present, she is attempting to join the armed forces...she is ready to move on with her life now that we have found her biological family. She doesn't see a great deal of them since their lifestyle is so different than her own but she is glad that she now knows where they are...it has made her feel complete.

    • LoKackl profile image

      LoKackl 8 years ago

      I enjoyed reading your and Audrey's story. Thank you for sharing it. I love reading that Audrey - with your loving help - has been able to put her early experiences in perspective. What a gift.

    • Momtothezoo profile image
      Author

      Eugenia S. Hunt 8 years ago

      [in reply to MsSnow4a] Thank you, Carol. I am glad you read all three parts. I have shed quite a few tears while writing this and the years have caused me many sleepless, tearful nights of worry. But it is all worth it and I would do it over again. Audrey is now hoping to join the Armed Forces. She and Holly are still in touch but she only sees Barbara occasionally. Their lifestyles are so very different from the way she has grown up and it makes interaction somewhat difficult. However, they are finding their own way of dealing with this. As for me, I have stepped out of the picture with them, remaining Audrey's mother and friend. Her decision with her bio family is hers alone. Our relationship is far better now that before and I am thankful for my daughter and her accomplishments.

    • MsSnow4 profile image

      Carol Goss 8 years ago

      Wonderful story, I had to cry at certain parts. Thank you for sharing this wondrful story and Audrey and holly are beautiful.

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 8 years ago

      [in reply to Spook] Spook wrote...

      RE: You said somewhere that God, " doesn't give us challenges, that we are not ready to meet." I've often wondered about that and why me? What I really mean to say is that, I believe that wholeheartedly. I think that in his own way he is trying to show us something. If everything was perfect, where would we understand, love and honour and courage and fortitude and of course compassion? This story is a perfect example of that. I doff my cap to both of you and your family.

      Kevin...I could not get the lens for Part Two comments to work so I transferred it to part three so that I could answer you You are absolutely right in your deduction of "why." I always feel it is not for us to ask why...just to know that God is there beside us, not taking away our challenges, but helping us to grow as we get through them. With Him, we can succeed. Thank you so much for sharing this with me. God Bless!

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 8 years ago

      [in reply to Spook] Kevin, I have spent many sleepless nights sheding tears of worry and frustration over this little girl. I still worry but know she must now make her own decisions and live her own life. She has a good boyfriend and she is trying very hard. I know she can make it...it is she who must find that in herself. Thank you for sharing our story. I will see that Audrey reads your comments...she, too, will appreciate them. Jeanie

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      Spook LM 8 years ago

      I am a man and have just read all three parts. I have been crying unashamedly through all of it. Here's wishing you both all the best, always.

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 8 years ago

      [in reply to BarbRad] Oh, yes, I lensrolled our stories together as soon as I read Sarah's. The stories are so related and I think should be read together.

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 8 years ago

      [in reply to BarbRad] I still worry about Audrey's future. She is working hard and doing so much better but still making life changing mistakes along the way. She is glad we found her family but wishes they had not moved so close. Their lifestyles are very different from the way she grew up and it makes the relationship difficult. It is as though she is caught somewhere between the two and I am not certain where she will eventually land. And I worry about years from now...will all of this come back to haunt her as it did Sarah? There is no way of knowing. I know she loves me and, at least, by making that connection, she has that to hold on to. I love her so much, but at 21, all I can do now is to give advice when she asks for it and pray that God continue to protect her. Thank you for sharing our story, Barbara.

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      Barbara Radisavljevic 8 years ago from Templeton, CA

      I am so glad you wrote this. And I'm glad Audrey is finding herself, I really do like happy endings. I have lensrolled Audrey's story to Sarah's story, since I'm sure people who read one of them would be interested in both, even though the endings are quite different.

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 8 years ago

      [in reply to Ladydove62] Thank you Kimberly. Audrey just left...she and I have spent the evening filling out her paperwork for the Air Force. I so hope she will be able to get in...she is very excited about it. She took her test today for job placement...possible score is 99 and she made 83...the average is 49. The recruiter said this qualifies her for most any position she would like to have. There are a few things to worry about such as the theft incident...she will need a waiver for the one time slip in judgement. I so hope this does not cost her this chance. I have tried so hard to help her to understand how our present affects our future...this is a bad time for her to have to find this out. I pray that they will give her this chance to prove herself. She is a hard worker and totally honest. We can only pray for guidance after the waiver is submitted and wait. Thank you so much for your interest in her! Jeanie

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      Seeking Pearls 8 years ago from Pueblo West

      This is truly a labor of love. Life it seems is bittersweet. Thank-you for sharing this amazing story.

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 8 years ago

      [in reply to BarbRad] Thank you, Barb. Audrey wanted her story told in the hopes that it would indeed help someone else to understand their own fate. As for the mother, she is still clean but I have chosen to part company. She is jealous of me and has tried to come between Audrey and I so I told Audrey I would step away, leaving it up to her as to how she wants to handle her relationship with each of us. She deals with Barbara where she has to and hangs onto her relationship with Holly. I see her daily and, if I don't see her, she phones. She will test on Wednesday for the Air Force, which would be so good for her self discipline and self esteem and she is so excited about the prospect of it. Here, too, she can get her education and career. I pray all goes well and she will be able to move on now into her future. I will miss her when she leaves for Basic Training terribly but it isn't about me now, but about Audrey.

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      Barbara Radisavljevic 8 years ago from Templeton, CA

      Now I have read all three parts of your adoption story and rejoice that it was happier than mine. I have two lenses on Sarah, and I've added all three parts of Audrey's story to their lens rolls. I'd like people to know that there is hope that one can help such a child. It is wonderful to see what a difference you were able to make in Audrey's life, and also, it appears in her mother's. Both of Sarah's parents preceded her in death. I wish I had been able to read your story about 25 years ago. i pray God will use it to help others.

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 8 years ago

      [in reply to puzzlemaker] It's been a long journey but I feel Audrey is a survivor and will make it...not so sure about Barbara and Holly...time will tell. Thank you for your very kind words and encouragement for Audrey! She is in the process of testing for the Air Force which would be very good for her. Pray she is able to get in and makes it through Basic. This would give her direction for her life, self esteem and self discipline.

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      puzzlerpaige 8 years ago

      I've just read through all three parts of Audrey's story. And my gut is wrenched. You are amazing for stepping back and looking at the biggest picture which includes forgiveness and understanding. Audrey is sooooo lucky to have you. What would have happened to her if things had been different?

      And Audrey, how can one come out of such suffering? Good luck to her...I read what she wrote about what she wants in life. She can do anything!

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 8 years ago

      [in reply to ParthenaB] Thank you, Parthena. Going now to your lens...I look forward to reading it.

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      ParthenaB 8 years ago

      Thank you for this excellent lens. I've given you five stars and have lensrolled all three parts on my Adult Attachment Disorder lens:

      http://www.squidoo.com/adult-attachment-disorder

      I'll also be adding them to my Check These Out module.

      I'm looking forward to hearing more of the story.

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 8 years ago

      [in reply to OhMe] Thanks, Nancy. It's strange that Part One and Part Two have not done as well. They are all part of the story. Glad people are enjoying it.

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      Nancy Tate Hellams 8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Congratulations. This lens is among the top ten lenses in the South Carolina Group

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 8 years ago

      [in reply to aj2008] Thanks AJ...I have shed so many tears with this child...A lot of work but she is so worth it!

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      A lump in my throat and a tear in my eye. Thank you for sharing this story with us and Blessings to you.

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 8 years ago

      [in reply to Kathy Bottroff] Thanks so much Kathy. And, yes, you are right...there is so much more than I could tell within these pages. It has been quite a roller coaster ride for all of us!

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      I finally got to read the 3rd part. It takes my breath away. I'm so proud of you and Audrey, both. I know how very much more you and Audrey and both families have agonized during these past 10 years than stated. How God loves those who persevere and follow the path of love!

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      Nancy Tate Hellams 8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Welcome to the South Carolina Group.

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 8 years ago

      [in reply to luvmyludwig] Hey!! Sorry I made you Boo-Hoo but I am glad you enjoyed the story. It is amazing that you have such a similar story within your family. I,too, am glad your grandmother was able to reconnect with her family. Foster children need that reconnection to feel whole about themselves psychologically.

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      luvmyludwig lm 8 years ago

      Ok, you made me cry yet again, but this time happy tears. I'm so glad that Audrey was able to reconnect with her siblings and other family members even though reality isn't the same as our dreams.

      My granny was put into foster care at about the same age that Audrey was, and her most cherished memories were those of her and her siblings. She did reconnect with them later in life though. My granny also organized a family reunion and met half siblings and many cousins this way. For several years before she died, her and one of her very dear cousins became so close that they were more like sisters. I am so glad that she was able to find this woman.

      I hope that Audrey and her siblings remain close. I wish you all the best in life. You are all strong and very special women and I applaud you all. :)

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 8 years ago

      [in reply to CATHY52] God knew what our lives would be because He knows us...therefore, he knew we'd need each other...just that plain and simple!

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      CATHY52 8 years ago

      Yes we shed many a tears over this child as we have watched her grow. I love you too. I guess God choose us to be sisters in a special way that happened out of the blue over a 15 minute break at work. Love you both.

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 8 years ago

      [in reply to GrowWear] Thank you very much, Mimi. This third part has been fun to write. Glad you enjoyed it.

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 8 years ago

      [in reply to spirituality] Katinka, thank you very much...I am glad you liked my lens. And thank you very much for the blessing!

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      GrowWear 8 years ago

      Beautiful story. Best wishes for you all! Love.

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      religions7 8 years ago

      Great lens - you've been blessed by a squidoo angel :)

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      religions7 8 years ago

      Great lens - you've been blessed by a squidoo angel :)

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 8 years ago

      [in reply to Joan4] Thank you, Joan. And thank you so much for the Angel blessing. We hope this story will touch the hearts of many and maybe help someone else who struggles with their life in a similar way.

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 8 years ago

      [in reply to Tipi] Susie, I am so pleased that you enjoyed this lens and I hope you have now regained your composure! LOL I have lost mine numerous times in the writing of it. And my friend, Cathy, has done so each time she has read it. We have walked this road together and we both love Audrey.

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 8 years ago

      [in reply to Michey] Thanks so much Michey! Yes, I do love Audrey. And I just felt, with so many broken promises in this child's life both verbal and moral, she needed someone who would do what was right for her...even when she doesn't always like it. LOL The roller coaster is moving and I'm still hanging on!!

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 8 years ago

      [in reply to a_willow] Michelle, I am so glad you enjoyed my lens and thank you so much for the angel blessing!!

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      Joan4 8 years ago

      Your story continues to touch my heart! Blessed by a joyful angel! Love to you and Audrey and thank you for sharing your inspiring story!

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      What a love story! Filled with heart-felt emotion and compassion.

      This is a wonderful lens. I love it! Now, to regain my composure!

      Have a blessed day!

      Susie

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      Michey LM 8 years ago

      Jeanie and Audrey, I have tears in my eyes reading the third episode. I wish a lot of people will read the entire story.

      Jeanie you are a beautiful example to follow. I always admire people that keep their promises, but you are an amazing combination of tenacity, good thinking, good will, and more then everything else, your love for Audrey.

      It is my conviction that spreading so much good in your life, you will get a lot in return.

      Your talent to write is a big gift, but the biggest gift is your sole, your attitude, your determination to make it happen.

      I am impressed with the story, with you, happy for Audrey and Holly.

      All the best for all of you

      Love

      Michey

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      Mihaela Vrban 8 years ago from Croatia

      Beautifully written Eugenia! Blessed by an Angel!

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 8 years ago

      [in reply to OhMe] Thanks, Nancy...so glad you enjoyed the story. If it continues, it depends on Holly and whether or not she can get time...she's a busy girl. But Audrey is really happy with what we have done...that's what counts.

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      Nancy Tate Hellams 8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Beautifully written, as usual. I held onto every word. Great work.

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 8 years ago

      [in reply to sittonbull] Thank you so much John and I know Audrey will be so thrilled at your encouragement and praise. You certainly have a gift with words and a special way of expressing your thoughts. Thank you so much for showering us with them. I am so glad you enjoyed Audrey's story...and it is just the beginning...she has her whole life ahead of her!

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 8 years ago

      [in reply to Betty] Thanks Betty...glad you enjoyed. The sequel would probably be Holly's story if she ever slows down for me...she is working a double four days this week, has four children and her husband has a broken ankle...it may be a bit...she's quite a little worker and a great mother.

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      sittonbull 8 years ago

      Jeanie and Audrey... I'm a fairly well adjusted man, but I feel like I'm walking on a tightrope sometimes just to try to balance my selfish time with the time spent with my family and friends. As I read your magnificent and important story, I can only marvel with appreciation and awe and joy that you have been able to balance and progress through these relationships as your have. The power of God working through you Jeanie and your family and through you Audrey and your family to bring you all together under his healing umbrella of love is undoubtedly the huge force in your lives that gives you.the strength and courage to do what you have done. All of us like to "talk the talk", but I struggle to "walk the walk" many times. You have "walked the walk" and in so doing have gained a place in your own understanding and in the eyes of your peers... and in the eyes of your God... that many of us can only imagine. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story!

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      Another great story. We'll be waiting for a sequel one of these days. Life is good.

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 8 years ago

      [in reply to chefkeem] Thank you so much..so glad you made it in. I remember what you first told me and hope things are better within your family. There is always more to accomplish but we are moving ahead!

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      Achim Thiemermann 8 years ago from Austin, Texas

      Thank you for this incredible lens about such a touching story. Blessed by a SquidAngel, of course. :-)

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 8 years ago

      Well, I guess it is only fair that you make me cry, too. Thank you so much for all the prayers, for listening to me when I screamed, for encouraging me when I wanted to give up, and for picking both of us up when we have fallen short! You are and always will be my chosen sister and I love you!

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      CATHY52 8 years ago

      Well I'm the Cathy in this story and as I sit here reading it the tears are flowing. We have been there from the beginning. I'll never forget when Jeanie called me to say they were going to adopt Audrey. My first reaction was are you crazy. After all their children were grown. As time went on we too came to love Audrey and fought the battles with Jeanie and Bill. Jeanie and I have spent alot of hours via telephone crying and praying. I am so glad this story is being shared with others. Hopefully it will give others insight. We continue to pray Audrey will live her life as a christian and let the values she was taught in the Hunt family allow her to leave the wrong ways behind her and embrace life doing good and being the lovely young lady we have always known she can be. Audrey always know the love that has been showered on you, will always be there for you no matter what. We look forward to being apart of your future. Know you'll always be in our prayers and heart.