my adoption papers, which I had never seen.
My birth mother was of Nor wegian descent,
had brothers and was Catholic. My birth father
was Italian. That’s all I ever knew of them. After
our walk, I spit into an Ancestry DNA kit that
Christina conveniently had in her car.
Two days later, I got a text from her. She
wanted to show me something. From the
California Birth Index, we’d learned the unwed
mother’s last name was Taylor. Christina had
looked through directories and phone books
from 1969, my birth year, for Alameda, San
Francisco and Marin counties, trying to find
women of childbearing age with that name. She
found t wo, but one had given birth in September
of that year. That left one candidate. Christina
told me this woman lived in Marin and could I
guess which town? Of course not, I responded.
This woman lived in San Anselmo, approximately t wo miles from where I live now. A wave
of goose bumps covered my body.
Christina then told me that this woman’s
name was Kathryn Taylor*. She was 24 at the
time of the birth, she had two brothers, and
her grandparents had Norwegian lineage.
Christina told me she’d researched to see if
Kathryn attended one of southern Marin’s public high schools in the early 1960s. She could
not find any record of Kathryn at Tam, Drake
or Redwood high schools. I wasn’t surprised. I
had always imagined that my birth mother was
from the East Coast.
Then Christina remembered I had said my
birth mother was Catholic, so she looked for
Kathryn at Marin Catholic. In a mighty rush,
the goose bumps returned and a huge lump
grew in my throat. Sure enough, Kathryn graduated from Marin Catholic in 1962. I couldn’t
keep tears from spilling out of my eyes and I
shifted so she couldn’t see my emotions boiling over. You see, my daughter was two and a
half months into her freshman year at Marin
Catholic. For weeks she had unwittingly walked
under her biological grandmother’s senior-year
class photo on the wall. When Christina showed
me a photo of Kathryn as a sophomore I jumped
up and screamed, “That’s her!” I did not need
DNA to know I was looking at the face of my
I called my parents and sister, who was also
adopted, to tell them everything. They had to
know. Things were happening so fast and I
ANNIE, KATHRYN AND ADRIAN
KATI, AMY AND ADRIAN WITH RON AND HIS WIFE