Woman learned birth mother was star on ‘That’s My Mama’
By Lisa Respers France, CNN
Updated 10:20 AM ET, Sun May 9, 2021 Lynne Moody in a promotional photo for the ABC TV series “That’s My Mama.”
(CNN)Lisa Wright always knew she was adopted, but had no idea her biological mother was a star on one of her favorite television shows.Now Wright is sharing the story of having been reunited with actress Lynne Moody after 50 years in what reads like the perfect Hollywood ending, according to NBC’s “Today.” “I grew up watching my mother on TV and didn’t even know it,” Wright told the morning show. “‘That’s My Mama’ — that was our must-see TV. We all sat down and watched ‘That’s My Mama’ every week, and who knew? No idea. … And that’s my mama!”
The series ran for two seasons on ABC from 1974-75. https://68151845e449bd7bd92b8064c37f7ae2.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
Wright said she knew very little about Moody, who was 18 when she gave birth, and had a closed adoption.
“My (adoptive) mom told me, ‘Your mommy loved you, but she was really young, and she knew she couldn’t take care of you. I wanted the baby so bad, and that’s why your mom let me take care of you,'” Wright said. “You weren’t abandoned. This was just the best thing for you.”More of CNN’s Mother’s Day coverage
But encouraged by her son a few years ago to do genetic testing, Wright first tracked down an uncle who told her the family had been searching for her all these years and who led her to Moody, who, like her daughter, was living in Los Angeles.
Moody called her birth daughter.”A voice on the other end says, ‘Is this my daughter?’ And then I just went, ‘Oh, my God, is this my mother?'” Wright said. “And then she goes, ‘Yes, sweetie, this is your mom.’ It was just the most indescribable feeling.”It was a deep connection for Moody, who never had any other children and never thought she would find her beloved child.”When I found out that she was my daughter, at that moment, it was like I was giving birth,” Moody said. “Because I lost my legs, I was on the floor in a fetal position, screaming and crying. I didn’t know how deep that hole was.”
And the actress best known for roles in the TV series “Roots” and “Knots Landing” had a Mother’s Day message for all.”Life is full of surprises sometimes, so hang in there no matter what your circumstances are,” she said. “Be open to miracles, be open to surprises, and keep the faith.”
I have four adopted grandchildren. This story touched my heart for obvious reasons. On this Mother’s Day, there are many children out there who have been raised by loving adoptive parents. There are many biological parents out there who gave up their child for altruistic reasons. Some of them have located their children and have a happily-ever-after reconnection story. Others have reconnected, but the results were not so glorious. Still others have not tried to find their biological parents (or children) and live with that sense of unknowing, not sure that filling in the blanks would be helpful for anyone.
Whatever the situation, it is always heartwarming to me when I read about these cases of rejoining. It is sweet to know there are cases where the child can find his/her roots – and the parent can fill that empty spot with fresh discovery. I know when it happens and it is positive, God’s hand is involved… and it makes my heart sing.
I am grateful for the mom who gave her child up for adoption because she knew she could not provide a suitable home. I am equally grateful for the family who took the child in – and loved him or her completely – fully embracing him or her as their own.
On this Mother’s Day, may all those adopted children feel a sense of gratitude for the mom who gave them birth – and for the mom who raised them. May they know, whatever the circumstance, they are loved. They are wanted. They are not an accident. God don’t make mistakes!!
You never know what God has in store for you around the next bend.
Happy Mother’s Day!