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!”
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!!
Embrace Anticipation! You never know what God has in store for you around the next bend.
I love that old musical from the 1950’s, Annie Get Your Gun. It is an American musical Technicolor comedy film loosely based on the life of sharpshooter Annie Oakley. The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer release, with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and a screenplay by Sidney Sheldon based on the 1946 stage musical of the same name.
Does hugging come naturally to you? If so, from whom do you think you inherited that quality? Bob and I had that conversation after breakfast this morning. His mom and dad were not huggy folks. Mine were… especially my affectionate daddy.
Bob didn’t learn to be huggy from me. He came that way… and I feel so blessed. Marrying someone who was stand-offish Would have been put me to a terrible test!
Doin’ what comes naturally Isn’t the same for you and me. I reach out and hug strangers – At least ’til this pandemic distanced me.
Bob and I are huggy people We showed our kids the joy of touch But not all children are so blessed Some are abused; some aren’t touched that much.
When our daughter, DeAna’s best friend, Laina, Lost both her adoptive parents at a young age, We were blessed to say, “Come be in our family.” Having a “Daughter #2” was a blessing quite sage!
Our Laina keeps in daily touch. She wrote A message to me yesterday. I asked her if I could share it here. This is what she had to say:
I keep waiting for your blog theme to be “Embrace Hugging” or similar. Technically embrace does mean to hold someone closely in your arms so it’s almost funny to use the 2 words together.
Well here’s my mini blog for the day.
We just don’t hug enough anymore. For one reason, we can’t because of social distancing but also we don’t because we won’t take the time to do something that’s so extremely important.
My genetic nature resisted hugs growing up. I inherited that from Marilyn my Irish born biological grandmother and apparently her daughter my biological mother was the same way. I was adopted by a very different personality.
I would feel myself stiffen up and become uncomfortable when someone hugged me. My (adoptive) mom was very loving and caring. She was a hugger and I reflect back on those hugs and feel bad for my involuntary reaction. I would squiggle (squirm+wiggle) away as fast as I possibly could leaving her unfulfilled. Being a teenager and young adult I was too self-absorbed to notice the sadness on her face or to recognize her need for physical contact. If only I could go back in time and have a “do over”! I would give her a proper hug. It would be a long squeeze and I wouldn’t let go until SHE squirmed to get free. Knowing her, she wouldn’t ever squirm! we’d still be hugging! Hugs instantly boost OxyContin levels. It’s scientifically proven. Hugs help to heal feelings of loneliness and isolation and anger. An extended hug increases serotonin levels and increases good mood. It strengthens the immune system. So why don’t we do it more? We need to do it more! I guess I can’t tell you to hug a stranger because they might smack you or scream but definitely hug those you love whenever they are near… I can’t wait to give you both long hugs in person. I promise I won’t squirm away.
That picture of me with Laina is one of my favorites. I often use it as the “sign off” photo on my blog – edited to just be me. I had forgotten that it was taken on the occasion of my 80th birthday when Laina came to be with us and help us prepare for and carry out a party that included about 50 of our best MT friends. Laina lives in Maryland – and her trip here was such a gift. Helping us was for her, “Doin’ what comes naturally.”
Hugs may not come naturally to all of us. But it is something we can learn… and enjoy… and realize how important that intimacy is.
Yesterday our grandson, DeAna’s youngest son, Chris, went to Vissoie to have dinner at his parents’ restaurant and to give them a long overdue hug. It had been over a month since he had made the trip up the mountain to see them. I wrote to him afterward and said, “Thank you for going to be with your parents and for giving your mom great big, heart-felt hugs. We all need them.“
This morning he wrote back and said, “Oh! It was my pleasure! It’s been too long since I saw them, I needed to squeeze their booooooones. Can’t wait to squeeze yours, too!”
(Chrissy got that expression, “Squeeze yer bones!” from his GrampyBob… It’s one of his favorites.)
Whose bones do you need to squeeze today? Go do it! Go and make hugging one of those things that is “Doin’ what comes naturally!”
Thank you, blogging friends, for visiting JanBeek today. Hugs to you! See ya tomorrow.
Baby robins often hover Near the nest that was their home. Soon they’ll spread their wings And farther they will roam.
Like those little robins, Our children need to fly – Spread their wings and explore The vastness of the sky.
But in this COVID world, We’ve lost the freedom to soar. Our children may be caught Somewhere – longing for more.
If you’ve followed my blog for a year or more, you’ve met this young couple before. They are my grandson, Chris, from Switzerland, and the love of his life, Natalia, who lives in Colombia. Just before this pandemic hit us, Chris traveled to Colombia to meet his on-line girlfriend and her family in person. Now, the two must tuck in their wings and live with the limitations again of on-line romance. Neither is free to travel and face-to-face with the other.
When they were 2 and 4, this brother-sister duo joined our family. Hope Morgan and Samuel Leland were in foster care and God knew they needed to be Beekmans! Now Hope lives here – only a hour from us in Big Sky – and Samuel (who has special needs) had been living happily in a group home near Sacramento. They are now in their late 20’s.
Hope has two of our three great-grandchildren.
Samuel, in the group home, has been in a quarantine mode since this pandemic hit. Life is pretty empty when you can’t go out – and you can’t have visitors. Some of you may know the feeling. Family Connections are SO important!
Years ago, when the grandchildren were teens, we would often drive or fly to be together as a family. Now the family is spread out over several states and even across into Europe. Family Connections are sooo important to us! We live in Montana, and this group shot was taken at a gathering in California.
In the picture above you see (l to r) nephew Zak, Samuel, Bob’s sister Bonnie, her husband Stan, sister-in-law Ann beside Bob’s brother, Bruce, granddaughter Faith with her sister Hope (I’m between them), Bob, grandson Jordan, and behind him – daughter-in-law Monika (mom of Sam, Jordan, Hope & Faith) and lastly, Bob’s sister-in-law Marge. I think our son, Ty was taking the picture.
Yes, Family Connections are important to all of us!!
Gathering the Flock
When will we be able to gather the flock again? Is there a foreseeable end to this isolation?
Ty and Monika were so concerned about Sam and his isolation in the group home that they went yesterday to get him. He is now living back in the nest! God bless them for responding to the felt need!
Returning to the Nest
Sam may not be able to hug friends and visit up close during this pandemic, but at least from his home, he has his parents to hug, and he can see friends from a safe social distance. He is no longer isolated. Social connections are so important to our mental and physical health!
So, unlike the robin parents, We are free to go and rescue. Thank you, Ty and Monika, For returning Sam to the nest and to you!
God bless you!
Have a Happy Weekend. I hope you have opportunities to make Family Connections. Tell me about them!
“… forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward…”
I need you to see a photo of my youngest granddaughter when she was a little baby. Read on and I’ll tell you why I want you to see this on a post that’s all about where you’re headed. Here’s Faith Austynn Beekman:
Faith was adopted at birth by our son, Ty, and his wife Monika. The story of her adoption is a good one for another day. But for now, let me fast-forward:
Faith has grown to be a woman of great faith. This photo of her between her two grandmothers was taken two years before she graduated from High School. I tried to find my photo of her at her graduation, but this was as close as I came to it.
Ah, tenacity… it paid off… I found it! Here Faith is with us on the day of her graduation. Look at how much taller she is! Or did I just shrink?
Why do you think it was so important to see Faith on her graduation day – on this post titled, “Where ya Headed?” Well, a scripture with ta similar message as Philippians 3:13 – was printed on the top of her commencement hat! Hebrews 12:1 …
Fast forward again. Here is Faith with her fiance’, Kyle McSparron, on the day of their engagement:
And here they are at the rehearsal dance the day before their wedding:
Faith’s life so far is a fairy tale of love and success and faithful direction. Obedience to God and to her parents’ teachings, adherence to Biblical Principles, and the tenacity to “run with endurance the race God has set before [her]” are criterion that characterize her young life.
Living the Race
Faith and Kyle joined her parents (our son) Ty and Monika with their dog, Nakota at our home for Thanksgiving last year. Kyle has an electrical business that is suffering the downturn caused by this COVID-19 pandemic. He needs our prayers as he works to keep the company afloat.
Faith is working for the state of Nevada as a “Disaster Preparedness Advisor” (that may not be the exact title, but you get the idea. Her job is particularly vital right now… and much can be done on-line. Moving forward, we can see the two of them are living Hebrews 12:1 as fully as possible.
Bob & I are in our pj’s in that photo because it was very early on the morning they were leaving to head back to California.
“Don’t look back. You’re not headed that way!”
“I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future.”
I don’t know to whom I should attribute that quote, but it sounds like somebody like Billy Graham would have said it… or Mother Theresa.” And I know it is so true. God is in charge of where I’m headed. If today’s world and our circumstances are any indication, then we know the path to where we’re going is a rocky one. The only way to navigate it is through faith and prayer.
See that moose on my bed? When Faith was about 6 or 7, she and her family came to visit us. We spent a day in Yellowstone National Park. It’s ony an hour’s drive from our home. At the end of the visit, she and her three siblings were given the opportunity to go into the gift shop and buy themselves something to help them remember the trip. Faith bought this moose – and then gave it to me! She has such a loving heart!
Each morning when I make my bed, I place “Faithful,” this little moose in front of the pillows, and I say a prayer for Faith and Kyle. I thank God for Faithful, my reminder of my granddaughter Faith – and I thank Him for her and her faith, for her beautiful marriage to Kyle, and I ask God to watch over them.
May God watch over you today, too, my friends. And may He guide you as you “Run with endurance the race He set before you.” Look to a bright future… It’s coming! Face Forward – That’s where you’re headed.