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More than 1,400 miles didn't stop the reunification with this birth family

Adult adopted person opens her heart to her birth family after tragedy

More than five decades ago, Lisa Metivier was born in Dallas, Texas. At just three days old, she was adopted through Buckner and went home with her adoptive family to Edinburg, Texas.
A few years later, her adoptive parents adopted again through Buckner: her brother, Donald.
“We always knew we were adopted,” Lisa shared. “I was always told my birth parents were young and my father was going into the army and that it was important for them to have me in a Christian home.”
She looks back on photos of her initially being placed in her adoptive mother’s arms and is so grateful for her parents’ steady love throughout her life. 
“There’s a picture of my mom and dad when they held me for the first time, and the look on their face, I could have come from my mom’s womb – there is no difference in the magnitude of love,” she said. 

Lisa with her adoptive parents

Learning more about her adoption story

When Lisa was 8 years old, her family moved to Stratford in Ontario, Canada, where her adoptive mother is from originally. Being adopted was always in the back of Lisa’s mind, but she loved her family and loved her life.
While she didn’t dive into finding her birth family until down the road, her adoption backstory guided her in many ways. Lisa and her husband opened their home to foster children for years and created a safe place for children in need while raising their biological son and daughter.
It wasn’t until nearly 2015 when Lisa and her husband made an appointment with Buckner and drove to Dallas from Canada. Lisa was given the minimal paperwork available on her adoption. As an adult adopted person, this new information can be overwhelming - no matter the amount. While there were just a few pages, one major piece of information stood out to her.
“My middle name is Ruth, and I never liked it,” she said. “My dad was a huge Elvis Presley fan so I figured if I’m named Lisa, my middle name should be Marie.”
“Instead, they decided to call me Ruth after my mom’s middle name and Ruth being her favorite book of the Bible.”
Throughout the course of her life, Lisa chose to tell people her middle name was Marie rather than Ruth. But within the pages of paperwork, Lisa saw her birth mother’s name: Ruth.
Hurt and confused, Lisa called her dad thinking they had known this truth and covered it with the other reasons. 
“He then told me they had no idea – they had named me that because of my mom’s favorite book of the Bible and her middle name,” she said. “It was that aha moment where I had fought my middle name all my life but yet now I see I’ve had my birth mom with me the whole time through this name.”

A gift of family after endless tragedy

Rewind to 2013. 
Lisa had an on-again-off-again relationship with adoption.com, a website that offers a search and reunion guide. She had occasionally checked messages over the years, but her profile often got put on the back burner as she focused on her present life. 
After finding out her birth mother’s name, it opened the passion for her search again. Between the adoption website database and Facebook, Lisa spent hours searching for any Ruth that might match the location and dates. With nothing coming to fruition, and life tragedies hitting her from every angle, Lisa again let the search fall to the wayside. 
Lisa with birth sister and cousinsIn 2017, her husband passed away in a tragic plane accident and shortly thereafter, Lisa lost her mom and dad too – all within nine months. Her life was drowning in grief. 
But in early 2021, two messages came through the adoption search portal. 
“I initially thought it had to be spam,” she said. “But I open up the first email and it says there’s been a match.”
The second email featured another match – a sister named Jamie.

Experiencing adoption reunification with birth family

The two began communicating. Lisa was apprehensive at first, but they grew close over time. Across the emails, Lisa was able to learn about the love her birth mother had for her, too.
“My birthday is May 3,” Lisa said. “And Ruth would take that day each year to read her Bible and spend time alone. She also had the birth dates of my biological sisters written in it – as well as mine.”
Ruth and Jamie both live in Texas while Lisa still lives in Canada. But Lisa and Jamie working on plans to officially meet. 
“When I finally went to meet them, I have never felt so comfortable and I just fit in instantaneously,” Lisa said. “There wasn’t any awkwardness there.”
“It’s neat to finally know where you came from, and I could tell it was something Ruth needed too,” she continued. “This woman has loved me since the second she found out she was pregnant, and she gave me a gift I wouldn’t change – my family.”

Lisa with her birth mother
Through the eyes of an adult adopted person, Lisa believes she’s been gifted a special strength.
“From fostering to raising my own kids, this experience has given me a strength to be more open and to be an advocate for children,” she shared. “Parents love you, want the best for you and working together to create a safe environment full of love.”
Every adoption story is unique, and each adult adopted person’s perspective is different. But they are all important and valid.

Are you interested in opening your home to a vulnerable child? November is National Adoption Month. Find out more here.

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