Sometimes you meet the most interesting people in the most unusual ways; at the intersection of the right place and the right time... and wearing the right t-shirt.
This happened recently as we strolled the sunny streets of downtown Natchez. Searching for an afternoon coffee break, we questioned a local for a recommendation. She pointed us toward the Natchez Coffee Company.
It looked like a warm, inviting place so in we went. As I was paying the tab for our coffees, the cashier looks at my t-shirt, which had the word DELAWARE across the chest, and offhandedly remarked that her daughter lives there. Since we rarely run into people from our state (or people who even know where our state is located), I turned back and asked where in the state she lived. The cashier said she didn't know for sure but some where in north Wilmington.
That is how we met Allison. She was born and raised in Baton Rouge. After handing us our coffee, she went on to tell us her remarkable story.
In her younger days, she found herself pregnant, unemployed and unmarried so she gave her beautiful daughter up for adoption. After working with a local adoption agency, a qualified family was located and the process completed.
About twenty years later, at the prompting of her dying father, she decided to try to locate her daughter. She hired an attorney who contacted the adoption agency to have her records unsealed. Weeks turned into months with no success.
So, Allison decided to take to Facebook. She began a diligent search for her long lost daughter. After a few weeks of searching, and many negative responses, somebody responded by saying they had been born in Baton Rouge Louisiana, and given up for adoption around that very same time. They exchanged a few more private messages, which turned into emails, then a few phone calls.
She learned that the adoptive family lived in Wilmington, Delaware. Her daughter was happy and healthy, and quite anxious to meet her birth mother. So arrangements were made and after a few weeks, her daughter drove down for a face-to-face meeting! With tears welling up in her eyes, Allison spoke of the similarities she saw between her and her daughter. Some of the same mannerisms, same likes and dislikes. It seems like a warm and loving relationship has developed. Sadly, Allison's father did not live to see the reunion.
So, by this time, Allison was crying, Lorraine was tearing up, my coffee was getting cold and the people behind us were beginning to have second thoughts about getting their coffee here. We headed for our table, sipped our coffee and talked about our good fortune to have been able to hear such a remarkable story.
Before leaving, I asked Allison if she would mind if I wrote about her story in my blog and she gave me full permission. I thanked her, we all hugged and we went about our day, thankful for the series of events that led to this memorable coffee break.