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Memoir details mother and daughter's reunion after 77 years

Memoir Details Mother And Daughter's Reunion After 77 Years

After 77 long years, Minka Disbrow was finally reunited with her daughter Ruth Lee. And now, NBC reports that their joyful reunion will be detailed in a new memoir.


'On what would have been her daughter's 77th birthday, Minka, then 94, said a prayer.' 'With one call, Minka's prayer was answered.' 'Hello.'

Lee was looking to be reunited with her mother. The two finally met after Lee's son tracked down her adoption papers, which included letters Disbrow wrote to the adoption agency asking about her daughter. With one simple phone call to Disbrow, Lee and her mother were reconnected in 2006.

Disbrow's granddaughter, Cathy LaGrow, says she wanted to share their story, so she wrote "The Waiting," a memoir detailing her grandmother's quest to find her mother.

The memoir released May 6 details how Disbrow was raped on her way to a picnic at just 16 years old. Months later, she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl whom she named Betty Jane.

'When her little baby girl is born, she gives little Betty Jane up for adoption, with the hope that she would have a better life.' 'The young girl never stops thinking about and praying for her baby.'

The Oregonian says the two lived separate lives from then on. Disbrow eventually settled down in California, got married and had two more children. Disbrow's Betty Jane, renamed Ruth Lee, grew up with loving adoptive parents before settling down with her husband and six children in Wisconsin.

Disbrow, who's pushing 103, and Lee, now 85, have grown close over the past eight years.

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jen May 09 2014 at 3:40 PM

Heart warming story

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1 reply
Dianna jen May 09 2014 at 3:51 PM

The same thing happened to my mother. She was given up for adoption 81 years ago, and I have never stopped wanting to find her birth mother. My mom wasn't curious, but I was. I know it's too late, now, but someday I'll meet my biological grandmother.

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Donna May 09 2014 at 9:41 PM

My mother rejected me as a baby and when I found her when I was a mother with 2 daughters, I was rejected again. No truth was disclosed, and I know that I have 4 siblings I never got to meet. Depression runs in my family, and I have fought an uphill battle most of my life. Sometimes it may not be better to know.

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2 replies
jillarenz Donna May 09 2014 at 11:50 PM

Not to be insensitive, but your correct in leave well enough alone. In my heart I feel your birthmother was trying to give you a chance at a life she could not give you. Now you are mother and how special that is. I just say, love and forgive.

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1 reply
jmtpoodle jillarenz May 10 2014 at 12:30 AM

Cherish your own children. Happy Mother's Day.

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novaheston Donna May 10 2014 at 12:42 AM

I'm sorry she hurt you so.

But, She was never worthy of your precious love.
Maybe she knew it back then.
A new day beckons, free your mind of all sorrows others impose on you.
You, as a Mother, know what it is to cradle someone, who looks at you with adoration.
Happy Mothers Day, Sweetheart.

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1 reply
kathi novaheston May 10 2014 at 5:41 AM

I really want to respond to Woody ... I am a 62 year old women ,I was given up along with my brother , I was 2 my brother was 3 .....Let me tell you its not about our adopted parents they were wonderful....Its about knowing what happened, and the story behind it ..There is still a hole in my heart , not knowing the reason my
biological Mother signed those papers to give us away...Also not knowing my medical history .This has affected not only my life ,also my Daughter and Grandchildren....My wish is for the state to open up the records so we can have the medical records we need...And all you wonderful parents that have adopted children please don't feel threatened , you are our real parents the ones we love , HAPPY MOTHERS DAY

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Owen May 10 2014 at 8:56 AM

truly a beautiful story

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msegal705 May 09 2014 at 10:10 PM

I am 62 and just met my birth mother at age 60. We have become close, but she still doesn't want her other children to know. That part is hard for me. I am still the dirty little secret. Even though she is my mother she is not my "Mom". That was my adopted mother who loved and cared for me. But I agree there is always a piece missing when you are adopted no matter how loved you are by your adopted family.

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1 reply
Roni msegal705 May 09 2014 at 10:36 PM

Thank you for sharing. I am aunt to two children who were adopted, and although they have not connected with their birth parents as adults, it is helpful to know what challenges and opportunities they might face if they did.

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apple001414 May 09 2014 at 11:29 PM

Another great story of biological parents and adoptees finally getting to meet each other. If only all adoptees could be so lucky.

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bagthepi May 10 2014 at 12:48 AM

God bless them both. Happy Mother's Day. :)

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WOODY May 10 2014 at 1:02 AM

AS AN ADOPTI VE FATHER OF TWO, I RESENT HOW ADOPTIVE PARENTS ARE
SHOVED ASIDE WHEN THIS 'REUNION' OCCURS.

WE GOT OUR DAUGHTER WHEN SHE WAS 4 WEEKS OLD. SHE IS NOW 43.
IT WAS HER ADOPTIVE MOTHER AND I WHO RAISED HER. IT WAS US THAT
TAUGHT HER LESSONS OF LIFE.

WE DID NOT SEE OURSELVES AS 'STAND-IN' BABY-SITTERS UNTIL
BIRTH MOM OR DAD SHOWS UP TO TAKE BACK THEIR KID.

I AM TIRED OF THE 'SOB-STORIES' THAT SURROUND THESE 'REUNIONS'.

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10 replies
Gina May 10 2014 at 2:08 AM

What a wonderful story. I'm so glad these women got the chance to meet and have a relationship with each other. Many people find their biological parents but are too late and they have passed on. I can't imagine the pain of having a baby and having to give it up for adoption.

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popartst1 May 10 2014 at 3:35 AM

I have been searching for my son David Alan (new last name ) for several decades . He was born in Worcester ,Ma on 4/17 /68 . My name was Christine Holm (now Rubin) . He has a wonderful 25 yr old brother ,Leland & many other family members who desperately want to find him.

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2 replies
Fraginals5@aol.c popartst1 May 10 2014 at 7:43 AM

Hope you find him.

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jpeardm popartst1 May 10 2014 at 8:16 AM

are u by chance related to Barry or Greg?

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David S. May 10 2014 at 7:39 AM

Wow.....85 and 103. Sounds like longevity runs in the family. What a nice story.

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