Pam shared more about her OWN story this episode. Since she was young, Pam always knew that she wanted to find her birth mother. However, when she did, her mother was angry and made it clear she didn’t want to have anything to do with Pam at all. Pam shared her thoughts that “it goes against the grain of what you believe in as human being to think that your own birth mother hates you”. She reminded us that searching for your birth mother doesn’t mean that you want for anything….or that you didn’t have enough. Through her OWN pain, Pam built a successful business helping people reunite in the best emotional way possible. No one can guarantee how someone will react, but Pam does her best to create a safe environment for everyone….especially her client.
The show began with Elyse Moore from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. A mother of 4 children, Elyse was adopted. Her supportive husband contacted Pam and they were able to locate her birth mother a couple of years ago. However, her birth mother wrote Elyse a letter stating that her married and family life had been full and happy. She couldn’t bring herself to discuss this part of her past with them. Elyse replied in a the letter telling her that she completely respected her decision, but wanted to let her know a little about her life…she even included a few pictures of her and her family. Her letter was returned and Elyse was left with unanswered questions. Concerned about getting her hopes up, she asked Pam to help her find her birth father.
On father’s day Pam informed Elyse that she had found her father, Robert. He was alive but there was one little detail…he never told his wife or children. He was waiting for her to call tomorrow. Pam offered for Elyse to come to her house to call so that she could be there for support. The following day,Pam reminded her not to over-think it and just go with it. As they spoke I couldn’t help but start to cry along with Elyse. Robert was so kind, asking her “why are you crying?” BUT then things got a little sticky. He asked her why she was doing this and she told him that it was natural curiosity to want to know more about oneself. It was then that Robert seemed hesitant. Not sure how far he’d be able to go with all this. He did however tell his wife…who wasn’t very happy about it. He then went on to tell her a little about her mom and how she was “created”. Both of her biological parents met at a university and became pregnant. Her mother’s parents were very conservative and didn’t want her to marry the father. Robert went to George Washington University and then eventually graduated from NYU. He moved to California were he settled into his life. He now has kids in their twenties. Both wondered if they both had a good life….which they had. Elyse shared that she had great parents and Robert commented “that’s the most important thing that I want to know about. I’m grateful that things out of my control turned out very well.” Then, he wanted to give Elyse his email address…a good start. The update showed that Elyse and her father had exchanged photos through email and eventually cell phones numbers. She has also been able to connect with her birth grandfather who shared more family history with her.
I am so happy for Elyse and her family. Although things didn’t turn out well with her biological mother, maybe all that had to happen for her to find her biological father…who seemed pretty cool. Life can be funny that way.
The show then turned their assistance to Jennifer Noone. Her search weas unique. She had been evacuated from Vietnam as a baby by an American soldier during the Vietnam War. It was all part of “Operation Babylift” which helped to place orphaned children with families outside of Vietnam. Recently Jennifer noticed a cover of the magazine Vietnam which had published an article about Operation Babylift with a soldier feeding a baby with a bottle. Her mother, Lana, suspected that she may be the baby that was on the cover. After researching, Jennifer was able to confirm her mother’s hunch. With only the photo in hand, she asked Pam Slaton for help. As the final baby ever place from “Operation Babylift”…Jennifer and her mother hoped to find the American soldier, Brian John (BJ) Harms. While Pam searched Jennifer couldn’t help but wonder if he would even remember. Knowing that the Vietnam War was difficult for many vets, she was aware that he may not be open. Around 35 years later, they were hoping to find the soldier who had brought them together.
With a few ideas from Jennifer’s mom who is heavily involved in “Operation Babylift”, Pam set out to do all she could to find him. The 35th Anniversary of Operation Babylift was the perfect opportunity for Jennifer to ask around about BJ. Nine days later, Pam sent Jennifer a package with BJ’s photo in it. Both mother and child were excited to finally have more information. The excitement didn’t last long, unfortunately Mr. Harms was no longer alive. Jennifer’s mom felt horrible that they weren’t ever able to tell him what a difference he had made. However…Pam was able to find his wife. When Pam asked his wife about the photo that had appeared on the magazine, she said she had the same photo sitting on her desk…and looked at it everyday. She couldn’t wait to meet Jennifer and her mother! Three weeks later, Jennifer and her mother arrived in Denver to meet BJ Harms’ widow, Sandra LaFrance. She shared that the photo was one of his favorite…making it one of her favorites, too. As time went on, Jennifer and Sandra remained pen-pals.
The show wrapped by showing a bit of Pam and her mom, Ann F. Monaci. Her mother had been living with her for some time. As Ann went on about how Pam was picked and so loved, I understood where Pam got her kindness from. She seemed so incredibly sweet. As I thought to myself that Pam may have had a unattached biological mother…she sure had a loving adopted mother. Then the show let us know that Pam’s mom passed away suddenly following the production of the show. “What can I say about my daughter? I love her more than my life. She has been everything to me, everything” Ann said with tears in her eyes. I am sorry for Pam’s loss…and grateful she had the opportunity to have such an incredible mom.