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Published Monday July 27th, 2009 at 11:16am

Original Article by Lynne Sherwin

What reaction might an adult adoptee have when contacted by her birth mother? Shock, perhaps, joy or resentment, depending on the person's feelings about having been adopted. For Medina High School alumna Kate St. Vincent Vogl, author of Lost & Found: A Memoir of Mothers, the reaction was gratitude.

Vogl, a 30-year-old married mother of an infant, had known she was adopted since she was 8, when her older sister burst into the house from a tussle with the neighborhood ruffian who had spilled the beans. Her adoptive family was loving and prosperous, and she writes that it ''drives [her] crazy, that assumption'' that all adoptees embark on frantic searches for their birthparents. ''I never had that driving desire,'' Vogl says.

But when her phone rang in March 1995, her ''real'' mother had been dead of cancer for only four months. Val, the woman who called, knew Vogl's date and place of birth, and background information about her parents. Vogl learned that Val had eight sisters and two brothers, and that her birth father had been killed in a motorcycle accident.

Vogl writes with grace and intelligence about her conflicted feelings, wanting to thank Val for her decision, loyalty to her adoptive mother, hesitance about distressing her widowed father. When a birthday approaches, she makes a point of telling Val to forgo sending her a card or gift, but later she takes part in her half brother's wedding, having enlarged her family almost unawares.

There is no such thing as a typical adoption story. Lost & Found is personal, but its value can be recognized by anyone whose family has included an adoption. Lost & Found (292 pages, softcover) costs $14.95 from http://www.northstarpress.com. Vogl now lives in Minnesota.