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Published Monday September 7th, 2009 at 2:16pm

Original Article by Shannan Koucherik

I am a birthmother. I relinquished my daughter in 1976 andnever thought I would see her again. I never forgot her and spent yearswondering what she looked like, how she was doing in school and whethershe was happy and safe.

I had to endure the grief of having lost a child but had very little support in that loss.

Six years ago, my life changed when I received a call from themoderator of the Colorado Adoption Search group, telling me she hadjust spoken with my daughter. Within half an hour, I was on the phonewith Shawna (not her birth name).

I had been searching for seven years — Shawna just happened toregister herself on the Colorado Adoptees' Web site 24 hours before anddiscovered her statistics already were on the registry.

I will never take the place of Shawna's adoptive mother, but we havea good relationship, albeit long distance as she lives on the eastcoast. I have the blessing of a beautiful grandson and the peace ofknowing that my daughter doesn't resent what I did so long ago butrather, appreciates my determination to do what was best for her,despite the consequences to me.

Trying to get adoptee information from the state of Colorado isextremely frustrating and very expensive. My daughter still can't gether original birth certificate because her father's name was on it andwe have no idea where he is. Only if we can get his consent or provethat he is deceased can she get the record that belongs to her.

People trying to find a birth parent or relinquished child born inColorado should contact the Colorado Adoption Search group (a Yahoogroup) for free information, search angels and a free registry.

I hope that Rita and her mother enjoy the same relationship that my daughter and I do.

It is a relationship that is never taken for granted.