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Published Friday December 4th, 2009 at 3:33pm

Original Article by Donna Vickroy

Mary Kay Rosado is the first to admit she's had a great life. She has two sons, a loving husband and a challenging job at the law firm where the Obamas met.

Yet she is haunted by one nagging detail.


Mary Kay Rosado holds a photo of her biological mom on Monday in her Chicago home. She was given up for adoption after World War II and hopes to be reunited with her birth mother.
She longs to meet her birth mother.

"I had two very good parents, but I still felt it was important to find my biological mother," Rosado said.

Rosado, who lives in Chicago's West Lawn community, entered the Macy's Believe 2009 Campaign hoping to realize a lifelong dream: to be reunited with the woman who placed her for adoption 51 years ago.

The public will decide the department store chain's two winning entries - one story and one video. Both winners will receive a trip for four to New York City to see the 2010 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Rosado knows the odds of her winning the contest, which ends Friday, are steep. Her entry is competing with hundreds of other compelling stories.

"But I can't help thinking it will take some miracle to bring us together," she said. "I feel like this reunion needs to be spectacular and public."

Rosado's biological mother was a freedom fighter during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. She fled her homeland in 1957 for a Yugoslavian refugee camp, where Rosado believes she was conceived.

"A World War II airplane brought my pregnant mother to the United States, where I was born," Rosado writes in her contest entry.

Her mother flew to Chicago and moved in with two aunts on the North Side of the city.

"She kept her pregnancy a secret," Rosado said.

After giving birth at St. Vincent Hospital, Rosado's mother gave her baby girl up for adoption through Catholic Charities.

Rosado was adopted by William and Charlotte Baldwin and raised in the Scottsdale neighborhood on the South Side. She attended Bogan High School and then Daley College and finally St. Xavier University.

She married and had two sons, Chris and James Kolaras, and was divorced.

She has since married Isidro Rosado, a home inspector. Rosado is a retirement plans administrator for the Sidley Austin Law firm in Chicago, but is currently on medical leave, dealing with back problems.

Before her adopted parents passed away, she said, they encouraged her to find her birth mother.

So Rosado spent most of her adult life launching and subsequently canceling the search.

"Birthdays were very emotional," she said. "Because I knew that was the one day when both my mother and me were thinking about each other.

"I would vow to find her and then after a short time, I'd just give up," she said.

Finally, during a trip to New Orleans, she entered a store called "Angel Wings." There, a tea cup caught her eye.

"The saleswoman told me it had a bone chip of St. Vincent attached and that the baby girl pictured at the top was given up for adoption and taken care of by fairies."

Believing this find was not a coincidence, Rosado left the store determined to find her mother.

She hired a private investigator, who found the woman living in Switzerland.

Soon after, Rosado learned she had a biological sister living in California. She decided to first contact the sister, who then contacted the mother. It took the mother two years to call Rosado.

But once the ice was broken, a relationship quickly developed.

Now they talk weekly over the telephone, but the two have yet to meet.

"I'm still a secret," Rosado said. Her mother is married now and has yet to tell her husband about the baby girl she gave birth to so long ago.

"I feel like we need some kind of opportunity to get together," she said.

Meeting her biological mother, Rosado said, would complete the circle.

"I'm very passive about this. I don't call her, she calls me. I leave everything up to her," she said. "Except for entering this contest.

"There's something about the 'I Believe' theme that inspires me. This just might be the opportunity we need to meet."