The Search, Part 1 (2013)

The search for my biological parents began February 21, 2013. About a week later, there was such a huge response and I received so many messages, I decided the best way to keep up with everyone was to begin a blog.  I posted many lengthy updates over the next year. When I decided I wanted to start my blog again, it seemed like a good idea to condense all those posts into one. Please enjoy…

March 1, 2013

I have over 3,000 shares on my Facebook post from places as far away as Australia. I have received countless messages of support, encouragement, and advice. Although I’ve received many offers from those wishing to help in my search, I have no real leads yet.

I have contacted the adoption agency and signed a release so if my parents come looking for me, they will be allowed to see my information.


March 6, 2013

A wonderful, selfless volunteer has been tirelessly searching through records, phone books, newspapers, etc. I emailed her a copy of my paperwork, and she noticed a detail I had previously missed – my first mother’s birthdate – August of 1956 (the day was blacked out). Realizing she would have been 24 years old when I was born and not 23 like I originally thought, I updated the caption of my picture.

Another Facebook friend, Dana Goolsby, wrote an article about my search for her online magazine called My East Texas ( She linked back to my blog and included my email and the note to my birth mother. I am so grateful for the extra exposure and her kind words!

And the most exciting update – A reporter with CBS in Tyler saw my poster being passed around Facebook and contacted me. He wants to do an interview in Tyler this Friday morning! I’m terrified, but I need as much exposure as possible, and I could reach so many people this way! Someone out there must know something.


Mar 9, 2013

Yesterday was my interview with Anthony Austin at CBS 19 in Tyler. We arrived at the news station and met Anthony. I had been too nervous to talk to him on the phone (And yet, I agreed to talk to him on TV!? I know, I’m a complicated individual), so this was my first time talking to him. He was so warm and kind, he made me feel very comfortable. In fact, everyone we met at the station was friendly! I got a mic (so cool) and then we sat down for the interview. I was nervous at first, but I think it went well. They did a wonderful job editing the video and I love the way it turned out. I am so grateful to Anthony and everyone else at CBS 19 who worked to get my story out there. Thank you so much for your help!

For anyone who missed it, here are the videos:


Mar 31, 2013

Feeling discouraged. Unfortunately, my TV appearance led to no new leads or information. However, I have been made aware of the process needed to get my original birth certificate! Overall, it will take about six weeks or so to get the information.


Apr 12, 2013

Still no new leads, still waiting on information, still very discouraged. Meanwhile, I confided in a friend who suggested contacting another more popular news station in Tyler, KLTV 7. I just got a response from a reporter yesterday, and she wants to do an interview on Monday! This station reaches more people than the previous one, so hopefully it will be more successful.


Apr 29, 2013

I was not prepared for how emotional this search would be. This whole process is really taking a toll on my health and my family. I need to take a break from everything.

About a month ago, I sent out a request to the adoption agency for my records. That should arrive in the mail any day now. It will be non-identifying information ONLY, but it should still contain more clues than I have now. (Update 3/5/2017 – I never received this information, even after paying the agency $$$ for its release.)

Also, it turns out, get my original birth certificate is NOT as easy and simple as I was led to believe. First, I had to send a letter to find the identity of the court. It took two weeks to receive a response basically telling me, “Call this number for detailed instructions.” My husband called, only to find out I have to actually show up to court in person! The court will (hopefully) give me an order directing the Department of State Health Services to open the file. Then I will have to mail a certified copy of the order, and THEN they will open my records and mail them to me. The good news is, I know what to do now. The bad news is, it’s not happening any time soon. So I’m filing the letter away, and the information will be on the back burner for now.

(To Be Continued…)

FAQ (Searching for Family)

Thank you to everyone who has written me! I’m sorry I cannot respond to each of you individually. It’s been difficult for me to keep up with all of the comments, Facebook messages, and emails I receive. (I think that’s pretty awesome, by the way. I LOVE the support! You will never know how much it means to me.)

I have been getting lots of the same questions/comments lately, so I decided to address them here. I’ll try to keep the answers short, sweet, and easy to read, but it will be difficult because I love to talk (uh… type).

1. “Can you help me find my family?”
I wish I could. I am no expert. I am relying on volunteers and Facebook shares to help me. You can also look into online registries (many are free), and there are also lots of Facebook groups dedicated to helping adoptees find their families. If you want, you can email me a picture and your information and I will gladly post about your search on my blog!

2. “Why don’t you just get your original birth certificate?”
It’s not that simple. I need to petition the court first, and then it will take about six weeks before I will receive it. I have sent a request to find out which court handled my adoption, and as of this date, I’m still waiting on a response. Of course, even if I do receive my original birth certificate, my search will not be over.

3. “Have you registered at…?”
Yep. I have signed up with pretty much every online registry out there. At least, the free ones. And I signed up on the Texas Voluntary Adoption Registry. Unfortunately, my birth family has to register, too, in order for them to work.

4. “Why don’t you hire a lawyer/private investigator/try Omnitrace, etc.?”
I have many volunteers working to help me. I have no intention of spending hundreds or thousands of dollars trying to track someone down who might not even want to be found.

5. “Have you tried Troy the Locator?”
This one has earned its own separate answer because I get asked this so often. I signed up with his registry and searched his website, but like I stated above, I’m not interested in paying anyone to find my family.

6. “Do you have any names?”
Not at the moment. I don’t know my parents’ names or my siblings’ names, first OR last. I don’t even know for sure how many siblings I have or whether they are brothers and/or sisters. (“Jessica Hernandez” is my adoptive name, not my original name.)

7. “Why don’t you just ask your adoptive parents?”
They have already given me all the information that they have.

8. “Doesn’t your adoption agency have all this information?”
I’m sure they do, but since mine is a “closed” adoption, all they can give me is the non-identifying information.

9. “Can the agency find your birth parents for you?”
Yes, for $150 per person. I did sign up with their registry though, so if my birth parents contact them looking for me, they will release my information.

10. “What if they don’t want to be found?”
Then they won’t contact me. And if I find them, I’m sure they will let me know that they don’t want contact. This is not a reason to stop searching for who I am and where I come from.

11. “You should just be grateful you are adopted.”
Or “You’re REAL family is the one who raised you.”
Or even “Why do you care about your [first] mother when she threw you away like garbage?”
Yes, I’ve literally been called “garbage.”
Comments like these are unhelpful & unnecessary. Do not assume you know me, my feelings toward my adoption, or my relationship with my adoptive parents, even if you read my blog. It’s important to know that even though there are happy adoption stories out there, many adoptees did not grow up in happy homes. So don’t assume you know someone’s family better than they do.

Thankfully, for the most part, everyone has been extremely kind. I have had so many amazing messages of support, encouragement, and LOTS of advice I can actually use! In fact, I would not be where I am now in my search without the volunteers who are helping me. I am extremely grateful for all of you!

Anyway, that’s it for now. If you have a question that isn’t listed here, let me know and I’ll try to answer as best I can.

A Letter to my First Mother

EDIT: This letter was written when I was still under the belief that I would probably never find my biological mother, or that if I did, she would not want contact with me. I was finally able to meet my mother on April 19, 2014 and she has since answered many of my questions.

Dear Mother,

I realize that you may not want to be found, and you may not want any contact with me. If that is the case, I want you to know that I understand and respect your decision. However, I have many questions that I would like to ask you. If this reaches you, and you do not want contact, I would appreciate an anonymous response to this letter. You can send it to the adoption agency, and they will make sure it gets to me. If I do receive a response, I promise to discontinue my search.

1. What is my medical history?
Does cancer run in the family? What kind? What about heart disease? Any other diseases or disorders I should know about? Any specific preventative measures I should be taking?

2. Who am I?
What is my heritage? According to some paperwork I have, you are part Indian and Irish. Does “Indian” mean Native American? If so, what tribe? What part of Ireland are my ancestors from? When did they come to America? Can you tell me anything about my birth father’s background?

3. Why did you put me up for adoption?
Were you coerced into giving me up? Could you not afford to keep me? Did you think you wouldn’t be a good mother? Did you not love me enough to try to make it work? I know that you had two previous births before mine. Were you already overwhelmed with the first two? If you kept them, why not me? This leads me to my next question…

4. What can you tell me about my siblings?
Do we share the same father? Do I have a brother? I’ve always wanted a brother. Do I have any younger siblings as well? Do they know about me? Did you give them up for adoption, too?

5. What would you have named me?
I know this may be a silly question, but I’ve always wondered what my name would have been. I don’t really feel like a “Jessica.” I understand why my adoptive parents gave me my name, and I love the story behind it. But it seems so plain, and I am not a plain person!

6. Do you ever think about me?
I think about you often, and I wonder if you ever think about me, too. Are you proud of me? Did you see the pictures of my children? You have some amazing beautiful grandbabies. I think you would be proud of them.

7. Who do I look like?
I assume I look like you because we have similar features, according to the paperwork I received. But I want to know, where did I get my nose, my squinty eyes, my soft voice? One of my daughters has blue eyes. Who in my family has blue eyes? Does she get them from my birth father?

Last, but not least, I want to say thank you for giving me this life. It is crazy, but beautiful and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Love always,
Your Daughter

My Diagnosis: Conversion Disorder


Since I have nothing new in the bio parent search, I thought I would take this time to talk about my recent diagnosis. (This will be a long post, so get ready!)

I’ve struggled with my health off and on (mostly on) my whole life. I had seen many different doctors in the past, all each trying to treat one symptom, but not the whole. None of them could ever figure out what was wrong with me. Deep down, I knew all of my symptoms were related, but I didn’t know how.

A few months after my fourth child was born, my symptoms worsened. I suspected something might be wrong with my thyroid. In July, I finally broke down and went to see my family doctor. He decided post-partum depression would explain most of my symptoms but gave me a thyroid test anyway. The next day, the test results came back negative and I was diagnosed with PPD. It didn’t make sense to me because I didn’t feel “depressed,” but I was so desperate for answers, I went with it. The doctor started me on a mild anti-depressant. I also started a healthy diet, hoping this would solve the other physical problems I was having. I thought I was making steps in the right direction.

Unfortunately, each day kept getting worse and worse. I realized the medication wasn’t working at all, and the new diet wasn’t helping either. I was extremely dizzy all the time, and my hands and feet kept going numb. I thought maybe I was just getting used to the medication. Or maybe I was on the wrong diet. I tried vitamins and changing my diet again, but neither helped. I felt an urgency to get answers, and now I realize I sensed my “break down” coming.

On August 6, 2012, three weeks after the visit with my family doctor, it hit.

That afternoon, the numbness in my hands and feet suddenly got much worse. I was dizzier and more lightheaded than I had ever been. My vision was blurry & I couldn’t think straight. It felt like I was in a fog. I started crying and shaking. I thought I was dying. I was terrified. I tried to call my husband, but I was having trouble speaking and he couldn’t understand me. He told me to call my mom, and then he rushed home. I called my mom and she said she would take me to the hospital. Things get pretty fuzzy after that. I only remember pieces.

I remember my mom coming to the house and she was talking to my husband. I remember thinking, “I’m sitting here dying and no one is doing anything! Why don’t they care?” Then I remember being in my mom’s car on the way to the hospital. I remember the nurse trying to talk to me, but I couldn’t really understand her. That didn’t matter much since I couldn’t talk anyway. Another nurse checked my blood sugar, then the next thing I knew I was in a wheelchair rushing to get a CT scan. I had no idea that everyone thought I was having a stroke.

I don’t remember the first scan, but I do remember some guy coming in telling me he’s going to give me an IV. I freaked out! Of course, I know what an IV is, and I know it’s no big deal, but at that point, I was too far gone. I could no longer see or understand anything anyone was trying to tell me. I could hear my mom in the room and I think she was touching my arm, but I couldn’t see her. The only thing I could get out was the word “no” and I just kept screaming it over and over as loudly as I could. I wouldn’t let anyone else touch me. I have never been through anything so terrifying in my life.

The next thing I remember is having the second CT scan with the dye (obviously, IV guy somehow got me to calm down long enough to put one in). I don’t actually remember the experience. I just remember the dye made me feel really warm.

After the scans were done, they took me to a room and I had a neat visit from a neurologist on TV! He asked me questions and examined me (I can’t remember what all he did, but I remember he zoomed in on my eyes once). I have to admit, that part was pretty cool.

Later the ER doctor came in and told us it was technically not a stroke. (I also found out later, that what I had is called a pseudo-stroke. My brain and body believed I was having a stroke. I had all the symptoms and I’m going through a similar recovery, but I didn’t suffer any permanent damage.)

He diagnosed me with Conversion Disorder. Finally, a REAL diagnosis that explained my symptoms!

The next day, I had an MRI just to double check that there was no permanent damage. Everything looked great, so I was sent home and told to schedule an appointment with psych. After we got home, I took a nap while my husband made a hundred phone calls. Over the next few days, I saw my therapist, my family doctor (to update him on my new diagnosis), and a psychiatrist. After more examinations, questions, and tests, they all agreed 100% with the ER doctor’s diagnosis of Conversion Disorder.

I’m still learning about my disorder. Apparently, what happens is my body “converts” stress into physical symptoms. Hence the name Conversion Disorder. Clever, huh?

Recovery has been extremely difficult. For the first few months after my “stroke,” I experienced all my emotions at once. I was angry, depressed, nervous, scared, and (occasionally) happy all at the same time. Physically, I was extremely sore, dizzy, shaky, and every now and then my insides felt like they were on fire. My mind and body were constantly fighting against me. I didn’t even get a break when I slept. During the day, I was consciously holding back my emotions, so when I fell asleep, everything would explode. I had terrible nightmares and many nights, I would wake up in the middle of a panic attack. Those first few months were so emotionally and physically draining, I didn’t think I would survive. And honestly, I didn’t want to.

Luckily, I did survive. My team initially estimated my recovery would take a year, but I have exceeded their expectations. I still can’t handle too much excitement and I still have to take baby steps. One of my major goals right now is to feel comfortable driving again. I can drive, but not often and not very far. I also still have extreme phone anxiety. I hardly ever answer the phone, even when it’s family. I haven’t checked my voicemail in months. And even though I’m writing this blog, it’s still difficult for me to think, read, and speak. It’s very frustrating for me because I have all these thoughts floating around in my brain with no way to get them out! Writing is actually part of my therapy. And if you enjoy reading my blog NOW imagine how great it will be once I get my brain back!

Welcome to my crazy world!

Hello people and welcome to my blog!

For those of you who don’t know me, I thought I would take the time to introduce myself. My name is Jess. I’m a wife and homeschooling mom to 4 beautiful children. On the rare occasions that I have “free time” I enjoy reading, taking bubble baths, and dying my hair pretty colors. My hair has basically been every color of the rainbow. I also tend to be a chronic over-sharer and enthusiastic, albeit talentless, dancer.

Showing off my latest color combo – blue and purple! Very MLP-esque

Speaking of talentless… You should know I am not, nor will I ever claim to be, a good writer. I don’t care about using proper grammar, I have a limited vocabulary, and I just write the way I talk. If you’re a member of the grammar police, your corrections will fall on deaf ears… (Or blind eyes? Just don’t bother correcting me. You’ll waste your time.) Just sit back, relax, and enjoy knowing that you are way better than me. Congrats!

My mind tends to wander so I imagine my blog posts will, too. These are just some of the topics that I’m interested in and/or passionate about (in alphabetical order, just because): adoptee rights, animals, attachment parenting, babies, breastfeeding, chronic illness, cooking, crafts, gardening, homeschooling/unschooling, justice, mental illness, peaceful discipline, tolerance, and yoga. (Whew!) My kids are also planning on starting their own YouTube channel, so you’ll be blessed with super adorable videos as well. Aren’t you lucky?

One last thing you should know is that I intend for my blog to be a SAFE PLACE. I will not allow anyone to attack me, my family, or my friends (including my readers, assuming I have any and they actually post comments). Just so we’re clear…

I encourage discussions (how else would we learn?) but never personal attacks. I experienced some of this the last time my blog was active, and I’m not going to put up with it this time. If you plan on contributing nothing but rude comments or negativity in general, do us all a favor and stop reading. As a reminder, I will be including a short disclaimer at the end of most of my posts.

Well, that’s it for now, folks. Huge thanks to those of you who read this far. I’m impressed. *High fives*

I hope you enjoy following us on this crazy journey!


(Updated: 3/5/2017)