In memory of the life, love and wit of Carol Versandi
My Story - by Chris Versandi
March 1, 2014
My story about my mother is a special one.
Many people know that I was adopted right after I was born.
It wasn't a secret in our house. Nobody ever tried to shield me from it or hide it any way. My mother told me the story of my adoption as soon as I was old enough to understand it.
My mom had tried for many years to have a baby and over time became more and more desperate. She decided that she was going to adopt and did not care where the baby came from. She told my Dad that she would go to Africa or to China or to the ends of the Earth if necessary. Anywhere she could to get a baby!
So my mother and father went to a local adoption agency and were told it would take some time. Possibly even a few years. Time passed and one day my mother got a phone call from a lawyer in Florida saying that a baby would be born in a few weeks that would be put up for adoption. Was she still interested?
Of course she said "Yes!"
I was born Tuesday April 20th 1971 and was adopted by Carol and Robert Versandi four days later in Homestead Florida.
As I mentioned, throughout my years growing up, my mom always told me I was adopted. It was never a shock to me and I never had resentments towards my parents because they loved me like their own.
I had always been curious about where I came from and if my family was out there.
It was a mystery to me that I might have brothers and sisters. Aunts, uncles, cousins.
I was so interested in finding these people that I couldn't stop thinking about it.
When I was a teenager I asked my mother about trying to find my biological parents and after some discussion, my mom showed me some documents that had a name on it. "Raeleen Ross".
I wasn’t sure, but I was almost certain that this was the name of my biological mother.
When I began my search, the Internet wasn't even in existence. So I made many phone calls to Homestead Florida and looked up the name Raeleen Ross. But this last name was so common that there must have been thousands. I would sound like a crazy person calling people up out of the blue asking “Are you my mother?"
After searching so many different names and so many different ways, I hit a brick wall and lost hope of trying to find Raeleen.
Jump forward about 10 years. My mom is visiting me while I was stationed in San Diego. I forget how we got onto the conversation but we started talking about the adoption and my search, etc., when my mom mentions the names of the lawyers who had assisted both parties in the adoption process.
After some searches on Google, I found a site called "Adoption Angels".
Turns out that the lawyer who helped my parents and my biological parents had passed away and her legal files had been thrown in the trash.
However, as luck would have it, someone had found them and decided to help people find their biological parents as well as help biological parents find the children they had given up for adoption.
I felt like this was the breakthrough I needed after all this time.
So then I looked on the searches - a kind of a "Missed Connections" type listing -and there it was! My birth date and the hospital where I was born!!
My biological mother was right there, looking for me, clear as day!
She didn’t know if I was a boy or girl or where I was.
I immediately contacted her and soon found out that the posting was actually from her sister. My aunt Sonja. She got in touch with me and told me so much about my Mom.
I was so excited to meet her. Finally. After all these years of searching.
I also found out I had a brother I never knew I had.
All the questions of my life that I had been so curious about were about to be answered. I could not have been more excited.
I have to say this, My mother, Carol, was so incredible in her help with this search.
What she did made me feel more complete.
What she did that day was the greatest gift a parent can give their child.
And I am sure she was nervous or apprehensive. Maybe she felt like she was losing me as her son. But the truth is my mother, Carol Versandi is My Mother!
She will always be my mother and nothing can ever change that.
What Raeleen Ross did was the most selfless act a person could ever do.
She gave me a life with someone who loved me unconditionally and gave more that 1 million percent of herself for me.
It was Carol, my mother, that made me the man I am today.
I can never thank you enough mom for being so good to me.
For being a strong mother when I needed it and give me the nurturing I needed.
You will always live in my heart. You will always be on my mind.
There isn’t a minute that I don’t think about or miss you.