I was adopted. I always knew I was adopted so it was never a thing. I was always happy. 

Both of my parents are gone, and so I thought, “Well now I might start looking for my birth parents.” I kept hitting dead ends. 

I did Ancestry DNA and I matched with my birth mother’s sister. So I contacted her, and she had been looking for me for years.

Back in those days, when my birth mother got pregnant, they shipped her off. Nobody talked about it. But it had always bothered her sister, my aunt. 

I met my aunt, and she is a devout Catholic and was so thrilled that I had been raised Catholic. She had been to Medjugorje and started talking about it. When I first met her, she was coming again to Medjugorje. She, along with her daughter, my sweet cousin Amy, had been to Medjugorje and they started talking about it. I was like, “I need to go.”

I have three daughters. I would like them all to come. A year ago, I was only going to bring one, and I prayed about which one, and it was Katie, my oldest. 

It’s just been– life changing sounds so cliché, but I love how you can just pray openly. You walk around praying with a rosary, not that you can’t do that in the states, but it’s different. Everyone’s doing it.

I love all the church time. You don’t even think about, “Oh I’ve gotta go home and fix dinner,” or whatever. You’re just there present in the Mass, in Adoration, in the Rosaries, climbing the hills. I just loved it. As busy as we were, it was the most relaxing. I’ve grown closer to God and Our Lady, and I think, so has Katie. 

I can’t wait to see how I feel when I get back. I’m sure I will carry it forever. And I will be back here. I will come back. I’ll bring the other two. 

I think the highlight was the second day when I climbed Apparition Hill– the 5 AM climb. I was exhausted. I didn’t want to go. I did wake up, and then I laid there, and I thought, “Oh I don’t want to go,” then, “I am going.” So I got up. 

Climbing the hill in the dark was beautiful and everyone praying, but right when we got to Mary, it was light. As we came up to the statue, there She was. It was breathtaking. The timing of it, I felt, was just perfect. 

I feel like I found my birth family at the right time because it brought me to Medjugorje.