A wonderful local story here in Buffalo touched me this morning. It’s a story of a woman, Jackie Oddo, who found out that her birth mother, had died when she found her obituary in the newspaper. This woman, Marsha L. Straubinger, an artist and dedicated volunteer was someone who she never met in person but had several conversations with.

The most touching part of this story for me was when Oddo decided that she was going to Marsha’s wake:

“I didn’t want to hurt these people,” Oddo said.

Bart Oddo knew how important this opportunity could be to his wife. He suggested she tell the nice man that had just been talking to them. They could tell he was close to Straubinger because they had seen him conferring with the priest about the eulogy for the funeral the next day.

The Oddos asked Vinal to come over. “This is Marsha’s daughter,” Bart Oddo said, gesturing to his wife. “Marsha was Jackie’s biological mother.”

Vinal looked extremely surprised. He said something about how that made sense, because Straubinger had been a very private person and let few people into her life.

The Oddos gave Vinal their phone number and said they would be at the funeral the next day.

They got in their car. Jackie Oddo said she was overcome with a feeling of relief “as though a weight had been totally lifted from me.”

Amazing! Joy through grief. What a gift these families have given to each other and what a gift Marsha gave to her daughter by giving her to a family who could care for her. Harboring that secret all these years must have been difficult. Perhaps now, she realizes that she loved her child enough to give her what was best for her.

Read the whole story–it’s beautiful

Let’s pray today for adoptive parents and those who give up their child for adoption. I’m especially thinking of my friends Patty and Steve Spear and their son Matthew.

May God grant them all peace and serenity.