Blessed By Adoption: The Search for Family

Blessed by Adoption: The Search for Family

Alice MurrayBy Alice Murray5 Minutes

The story of an adoptee’s years long quest to find her biological family is now a book, Blessed By Adoption: A Journey of Discovery Blending Families and Countries. The author, Ann Kief, did not let time and geographical distance deter her from finding her roots. Her sheer determination, along with some divine assistance, took her back in time and across an ocean to discover who her birth parents were and why she was placed for adoption.

As the book title implies, Ann’s quest to find her biological family involved more than one country. She was born in a hospital for unwed mothers in Munich, Germany, in 1948. Ann’s adoptive parents, a U.S. military couple stationed in Germany, took Ann home with them upon her discharge from the hospital. Eventually the family returned to the United States where Ann became a naturalized citizen.

Although aware from an early age she was adopted, Ann did not delve into her adoption story until she was an adult. Married and contemplating starting a family, Ann began thinking about her biological heritage. She talked with her parents and obtained details about her adoption. Initially, she was only information gathering; her efforts to locate her biological family did not begin until after her parents died.

Through an aunt, Ann learned the name of her biological mother—Marion Eva Freiin von Stenglin. The “Freiin” in the name was a designation of nobility. To Ann’s amazement, this designation meant Ann was born a baroness. In 2005, Ann started searching for adoption paperwork in her deceased parents’ belongings. A folder with brittle brown paper contained her adoption records, but Ann’s father was listed as unknown.

Blessed By Adoption reveals not only the diligence with which Ann attempted to track down her biological parents, but the impact of her faith in her search. A number of what Ann refers to as “God-winks” boosted her search efforts. For example, Ann met a German man while living in Florida and told him of her adoption. This new friend called the only listing for a von Stenglin in the Munich directory ultimately resulting in a maternal first cousin e-mailing Ann.

Through this contact Ann sadly learned her mother was deceased. The cousin sent Ann pictures of Marion which revealed a great physical resemblance between mother and daughter. Ann’s connection with her maternal family culminated in her traveling to Germany to meet them. Unfortunately, no one knew anything about Ann’s biological father.

Another “God-wink” set Ann on the path to finding information on her paternal family. In 2011, a childhood friend of Marion’s, Sigrid, saw a woman bearing a striking resemblance to Marion. Overcome with the desire to locate Marion’s daughter, Sigrid searched Marion’s name online even though

she knew Marion had died 26 years earlier. Her search revealed an Ann Kief looking for her biological mother—Marion! Sigrid called Ann immediately, and the two met.

While Sigrid did not know anything about Ann’s biological father, she suggested Ann request her German birth certificate. Surprisingly, that certificate revealed the name of Ann’s father– a friend of Marion’s family who was much older than Ann’s mother. Disappointingly, Ann’s biological father was also deceased. Seven years passed before Ann found a living paternal relative.

As recounted in her book, Ann’s search for her roots spanned 13 years with large time gaps in between discoveries. Although her biological parents were deceased, her efforts connected her with paternal and maternal relatives. Despite Ann’s initial fears her biological family would reject her, she was welcomed with open arms and even invited to attend a family reunion in Germany.

A lengthy search rewarded Ann with information on her biological roots and an expanded family. Her search also deepened Ann’s faith; she is convinced many of her discoveries were divine appointments. Ann found amazing interrelations between her story and both sides of her family. Looking back she sees a common thread of God weaving it all together for her to find.

Blessed By Adoption is a story which will bless the reader. This heartwarming account of unearthing biological roots was released in May by Xulon Press and is available through Xulon, Amazon, iTunes, bookstores, and Ann’s personal website,