Worth the wait
Sisters meet for the first time
Published: Thursday, August 29th, 2013
On May 25, Custer resident Jennifer Hart embraced her sister in a bear hug for five minutes. The two laughed. The two cried.
The two were meeting for the first time.
It was on that day that the sisters, who have the same mother, began to form a relationship that was unlikely, if impossible, decades earlier. There they were, however, sharing a hug, and later lunch, stories and photo albums, looking at the sister that, for Jennifer, she had nearly given up hope finding, and for Kim, she never knew existed for most of her life.
“It was amazing,”âï¿½ï¿½Jennifer, 37, said of meeting her sibling for the first time. “After searching for so many years...it almost seemed surreal.”
The story of the two divergent courses the sisters’ lives took began in 1961, when their mother, Beverly (Lair) Brinkman, became pregnant with Kim, now 51, at the age of 16. Societal attitudes toward teenage pregnancy were not nearly as forgiving as they are today, and Beverly was ordered by her parents to go to a Denver home for unwed mothers near their home of Ault, Colo.
“Grandma and Grandpa gave her no choice,”âï¿½ï¿½Jennifer said.âï¿½ï¿½“Her biological father wanted (the child) and wanted to marry my mom, but they said no. They sent her to the home for unwed mothers and it was never supposed to be talked about again.”
A few months later, on June 11, 1962, Kim was born at the Florence Crittenton Home for Unwed Mothers in Denver. She was adopted by Dale and Juanita Flood when she was 1 month old.
Kim Beach, who now lives in Franklinton, La., 70 miles north of New Orleans, said from an early age she knew she and her brother, Howard, were adopted. Her adoptive parents had tried for years to have children, to no avail. Eventually, they decided to adopt and started their family.
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