Real People Stories

Found: A Dearly Beloved Daughter

UPDATED 02/07/2005 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 02/07/2005 at 01:00 AM EST

Talk about a delayed connection. After 32 years, Kathy Boruch meets the child she placed for adoption—only to find they both work for the same airline

As a young unwed mother in 1971, 19-year-old Kathy Boruch of Lacrosse, Wis., made a heart-wrenching decision: to place her 5-day-old daughter for adoption. Years passed, but Boruch, now 52 and a flight attendant for American Eagle airlines, never stopped scanning the passengers aboard her flights. "I always looked," she says. "When I would first meet people, I'd say, 'How old are you? I have a daughter about your age.'"

Then one day last March her phone rang: "This is probably a really strange question, but did you have a daughter back in 1971?" On the other end of the line was Boruch's daughter Tamra McAdams, 33, who had tracked Boruch down at her L.A. home through the agency that had handled her adoption by a Wisconsin couple. The two women quickly learned they had much in common: personalities (both are bubbly), hobbies (shopping for shoes)—and, most surprising, professions and employer, since McAdams too is a flight attendant with American Airlines. "We know the same people!" says McAdams, who lives in Fort Worth.

Since then, the pair have grown close during eight face-to-face reunions. Currently going through a divorce, McAdams has introduced Boruch to her children—William, 5, and Alexandra, 3—and Boruch had the pleasure of presenting McAdams to her half sister Jennifer Slagowski, 22, Boruch's daughter from one of three marriages. "It's like we've known each other forever," says McAdams. To which Boruch adds, "There wasn't a day that went by that I didn't want to find her or know about her or think about her. To have a second chance is wonderful—I've been blessed."

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