By Mary Ann Hernandez Mullen
Here is the story of my search so far.
The search for my mother started five years ago, shortly after the day in June 2008 that I found out I was adopted.
In August 2008, I phoned people who knew me as a child and were still living in Manila (Makati). They were in their 80s. They remembered that I was "adopted but hadn't been told." These wonderful old people were surprised to hear that I'd never been told, and now, here I was, nearly 50 years old just finding out!
As concerned friends, they tried to help by asking among the elders in the community, but no one had personally known my first mother so no one could tell me anything about her.
The story they all remembered was: "Mary Ann's real mother lived with the Mullens during her pregnancy so she could have good food and medical care, and then the Mullens adopted the baby when it was born." Where my mother went after I was born, nobody knew. What her name was, nobody knew . . .
In the years following my discovery, I hired detectives three different times to look for my mother. The first one found out her name - Constancia T. Hernandez - and found my birth certificate. I'd never had a birth certificate before (that in itself is a long story)!
After I got my complete birth certificate from the NSO with affidavit of illegitimacy, I joined family history forums, reached out to childhood friends and acquaintances from Manila, as well as complete strangers on the Internet who might know anything about the Hernandezes of the Manila area. I put this search website on the internet about two years ago.
By March 2012, I felt strongly compelled to return to the Philippines during the Spring Break holiday to search. I was unable to find out anything more.
However, I had a wonderful holiday, met many warm-hearted Filipino people and thoroughly enjoyed being in the country of my birth. It was the first time I'd been back since 1972.
Throughout this time, I kept searching through various sites.
I phoned people named Hernandez in the Manila area. My Facebook friends helped me tremendously with suggestions - especially Ms. C.Y. and Mr. S.F. It was through their suggestions and encouragement that I started my Community Page on Facebook: Help Mary Ann Find Her Mother, which I started in December 2012, hoping to find my mother by Christmas.
I am still hoping to find her, or her surviving family, by Christmas of 2013.
Note: I am not looking for my biological father because I grew up with him. Frank Mullen "adopted" me legally in Canada and raised me. He died in 2006 in Canada, while I was at his bedside. He tried to tell me the truth just before he died, but ill-health stopped him from making himself understood.