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August 2, 2011 > 'Who am I?'

'Who am I?'

An open letter to the Tri-City community

Through a series of intermediaries, Tri-City Voice was recently contacted by a young woman with an interesting story. As an infant, she was named Holly Noelle Washington by nurses at Washington Hospital when recovering from exposure after being abandoned at a Fremont gas station 24 years ago. In a sensational case that attracted widespread attention, the birth mother was never found and the newborn soon adopted

As her following letter will attest, Holly (living under a different name) is now ready to discover her roots and needs help from the Tri-City Community to do so. Although not expecting miracles - knowing that her own life is one the greatest she could experience - Holly would like to fill a gap in her personal history and is ready to accept whatever information is available. Now, separated by years and geography from Fremont, she says the lack of knowledge about her ancestry has been "eating away at me little by little as the years passed."

Hopeful to learn at least some facts about her blood relatives, Holly says, "I am expecting the worst but hoping for the best; I would just like to know the basic information most people take for granted." Questions have continued to haunt her; wondering whose blood runs through her veins. "I wonder whose eyes I have, I wonder whose hair I have... all of those things." She adds, "If I don't try, I will always wonder, so this is a way for me to close a chapter of my life. Who knows, if I get super, super lucky I may find some answers but in any case, I will have tried and then move on."

So, twenty-four years later, here is Holly's letter to the community...

"It's been almost twenty-four years since my story filled the pages of the local Fremont newspaper. It's been almost twenty-four years since my story was in the public's eye, since the hunt started and stopped for the newborn's mother who abandoned her in a bush. Now my story is a hazy tale from long ago, the facts have blurred, my picture faded. But I am still here. I am still waiting to find the woman who gave birth to me. I am hunting and praying for someone to remember me.

"I am the same person many people prayed for, sent clothes and gifts to, and tried to adopt. I was adopted by a loving, caring family but try as they might, a piece of me is still lying in the bushes outside of a Peralta Boulevard gas station in Fremont CA. My name has changed, and I seemed to have run as far away from the spot where I started from as I can for now, but here I am coming back... searching for closure and answers.

"I do not believe in all my years alive I have said thank you to Roberto Gusman, the man who found me just hours old, so "Thank you Roberto," you gave me a life no one else could. Thank you for saving me; you set in motion a life full of laughter, love, compassion, understanding and a life with a very haunting past.

"December 9th is almost here, twenty-four years to the date, and I am finally ready and eager to let go of my past with one more attempt at redemption. Right after I was found, when the images and facts were crisp and clear, people begged for information. Now I am pleading for them to look again: my mother is out there somewhere, someone must know something.

"I do not want to make amends for the sake of her heart, but for my past. For almost two decades, I have known that I have no real lineage, no history and no story beyond myself. Well, now I want to know what I have passed onto my son. Does breast cancer run in my blood? How tall is my son going to be? Do I look like my mother? I stand in front of the mirror looking at the color of my eyes, the thickness of my straight black hair and I am brought to my knees with the weight of not knowing anything.

"People ask me all the time "What am I?" I know they mean ethnicity, but perhaps for me it is just as simple as that. What am I with no mother, no father and no known past... what does that make me? Am I an Alien, a Mermaid, a Human, a fallen Angel, or just a Ghost without a past?

"So I wish, as I have wished but not spoken for so many years, to find my past and finally set my mind to rest. Help me find my mother. Help me answer my questions I haven't been brave enough to ask until now."

Anyone with information that will help is asked to contact Tri-City Voice at (510) 494-1999 or to be forwarded to Holly.

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