Jamie Smith’s story is one of those rare tales that made me catch my breath and say “Someone has to write this story, and it has to be me.”
JERRY CITY, Ohio — A snippet of shoestring is one of the only clues to Jamie Smith’s mysterious birth 26 years ago.
On March 24, 1991, she was found in the back seat of an unlocked sedan in Fostoria. She appeared on the plush upholstery as if dropped by a stork one Sunday afternoon.
The unexpected bundle contained a pastel blanket, a blue towel, a boyish striped shirt sized for a kindergartner, and a quiet, 6-plus pound baby girl.
She was a couple days old and likely recently fed. A bit of string tied off her umbilical cord.
Those few threaded inches link Miss Smith to her secret past, which she’s trying to unravel as she searches for her birth mother.
(Full story and wonderful photos and video by Katie Rausch here).
Her birth parents have never been located.
She grew up just 15 miles from the spot where she was abandoned, raised by a loving adoptive family who kept every shred of her secretive past: The first snapshots of the mystery baby, the blanket she was wrapped in, the bit of shoe string.
But Jamie doesn’t know her birthday, or where she was born, much less why she was left. Her name has changed from Baby Jane Doe to Lisa to Jamie as she moved from backseat to foster care to her adoptive parents’ home in rural Wood County, Ohio.
That’s where I met Jamie, her parents, and grandparents. We poured over the old newspaper clippings they saved, marveled at the bit of shoe lace, and talked about she wants to find her birth mother after all these years. She wants everyone to know how much she loves her parents, how happy her life has been, how she feels no resentment towards her biological mother.
“I know the possibility that they could want nothing to do with me. They could say … ‘We left you for a reason,’ ” she told me. “I feel prepared for that because I still have my family. I’m just curious about the second one.”