RICHMOND – Three sisters say they hope their two brothers can join them Labor Day weekend, but first, the women need to find them.
In 1946, a son, Danny, was born to William A. Sharp and Lois L. Martin. Another son, John, was born sometime in 1947, Brenda Williams Hamm said.
A daughter of Martin and her second husband, Hamm is a half-sister to the four Sharp sibling.
The men have two full sisters. Lisa Dixon Pierce, whose birth certificate reads Sharon Louise Sharp, was born in February 1949 and Carol Ann (now Annette) Grove Gaiser was born in October 1950.
“All I ever heard was Danny and John were adopted by a pastor in Clay County,” Hamm said. “Danny was 4 and John was 3. They would be in their 70s now.”
Martin was living with her parents, John and Flossie Musick Martin, on Henry Street in Richmond, when the children became wards of the state Dec. 27, 1950, court records state.
Hamm is an only child, like Annette.
Gaiser and Hamm are getting acquainted as sisters and are preparing to meet Pierce for the first time.
“I always knew I was adopted,” Pierce said. “My adoptive parents told me they would help me find my birth parents when I turned 18, if that was what I wanted.”
Pierce married her high-school sweetheart and did not think much about finding her birth family until a son discovered he could have leukemia.
“Another son was training to be a private investigator, so I hired him to find any records about my birth family,” Pierce said. “At the time, Missouri allowed adopted people my age to get a copy of a birth certificate.”
With the birth certificate, her son found Hamm.
The sisters were on the phone with each other the same day Hamm received a letter from Pierce.
“That was when I found out about Annette,” Pierce said.
Annette was not encouraged to find her birth family, so she waited to look until her adoptive mother died in 1990.
“I met Brenda in the late ’80s when she came into a real estate office where I worked,” Gaiser said. “I was invited to my birth mother’s 65th birthday party and met her for the first time.”
The two lived near each other.
“This woman would call me, and we would just visit. I found out later she was my mother,” Gaiser said
Pierce never met her birth mother.
“I wish our mother was alive, so I could tell her in person it was OK,” she said.
Gaiser and Pierce said they are excited and a little anxious about meeting.
“All of us have been told different things about the circumstances of our adoptions and the situation,” Gaiser said. “I was adopted at 2 months, and I’m told I had a diaper on and was wrapped in a blanket.”
Pierce went to live at Lake Lotawana with her adoptive parents.
Hamm said her mother’s brother lives in Lexington and is in his 90s.
“He said he remembers when Danny and John were taken by their adoptive parents,” Hamm said.
“This is a lot to take in,” Pierce said. “It is so surprisingly new. I understand we will be meeting several other members of the family while I am there.”