I Found Her

My heart dropped into my stomach.

I looked at my phone and the tears immediately welled up in my eyes because I knew I had found her.

Most of you know that a huge part of who I am is that I am adopted.

I can vividly remember telling the other kids in my Sunday School class that I was an extraordinary person and far more special than everyone else because my parents had CHOSEN me and everyone else just “happened”. I always knew I was adopted and honestly… while I’m a little biased… I think it was best that way! I didn’t ever have an identity crisis finding out my whole life was a lie. I will sing my parents praises forever.

But life wasn’t always easy for me.

My mom found me as a three year old sitting on our porch crying and saying over and over, “I wish I had never been born”. It hurts thinking about the various moments I’ve had like that throughout my life… because as much as my parents loved me… there was always a heartfelt confusion of, “how could someone give me up?” and “why wasn’t I wanted? What was wrong with me”.

Birthdays passed and I would occasionally wonder if the woman who gave me life ever marked the day of my birth in a special way or if she had completely forgotten about me. Little did I know.

Highschool…

College…

Life continued on and I developed a deep relationship with my parents (who I can easily say are my best friends now) and I resolved to never find my Birth Mom because… what’s the point? I have everything I could ever want!

That is until I watched the movie, “Four Identical Strangers”. It moved me and left me bawling my eyes out. It’s a poignant story about adopted boys who are separated at birth and reunite later in life! It stirred in me a curiosity about who had given birth to me and what were my medical records? Was I at risk for cancer? Do I look like her?

I sat there and looked at my roommates and chatted about being adopted until one of them asked if I had ever tried to find my birth mom. I shrugged and replied no.

I had always believed it would be an intense and long process to find her because I was a private adoption and the agency had since shut down.

But with their encouragement I logged onto a website and entered the little info I knew from my parents and clicked “search”.

One profile popped up.

One.

One click.

One inhale.

And my life changed forever.

“Birth mother. Looking for daughter. Born January 5th, 1993. Redhead.”

The list continued on confirming what I already knew in my heart… I had found her.

I don’t know what happened inside of me but I clicked on the link to access the phone number and texted this…

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Squealing with excitement and probably a little fear, I called my parents and breathlessly shared the news. They were overjoyed because that’s what wonderful people they are.

The messages continued and the tears fell.

I had every question answered. Every fear soothed.

She revealed to me she had celebrated my birthday every single year with her friends. They cried and prayed I was happy and having a wonderful life.

I wish I could show you the effect that that has had on my heart.

That ache growing up that I wasn’t wanted was healed.

She never wanted to give me up, but because of her circumstances, she felt she couldn’t give me the life I deserved on her own and hand selected my incredible parents to raise me.

Oh praise God for her selection.

In the messages I could hear her pain as she talked about the aftermath of loosing me. We seem to be so similar in so many ways… Both emotion driven, artistic, prone to anxiety, compassionate, fashion forward. The list goes on.

I can remember being so jealous of my friends who knew exactly when they were born and having the ability to possess ultrasound pictures.

I never had that.

But now I do.

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This is my story.

It’s not done yet. In fact it’s only getting started.

XOXO,
Christena

A Lady at the Opera

“BOOM”

I jumped in my swivel chair as the curling iron I was holding exploded in my hands. Sparks flew into my lap as the lights suddenly switched off.

“Oh come ON”

I whispered to myself as I surveyed the damage. Clearly the converter didn’t exactly convert and I was now faced with the grim reality that my hair was only halfway done and I would have to go to the opera with half straight/half curly hair.

They say hindsight is 20/20. Well, when I was blow-drying my hair I really should have taken note of the fact that it was WAY hotter than normal, BUT at the time I counted it as a blessing for someone with thick and unruly hair.

Fast forward to my call to the concierge.

“Yes, hi! So I think I accidentally blew up my room with my curling iron….” *concierge replies* “… no I already tried the lights and they just don’t work! I’m SO so sorry, but I really have to leave for the opera. Can you just let yourself in?”

If there was ever a definition of a Flight Attendant it would 100% be the above sentence. “Sorry I have to catch the opera but please do hurry and fix the room that I just completely destroyed in this 4 star hotel – ta ta now”

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Meet Holly.

The person that replies to your message saying, “Let’s go to the opera in London… by the way I’m going to wear a vintage fur coat” with… “I just so happen to have my vintage leopard coat with me and my opera gloves – it’s a date”.

And with that we crawled into a taxi and were whisked through the brightly lit streets of London to “The Balcon”. A truly magical place that has a cocktail list based on fairy tales.

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There are certain moments where reality becomes blurred with a dream. It’s the moment you find yourself sipping on a pink cocktail called “Satine’s Dilemma” based on “The Moulin Rouge” and you look out the window and see the Christmas lights twinkling over the streets of London.

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I find it really hard sometimes to do what makes me happy. It can feel so selfish. Yes I love my job, yes I love my life, but so often I find that it’s been months since I’ve consciously set out to do something that’s uniquely “Christena”.

Something that simply brings my soul joy. It can be as simple as getting an overpriced Starbucks drink just because or listening to the “Cinderella” soundtrack over and over because let’s face it, it’s my favorite music of all time. But in this case it was wearing my favorite dress and heels even if I was impossibly overdressed, spending an evening with a friend who became even more dear as we discovered so many similarities and swooning over the awe-inspiring talent of “Phantom of the Opera”.

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Perhaps this is all sounding so cliche to you, but stepping into my hotel room tonight I can’t help but smile thinking about how magical it felt to just chase after what my heart loves. I hope this week you chase after something, no matter the size, that your heart and soul loves. I just pray that it doesn’t involve you blowing up your curling iron.

XOXO,

Christena

A Lady In Germany

What had happened was… I was supposed to be flying to Sacramento.

There I was just minding my own business driving to work. Hands at 10 and 2.

Not texting.

Not doing my makeup.

Not checking Insta (all things I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve done while driving)

And out of thin air, literally, a giant black steel grate was hurtling through the air straight towards my car.

You know in “Over the Hedge” when the squirrel has had WAY too much caffeine and the world goes into slo-mo. That is pretty much the best way to describe this moment.

The moment where I looked to my right, saw a car next to me cruising along. Looked to my left and saw a cement wall and then wrapped my fingers around the steering wheel and plowed ahead.

There was an unmistakable *POP* and if there was a marquis of neon letters marching across the car displaying my thoughts you would see, “Hm… I made it, that wasn’t too bad”.

I uncurled my fingers and felt pretty proud of myself for running over a steel grate and other than a small noise, not really being all that bothered.

Better pull off the highway just to make sure my little car is A-okay. I pulled off and to my complete dismay I had blown a tire and not just that, there was this gross liquid pouring out of my car.

Obviously the next step was to call Danny hysterically crying that my life was over and that I was going to get fired from my job… except I couldn’t get ahold of Danny, but I DID get ahold of his mom. Meaning all of the above sobbing and boo-hoo-ing was done to his sweet mom.

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All of this to say, dating Danny is INCREDIBLE because not only do I now know how to change a tire in my Flight Attendant uniform, I now know how to drive his stick shift car, and how towing companies work. To top off that list I can now say I’ve ordered a transmission fluid box online and a tire from Amazon. Who knew Amazon delivers tires?

This blog post is entitled “A Lady in Germany” because instead of being able to work that day I picked up a trip to Munich later on in the week.

Here’s some pictures of “The Residenz” which has to be the most gorgeous palace I’ve ever seen. So you see, everything does have a silver lining. I got in a car wreck and ended up in Germany.

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XOXO,

Christena

Questions You’ve Always Wanted To Ask Your Flight Attendant

“Oh hey… I know you don’t I?”

I froze mid-step in my red dress and heels and stared at the person speaking to me in the Paris airport. It was none other than Drew Barrymore waving at me from the coffee shop I was about to walk into.

Continue reading “Questions You’ve Always Wanted To Ask Your Flight Attendant”