You hear Joanna Tuttle on “The Gello Show” sharing personal stories every morning on 105.1 The Bounce.
Thursday, for National Adoption Awareness month, she is sharing the moment she met her biological father for the very first time.
“That’s when my heart sank,” Tuttle said. “I’m like ‘Oh my gosh! I’m gonna meet my biological dad in the middle of a restaurant’ and he just saw me and just stared at me and gave me the biggest hug ever.”
It’s only been two months since that moment but it has changed her life forever. Tuttle was adopted at birth and never knew her biological mother or father.
"Every time I talk with him or message with him he tells me he loves me and he's glad that I've had such a great life," she said.
Tuttle’s journey to find her biological parents started with a DNA kit. She kept listeners tuned in as she attempted to contact her family, which included a half-sister. As an adult she was raised by her adopted mother and father. They’re all she’s ever known.
“I cannot thank her,” Tuttle said. “She is the absolute best. The absolute best. She has given me so much and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
The adoption journey has been an emotional rollercoaster as you can imagine. One she's experienced with her husband of 21 years, Jeff, by her side.
“We’ve always talked about her and her birth family and I’ve always been super intrigued and fascinated by it and I’ve tried to convince her over the years to look for her birth family but she just didn’t have the desire to do it,” Jeff said.
Until now. But what's even more unique is Joanna and Jeff have an adopted son of their own. After years of trying to get pregnant with no luck, they adopted a baby boy, Ries. He’s now ten.
“My son Ries is the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” Tuttle said. “You do not need that DNA connection to love someone.”
That’s the message Tuttle wants to share when it comes to adoption. She still has not been able to find her biological mother but has no hard feelings towards her for not being in her life. She had this to say for those considering adoption.
“I would say do it. It has changed my life for the better. I think my life worked out exactly how it’s supposed to.”