Japanese Adoptee Finds Birth Mother
Thanks to K@W for the heads up on this article.
Search for birth mother has Hollywood ending
Posted 7/27/2006 9:16 PM ET
By Emily Bazar, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — When crushing chest pains knocked Air Force Col. Bruce Hollywood to his knees, his first thought was that if he were dying, he wanted to say goodbye to his family. As he wrote a farewell letter at his desk at the Pentagon, the highlights of his life flashed through his mind.
His adoptive mother’s advice rang in his ears: “You should find your Japanese mother,” she often told him before she died.
After Hollywood, 46, survived the May 2005 scare — doctors opened a clogged artery with a stent — he decided it was time to take that advice.
And when Japan’s ambassador to the United States took an interest, quick action brought mother and son together.
On Thursday, Hollywood and his birth mother celebrated their recent reunion at lunch with the people who helped bring them together, including Ambassador Ryozo Kato.
“Col. Hollywood has found his real mother,” Kato said. “Together with other relatives, it’s a significant addition to the already fruitful life he’s been enjoying.”
According to Hollywood and his mother, Nobue Ouchi, who was interviewed through an interpreter, their story is about a dream fulfilled and a rich life made richer.
Ouchi, 65, met Hollywood’s biological father — also in the U.S. Air Force — in Shizuoka, Japan. When he left the country, Ouchi says, she didn’t realize she was pregnant.
Concerned that a mixed-race child would face prejudice in Japan, Ouchi allowed an Air Force couple in Japan at the time to adopt her son when he was about 2 months old.
A year later, the new family moved back to the USA.
Hollywood, of Stafford, Va., says he has lived a “fairy tale” life. He played high school football and was president of the student body, married and has two children. He does strategic planning for the Defense Department.
Even though his adoptive mother often urged him to find his biological mother, he didn’t feel the need until that day that he thought he was dying. At that moment, he wanted to thank her for making his good life possible.
Ouchi, though, says she always knew she and her son would be reunited someday. She has cherished a letter and picture that Hollywood’s adoptive mother sent to her several months after the adoption.
Ouchi, who never married or had other children, opened a restaurant and named it after her son. “I thought about him every day,” she says.
To find her, Hollywood contacted a friend who knew the director of the Japanese studies center at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, and the information from Hollywood’s Japanese passport was forwarded to the Japanese Embassy in March.
In two weeks, the embassy had located his mother.
Mother and son met for the first time when Hollywood traveled to Japan in April. This week, Ouchi is visiting him.
Her dream came true. His heart grew fuller.
“At that moment when I looked back at my life, I really thought that in the game of life, I won,” Hollywood says. “This whole new world opened up to me, and it’s like I get to play a bonus round.”