Racing fans packed State Park Speedway in Rib Mountain Saturday. It was the first day of the racing season and a chance for fans to remember racing icon, Dick Trickle.More >>
Racing fans packed State Park Speedway in Rib Mountain Saturday. It was the first day of the racing season and a chance for fans to remember racing icon, Dick Trickle. People at the track observed a moment of silence for Trickle. He died Thursday in an apparent suicide at the age of 71. Race organizers said the event brought in more than 1,500 fans to watch the season's opening race and to remember Trickle's successful career."More >>
Motorcycles rumbled through central Wisconsin Saturday for the 10th annual Wausau Fire Charity Ride.More >>
A Wabeno woman is determined to reconnect with the daughter she gave up for adoption 19 years ago.
So much so, she booked her daughter a flight and headed to the Green Bay area earlier this week to finally meet her in person.
Jennifer Laatsch in met her daughter, Hollie, 19 years ago.
"She was born in 1993," Laatsch said.
But just hours after her daughter was born in a Georgia hospital, she said goodbye.
"The day I walked out of the hospital, I had to be pulled away from there. I had to be pulled away."
Laatsch was 21-years-old when she got pregnant and she already had a son.
"I wanted to keep her but I knew she deserved a better life," she said.
So Laatsch arranged a private adoption and picked her daughter's new family.
"It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do," she told Newsline 9.
Ever since saying goodbye, Laatsch had hoped to reconnect. A few years ago, she found a way.
"I've been following her on Facebook," Laatsch said. "I knew she turned 19 in December and I sent her a message."
At first, Hollie didn't respond. But then, "She messaged me back and said, are you my birth mom?"
Laatsch was elated. She said from then on, the two developed a friendship.
"We Skyped right away so we actually got to see each other."
But Laatsch still wanted to meet her daughter in person. So, she arranged for her daughter to fly from Georgia to Wisconsin.
"We talk on Facebook, we text each other we call each other, but to actually see her in person and be able to reach out and hug her and just hug her and tell her how much I love her," she said.
On Monday, the Laatsch was ready. Hollie's flight was set to arrive in Ashwaubenon.
"The piece to my puzzle is back," Laatsch said before the flight touched down.
With just minutes standing between her and her daughter, all she could do was wait.
When the plane finally arrived, dozens of people started filing into the terminal.
"I kept looking for her face and watching faces," Laatsch said.
But Hollie never got off the plane. Laatsch couldn't believe it.
"It was like someone punched me in the stomach. It was just...because I pictured her there."
Hollie had missed her connecting flight from Chicago.
"She actually had to stay in Chicago overnight, by herself. She's never flown before. She was scared and she was cold and she was hungry. She just decided that that was so dramatic for her she just wanted to go home," Laatsch said. "It was hard leaving Green Bay without her."
But days later, she has new resolve.
"I will see her somehow, some way I will get back to Georgia and I will meet her."
And she told Newsline 9 there are no hard feelings.
"I would be the same way. If it was me even at my age it would be hard to be by myself and go through that," Laatsch said.
She hopes soon she can meet her daughter and start creating new memories.
"I do believe things happen for a reason."
Laatsch said she plans on visiting her daughter in Georgia as soon as she can save enough money to do so. She hopes she can bring her three sons with her.
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