Annemarie Häusler was a 23-year-old employee at the U.S. Army post exchange. She was unmarried and had two children, a little girl and a one-year-old baby boy named Klaus.
On April 9, 1953, Annemarie gave her consent for the adoption of Klaus to a U.S. Army Master Sergeant and his wife, Daniel and Lois Brennan.
Klaus Häusler took the name Terrence Lee Brennan and came to America with his new family on the S.S. United States.
“Both my parents had to write a letter explaining why they wanted a child and why they wanted me,” Terrence said. “Obviously, looking at my pictures, that would explain why they wanted me,” he laughed.
Terry, as his parents would call him, grew up as an Army brat and moved all over the country. In November 1975, he married his college sweetheart, Laura Nevins.
They had their first child, Colin, in 1986. Their second son, Noel, was born two years later. He grew up to be a Denver TV reporter who had a lot of questions about his family history.
I convinced my Dad to talk to me about his past one September afternoon at his home in Golden.
“I mean, you knew I was adopted forever,” Dad said to me. “Did you ever think about the fact that there were – you had blood relatives?”
“I did,” I responded emphatically. “I thought about that a lot.”
I can’t say Dad never questioned where he came from. He did. He imagined what it would be like to meet his mother and the sister he’d only heard stories about.
“I played it in my mind where there was just this, ‘oh my baby!’” he said, miming a big hug.
Dad also considered Annemarie might not want him to search for her.
“Annemarie didn’t want any connection with me and my mother didn’t want me pursuing this in any way, so I just kind of respected both of those things,” Dad said.
My dad’s story is my story, too.
I’ve always wondered about the Häuslers. Was Annemarie still alive? And his sister? Where is she now?
The questions I’ve had about my family all my life resurfaced when my girlfriend Kristi and I planned our trip to Europe.
Heidelberg, my dad’s birthplace, was on our list of cities to see. Dad gave me his adoption papers and his blessing to do some digging.
So I dug.