Adoption odyssey leads to royal discovery

ann keif

Ann Kief with her German cousin Susan Waag in 2012.

Special to The Sun
Published: Thursday, May 1, 2014 at 11:43 AM.

When Ann Kief began her quest to find her birth parents, she never dreamed the journey would lead her to a lineage of nobility.

The South Walton resident was adopted at birth in Germany in the 1940s by a U.S. Air Force officer and his wife, then brought to the United States at age 9. She grew up with her parents telling her the story of a little girl who was adopted into a loving family.

"I grew up knowing I was adopted," she said. "My parents started telling this adoption story when I was young and eventually told me the little girl in the story was me. I don't recall how I felt; I was young and always knew."

  Discovering Mom and Dad

The adoption was arranged by a mutual friend of her birth mother and her adoptive family before her birth. She doesn't believe the two knew or met, or knew the identity of the other.

Kief's adoptive family lived in Germany for more than a decade and loved the country. Before the adoption they let it be known that they wanted to adopt a German child. After the adoption, Kief's parents kept her heritage alive by celebrating German holidays and singing German carols every Christmas.

Kief's parents died in 1996. Over the years that followed, Kief began to wonder and search for any trace of information about her birth parents, primarily for health information. She didn't begin to search in earnest until 2005 and seemingly like a miracle finally found paperwork in an old box of bank statements that belonged to her parents. She discovered that her name given at birth was Marion Eva and that her birth mother's name was Marion von Stenglin.

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