For any child who has gone through the child protective system, it’s a challenging ordeal. And while the kid who was adopted as an infant might not experience the initial trauma, nevertheless, they mature into their teen and adult years with some sense of loss, sadness, and curiosity to a lesser degree. They typically asked questions about their birth parents: “What does my parent look like? What is their career choice? What is their tone of voice? What is their mannerism?” “How do they present themselves?”
Well, for Lisa Wright, there couldn’t have been a better script of how she discovered who was her birth mother. “I grew up watching my mother on TV and didn’t even know it,” Wright told NBC’s “Today” show. Wright said her adoptive family made it their tradition to tune into the TV sitcom, “That’s My Mama,” Wright, 54, said, “That was our must-see TV. We all sat down and watched That’s My Mama every week, and who knew? No idea. … And that’s my mama!”
Wright’s mother is actress Lynne Moody (whose real name is Emmalyn Paulette Mood); Moody played Tracy Curtis Taylor on “That’s My Mama.” The TV sitcom was based on an African-American man in his mid-20s who owned a Barber Shop. The main actor, played by Clifton Davis, was named Curtis Clifton, and his bachelor lifestyle often irritated his onscreen “mama” Eloise “Mama” Curtis, played by Theresa Merritt. Merritt’s role was that of an emotionally strong and opinionated mother who demanded that Clifton settle down and find a nice wife.
As for Wright, her son suggested that she take a DNA test to find out her genetic heritage. After digging further, Wright was able to locate her uncle, who connected her with Moody. Ironically, mother-daughter lived in Los Angeles. And for several years, they spoke on the phone before meeting in person in 2018.
“A voice on the other end says, ‘Is this, my daughter?’ And then I just went, ‘Oh, my God, is this my mother?'” Wright recalled. “And then she goes, ‘Yes, sweetie, this is your mom.’ It was just the most indescribable feeling.”
Moody said during the interview, “When I found out that she was my daughter, at that moment, it was like I was giving birth. I was on the floor in a fetal position, screaming and crying. I didn’t know how deep that hole was.”
Moody gave birth to Wright at the age of 18, but she was unable to parent her only child for reasons unknown. “My (adoptive) mom told me, ‘Your mommy loved you, but she was really young, and she knew she couldn’t take care of you,” Wright told the “Today” show.