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Offline georgiapeach

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TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« on: September 01, 2010, 08:58:18 AM »

Andie and Jenna

Birth Mother/ Daughter





Andie DeKroon


Age: 43

Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.

Connection to your Teammate: Birth Mother

Current occupation: Stay at home mom

Favorite hobbies: Running, hiking, scrapbooking and learning foreign languages 

Achievements: Choosing life when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. More recently, raising a big family.

Lifelong to do list: Skydive, bungee jump and get a diver's certification. I'm definitely having a midlife crisis.

What scares you most about traveling? The fear that something bad will happen while I'm abroad and it will be hard for me to get to my family.

What excites you most about traveling? Being somewhere totally out of my comfort zone

If I could switch places with someone: A younger version of myself. I would love to have a do-over knowing what I know now.

Role model/hero: My husband, Joe, because his strength of character never wavers. He inspires me to be the best person I can be.

What are you passionate about? My kids! I love every part of being their mother.

What would you do if you won the million dollars? I would give at least 10 percent to my children's school and to the Muscular Dystrophy Association to help kids like my sweet nephew, Mateo. The rest would go to raising and education my children.

People would be surprised to learn: I am an at-home mom of 10 children, ages 18 months to 18 years.

Favorite place you have ever visited: I visited Rome, Italy when I was 23 years-old. 

Biggest challenge you and your teammate will face on the Race together: Experiencing all the stresses the other teams are facing, with the added stress that we've only just met and are still getting to know each other.

What do you hope to accomplish by running the Race (other then winning one million bucks)? I want to get to know this person I brought into the world. I feel the opportunity of being together 24/7 for a while on the Race would give us the chance to know each other in a deeper way than we would if we met under normal circumstances.

Pet peeve about your teammate: I don't know her well enough to have a pet peeve yet!
 

Jenna Sykes


Age: 21

Hometown: Athens, Ga.

Connection to your Teammate: Biological daughter

Current occupation: Student

Favorite hobbies: Traveling, movies and enjoying the music and nightlife in Athens excites me.

Achievements: Testing my fear of heights by going glacier bungee jumping off a 300 foot cliff

Lifelong to do list: I would like to have a family, be successful and never be afraid to dream bigger than what I thought was ever possible.

What scares you most about traveling? Absolutely nothing

What excites you most about traveling? It opens my mind to entirely different perspectives and way of life. I love to see everything I can and be completely in the moment.

If I could switch places with someone: I wouldn't because I love my life! But, one Saturday as Uga (Georgia Bulldogs mascot) would be really fun.

Role model/hero: My parents. I'll be lucky to be half the person and half the parent that each of them are.

What are you passionate about? Traveling, seeing the world, writing, reading and loving my friends and family

What would you do if you won the million dollars? I would take my parents and friends to Italy and then save the rest. 

People would be surprised to learn: I can rough it. I can't wait to go without makeup, without showering and without sleep on the Race.

Favorite place you have ever visited: I love Interlaken, Switzerland. It is the extreme sports capital of the world!

Biggest challenge you and your teammate will face on the Race together:  Since we just met, it will be harder for us to race without knowing one another as well as the other teams do. We have to trust each other way more and have faith in ourselves.

What do you hope to accomplish by running the Race (other then winning one million bucks)? I hope to get to know my birth mother through this incredible opportunity. It is my hope that we will be able to spend a lot of time together and become friends.




« Last Edit: September 01, 2010, 12:00:01 PM by georgiapeach »
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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2010, 09:50:58 AM »
In terms of casting, I think this pair is a brilliant choice.  The fact that they haven't known each other very long is kind of a new "twist" in casting, since historical Amazing Race teams have a pre-existing relationship.  But the fact that they are a birth-mother/birth-daughter pair is just really interesting.  Kudos to them for being willing to put themselves under a microscope so early in the process of them getting to know each other.  Hope it ends up being a good thing for them!

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Offline jerseydude

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2010, 10:01:49 AM »
I personally would love to see how this team works out because they sort of know each other and they sort of don't. So it's going to be interesting to see how they work together.
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Offline DrRox

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2010, 10:16:38 AM »
Kudos to CBS for this coup. I hope they do well. But if they dont, then they will have fun at ES getting to really know each other.
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Offline Sandra1991

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2010, 10:39:42 AM »
They seem to be an interesting team, I'm looking forward to see them on the race!


Offline georgiapeach

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2010, 12:00:53 PM »
Summary updated with Intro video!
"Our fans are pretty good. They don't give away too much. Sometimes people love dropping spoilers, but our fans are good. They tend to do it in such a way that doesn't ruin it for fans who don't want to know."--Phil Keoghan

Offline Competitor

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2010, 12:21:04 PM »
I think that we have found the team that America will be rooting for.

Offline georgiapeach

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2010, 12:26:38 PM »
I love this team!! :hearts:

 I love that they have the courage to set off on this journey with so little actual knowledge of each other, and hope that the race brings them every happiness and joy in their discovery of each other!
"Our fans are pretty good. They don't give away too much. Sometimes people love dropping spoilers, but our fans are good. They tend to do it in such a way that doesn't ruin it for fans who don't want to know."--Phil Keoghan

Offline MamaT

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2010, 12:47:54 PM »
OMG!  L O V E this team! Love Love Love. 

What a great story they have! (kudos to casting on this one!).  They seem genuinely nice, smart and looking to have fun.  It also helps that they are both fans of the show. 
I so hope this works out well for them!

Offline Sandra1991

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2010, 12:53:31 PM »
I wish I could watch the video!


Offline ZBC Company

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2010, 01:58:22 PM »
double firece this team look young to be her mom

Offline SuzuKen

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2010, 11:59:55 PM »
think this would be one of the teams I'll be rooting for ^_^ definitely hope that the race doesn't get in the way of them getting to know each other~
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Offline redskevin88

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2010, 02:39:11 AM »
Reminds me of a lot of Momily....

Offline Eugene Schwindlemyer

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2010, 02:08:41 PM »
10 KIDS!!! (11 counting the one on the race with her)

Gesh, traveling with one adult child should be a break from 10 freaking kids at home...

Oh, uh, good luck whith the race, I guess.

Offline north09

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2010, 02:51:52 PM »
I agree that in terms of casting this is a great pair. Their story here is hard to root against. I can only hope that the race helps them improve an already solid relationship. I'm rooting for them to fair well, but the biggest obstical will be they don't know eachother as well as the other teams do.

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Offline DrRox

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2010, 05:00:03 PM »
10 KIDS!!! (11 counting the one on the race with her)

Gesh, traveling with one adult child should be a break from 10 freaking kids at home...

Oh, uh, good luck whith the race, I guess.

Before you get to carried away and start assuming way to much......she is the mom in a blended family......not all of those 11 kids are hers. She is step mom to a bunch.....
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Offline Jobby

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2010, 11:12:22 AM »
I certainly hope that TAR do not make this team's touching story to be the sob story of the season.

It's great that this team is doing something other than the money - to get to know each other better.

I am definitely rooting for them!

Offline Mid-Life

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2010, 02:19:46 PM »
10 KIDS!!! (11 counting the one on the race with her)

Gesh, traveling with one adult child should be a break from 10 freaking kids at home...

Oh, uh, good luck whith the race, I guess.

Before you get to carried away and start assuming way to much......she is the mom in a blended family......not all of those 11 kids are hers. She is step mom to a bunch.....

She is the biological mother of all 10 children, plus Jenna.

Offline DrRox

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2010, 02:33:24 PM »
10 KIDS!!! (11 counting the one on the race with her)

Gesh, traveling with one adult child should be a break from 10 freaking kids at home...

Oh, uh, good luck whith the race, I guess.

Before you get to carried away and start assuming way to much......she is the mom in a blended family......not all of those 11 kids are hers. She is step mom to a bunch.....

She is the biological mother of all 10 children, plus Jenna.

And you know this how?????  On her facebook, she says she is the mom in a "blended family". Which to me, means she is a step mom to some.......
« Last Edit: September 04, 2010, 02:46:15 PM by DrRox »
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Offline Kiwi Jay

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2010, 03:54:55 PM »
Blended Family. Thats step-mom spelt out basically isn't it?!
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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #20 on: September 04, 2010, 07:16:13 PM »
Blended Family. Thats step-mom spelt out basically isn't it?!

That's what it "implies" to me, but it might mean something different to Andie DeKroon. In the end, it really doesn't mean too much race wise. Just a very unique side story to the race. I look forward to watching her and her teammate.
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Offline banredbeans

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #21 on: September 07, 2010, 10:32:42 AM »
I will be rooting for this team.  I think they are a first of their kind to be cast.

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #22 on: September 07, 2010, 12:19:10 PM »
My daughter goes to Catholic school with Andie's kids. The ten kids are all hers, but they are from two marriages. Her ex husband (father of the first five kids) has leukemia and Andie helps care for him. I will never forget seeing Andie with her ex husband, current husband and all of the children sitting at Mass together one Sunday. They are an amazing family and the whole school is really happy for Andie and Jenna to have this experience together! :hearts:

Offline georgiapeach

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #23 on: September 07, 2010, 12:26:09 PM »
Andie seems like an amazing woman and a very loving Mom! I am really looking forward to seeing the two of them on the show, I think they will be a pleasure to watch.

:welcome2: to RFF, charwalker!!
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Offline redskevin88

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2010, 10:38:54 PM »
10 KIDS!!! (11 counting the one on the race with her)

Gesh, traveling with one adult child should be a break from 10 freaking kids at home...

Oh, uh, good luck whith the race, I guess.

Before you get to carried away and start assuming way to much......she is the mom in a blended family......not all of those 11 kids are hers. She is step mom to a bunch.....

She is the biological mother of all 10 children, plus Jenna.

 :ascared

How do one become mom to so many kids??

Offline Eugene Schwindlemyer

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #25 on: September 10, 2010, 11:28:13 AM »
10 KIDS!!! (11 counting the one on the race with her)

Gesh, traveling with one adult child should be a break from 10 freaking kids at home...

Oh, uh, good luck whith the race, I guess.

Before you get to carried away and start assuming way to much......she is the mom in a blended family......not all of those 11 kids are hers. She is step mom to a bunch.....

She is the biological mother of all 10 children, plus Jenna.

 :ascared

How do one become mom to so many kids??

ibid (that means "see above")  She is Catholic

Offline georgiapeach

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #26 on: September 23, 2010, 02:13:22 PM »
Detailed Hometown Interview:

‘The Amazing Race’ features intriguing local duo
5:00 am September 23, 2010, by Rodney Ho


Birth mom and Cumming resident Andie DeKroon with her daughter, UGA student Jenna Sykes
Over nine years, CBS’s “The Amazing Race” has cast plenty of parent-child combos. None have won the million dollars.

And none have a story quite like Georgia residents Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes.

Cumming resident DeKroon had an unplanned pregnancy at age 22. Unmarried, she elected to give Sykes to an adoptive family. Over the next two decades, she had ten kids she is raising with her husband Joe, an IT consultant.

In 2008, University of Georgia student Sykes decided she wanted to know her birth mom. DeKroon agreed.

For the next 18 months, they wrote old-fashioned letters. No emails or phone calls.

“Jenna’s mom knew her child,” DeKroon said. “She needed to be eased into a relationship.”

“I was very overwhelmed just knowing her name,” Sykes said. “Taking it slow by letter worked for me.”

On September 27, 2009, Jenna posted a seemingly innocuous Twitter feed: “Watching The Amazing Race… Wish I could do it!”

DeKroon, also a fan of the show, had an idea. They had not yet met in person. But they both had an adventurous streak. DeKroon thought, “Why not make the show an opportunity to get to really know each other in an unusual yet meaningful way?”

The pair recorded separate audition tapes and combined them. “When we saw each other’s tape, that was the first time we heard each other’s voices,” DeKroon said.

In March, they decided to have the families meet all at once at DeKroon’s home for the first time. “Everything was really really natural,” Sykes said. “There was never an awkward moment,  even when all 10 kids came running at me.” Later that month, they met again to interview in Los Angeles to get on the show.

Six weeks later, CBS placed them on the cast for the show’s 17th edition. Soon after, they were traveling around the world. Though they can’t yet detail what happened or whether they’ve won the million, both said the experience was indeed amazing.

“We got to spend this time together 24/7 under these crazy circumstances,” Sykes said. “We got to know each other in a way no other birth parent and child has ever gotten to know each other. There were no distractions from every day life.”

CBS did not allow DeKroon to contact her other family members at all during the three-plus weeks of the race. The producers would merely tell her husband weekly that she was alive.

“As hard as it was,” DeKroon said, “getting to spend time with my first born after 21 years of wondering about her was priceless."

http://blogs.ajc.com/radio-tv-talk/2010/09/23/the-amazing-race-features-intriguing-local-duo/?cxntlid=thbz_hm
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Offline walkingpneumonia

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #27 on: September 23, 2010, 02:46:14 PM »
There were some kinda mean comments under the article that Peach posted above. Its too bad that Andie may end up having to explain her decisions in life to haters...

In case you miss it, Andie posted a comment of her own that sums things up pretty well:

Quote
Andie
September 23rd, 2010 11:22 am

Hi all! Thanks for your support! Rodney – great job on the article – thank you! In answer to everyone else’s questions, I felt Jenna deserved what I had growing up – two, loving married parents. That is why I chose her family for her. Later, I married and began having children of my own to raise. We are practicing Catholics, so yes I ended up with a big family compared to most! But my husband and I love kids and love being parents, so it works for us. Wouldn’t the world be a boring place if we were all the same? In answer to xynox – I say 10. Jenna’s parents are 100% her parents and always will be. Sometimes, if I know someone well, I’ll tell them about her (and now of course, it’s “public”) and my children have always known about her and prayed for her, so they were excited to finally meet her. She will always be a huge part of our hearts. But she has a Dad and Momma she loves very much and my meeting her doesn’t change that. Our two families know this is an odd situation, but we hope it will be an example to others how to treat each other and how with love you can overcome any difficult situation. The word seems overused lately due to the Race, but life truly is AMAZING!
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Offline georgiapeach

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #28 on: September 23, 2010, 03:05:09 PM »
I personally don't believe Andie owes any explanations to anyone but Jenna, but how wonderful of her to do so.

She and her family, and Jenna and Jenna's parents are an inspiration, all chosing to go thru this together with love.

I think Andie is pretty AMAZING myself, and can't wait to see the two of them  RACE!!
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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #29 on: September 23, 2010, 03:36:44 PM »
Ditto what Peach said........I look forward to watching these extraordinary people on an amazing journey, courtesy of the Amazing Race.....
Matthew 7:15

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #30 on: October 04, 2010, 11:54:47 AM »
Detailed Hometown Interview:

‘The Amazing Race’ features intriguing local duo
5:00 am September 23, 2010, by Rodney Ho


Birth mom and Cumming resident Andie DeKroon with her daughter, UGA student Jenna Sykes
Over nine years, CBS’s “The Amazing Race” has cast plenty of parent-child combos. None have won the million dollars.

And none have a story quite like Georgia residents Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes.

Cumming resident DeKroon had an unplanned pregnancy at age 22. Unmarried, she elected to give Sykes to an adoptive family. Over the next two decades, she had ten kids she is raising with her husband Joe, an IT consultant.

In 2008, University of Georgia student Sykes decided she wanted to know her birth mom. DeKroon agreed.

For the next 18 months, they wrote old-fashioned letters. No emails or phone calls.

“Jenna’s mom knew her child,” DeKroon said. “She needed to be eased into a relationship.”

“I was very overwhelmed just knowing her name,” Sykes said. “Taking it slow by letter worked for me.”

On September 27, 2009, Jenna posted a seemingly innocuous Twitter feed: “Watching The Amazing Race… Wish I could do it!”

DeKroon, also a fan of the show, had an idea. They had not yet met in person. But they both had an adventurous streak. DeKroon thought, “Why not make the show an opportunity to get to really know each other in an unusual yet meaningful way?”

The pair recorded separate audition tapes and combined them. “When we saw each other’s tape, that was the first time we heard each other’s voices,” DeKroon said.

In March, they decided to have the families meet all at once at DeKroon’s home for the first time. “Everything was really really natural,” Sykes said. “There was never an awkward moment,  even when all 10 kids came running at me.” Later that month, they met again to interview in Los Angeles to get on the show.

Six weeks later, CBS placed them on the cast for the show’s 17th edition. Soon after, they were traveling around the world. Though they can’t yet detail what happened or whether they’ve won the million, both said the experience was indeed amazing.

“We got to spend this time together 24/7 under these crazy circumstances,” Sykes said. “We got to know each other in a way no other birth parent and child has ever gotten to know each other. There were no distractions from every day life.”

CBS did not allow DeKroon to contact her other family members at all during the three-plus weeks of the race. The producers would merely tell her husband weekly that she was alive.

“As hard as it was,” DeKroon said, “getting to spend time with my first born after 21 years of wondering about her was priceless."

http://blogs.ajc.com/radio-tv-talk/2010/09/23/the-amazing-race-features-intriguing-local-duo/?cxntlid=thbz_hm

This is really touching.. Andie and Jenna, you'll be missed. :hearts:

Offline MamaT

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #31 on: October 04, 2010, 05:16:58 PM »
An interview from digitalspy.  It seems like only Andi is involved in this interview:

How long was it between you rediscovering each other and deciding to apply for the race?
"We had been writing for over a year and a half and had gotten to know each other pretty well through old-fashioned letters; no emails or talking on the phone yet at that point. Then Jenna had posted on her Twitter, 'Watching The Amazing Race, I want to do it', or something like that, and I saw it and love The Amazing Race so I thought, 'Wow, this could be really neat'. I knew her well enough from the letter-writing to know she loves to travel and loves adventurous things so I just asked if she would be interested in applying with me. She immediately said yes and we went from there."

Is it true that the first time you heard each others' voices was in your separate audition tapes?
"Yes, that's true!"

When you were on the race were you worried about being on your best behavior because you were still getting to know each other, and do you think that could have affected your chances?
"Well, luckily Jenna and I have real similar temperaments where we kind of react to things similarly. If there is a high-pressure situation or you are kind of in an emergency, neither one of us freaks out; we both stay focused on what we need to do and stay calm. That doesn't mean we aren't freaking out on the inside! It doesn't mean we aren't stressed! We are able to do what we have to do to get through it and we kind of figured that out. The first leg of the race was harder because we were still figuring things like that out and yes, we want each other to be proud of each other; we don't want to disappoint the other one so maybe we are a little more polite. But we had actually gotten into a good groove and were working well and communicating really well together on the second leg which is why it was really disappointing when the cab driver was so bad and we ended up out. We felt like we were getting good at it and could work well together and could go on but it didn't happen."

So you would say the cab driver was a big reason behind your exit?
"Yes, and we actually had two bad cab drivers. We had researched how to get from Accra's airport to the memorial where we had to go at the airport before we left London, and so we had a map and everything and when we got in the cab in Accra we handed him our map and showed him where to go. He took us this really roundabout way; we're not sure why, whether he wanted us in the cab longer to make more money or what. By the time he finally got us to that memorial it was so frustrating because we were the last team and it put us behind, but Jenna was able to go into the roadblock and do a great job. We pulled ahead of some of the other teams and we were real hopeful again, and then we got an even worse cab driver! This one kept telling us, 'Oh, yeah, yeah I know where that market is', but he took us all the way to the other side of the city and by the time we had finally gotten another cab, he was a really good driver but it was too late; he was driving like a mad man trying to get us there but it was too late. We feel good about it though because it wasn't our fault but it was also frustrating to have it out of our hands."

The race is very high-stress and very high-speed. Did you have the time you wanted to bond and talk and share stories or was that not really the point of the race for you?
"Jenna and I had a lot to talk about when we first met and spent time together in LA. The first time we were ever alone we didn't stop talking and I was able to tell her the circumstances of her adoption and all her questions were answered. We really kind of bonded before and then when we got on the race it all worked out that we were real compatible and just got along real well. I know it's hard for some people to understand how we could do this after having just met, but we just clicked really well."

Was it a hard decision to share this story with the public?
"I think the reason we were willing to do this in a public way is that I, for one, wanted to be maybe a source of encouragement for other people who might find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy; not to despair, that things can work out and they can work out in this really beautiful way. Jenna will tell you that she is just happy to be here, she wants the world to see that life can be a great choice. We don't want to be in your face about it or anything like that, but just to tell our story of how a difficult situation for me turned into such a blessing for Jenna and her family and me."

Have you any regrets about deciding to race?
"Absolutely none at all. The way our lives are; Jenna being young and a student and she's going to have a career and her own family and this-and-that, and she's real busy with her parents and very much involved with her friends, we would never have had this deep, quality time together. I figure we would have probably had lunch or gotten together now and then, but it would have always been kind of a surface relationship. This, to me, was such a gift because I feel like I know her really well now after 21 years of wondering about her."

You both traveled before. Did that help or is this just a completely different experience that you can't prepare for?
"I think it helped us in that we were used to going to different cultures and maybe if we hadn't it would have been a complete culture shock. I don't think either one of us had ever been anywhere like Accra with all the poverty; that was overwhelming. We were definitely used to planes and trains and cars and everything like that so that probably helped us a lot!"

Do you think you will travel again together in the future?
"Probably not together. As I said, Jenna has a family and it was not my intention with all this to step in and be her mom. She has a mom that she loves so much. That was why it was important for us to have this time together and make the most of it and we didn't take that time together for granted at all because we knew this was probably it as far as extended periods of time together. We both love to travel so I'm sure we'll travel separately. I have my family and they want to go places too! I think my daughters will be next in line if I go on a trip! They all love Jenna and have really enjoyed getting to know her. Who knows? Maybe they can travel together."

How did your kids react to seeing you on TV?
"They absolutely loved it! They invited over all their friends and had a big party. They laughed when I stalled the car! It was a great time."

Is there anything you wish you'd done differently on the race?
"I definitely would have practised driving a stick more. I only went out one day, unfortunately, and then in England you're on the left side of the road, using your left hand and with the small narrow roads and roundabouts, it was so much, and there was stop-and-go traffic. When I went out and practised I was fine, but I wasn't in those conditions, so I might have worked harder on that. But ultimately that didn't get us eliminated so I think we have no regrets on the second leg and that feels good. There is nothing we could have done differently that would have changed the outcome so we feel good about that and we are proud of ourselves."

Did you bond with any of the other teams and is there anyone that you think could be a real competitor?
"We definitely bonded with the Princeton boys; they helped me when our car died and immediately in the airport we connected with them and were sharing information and they are great guys. As far as competitors, boy there are a lot of them this season! What was neat is that we really did like all the teams and felt like anybody who won we could be happy for. There wasn't anybody who was unpleasant or mean to be around which was really nice. Running the race with people who you like is way more fun!"

What's next for you?
"I'm a mom so I'm busy with kids! This is such a different experience having been an at-home mom for a long time. It was a dream come true on one hand to spend time with Jenna and then to do The Amazing Race which was so exciting and fun. I look back on this whole past year and think, 'What a miracle'. This has been such an awesome year. I don't know what is next that can top that, I might have to run a marathon or something!"

Offline MamaT

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #32 on: October 04, 2010, 06:03:54 PM »
And another quick interview/article from hollywoodlife.com

The Oct. 3 episode of Amazing Race has come and gone, and so has mother-daughter team Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes. They were the second pair eliminated!
But for these ladies, it wasn’t just about winning – it was the first time they had ever met face-to-face! And unfortunately for Andie and Jenna, their loss wasn’t even really their fault. The first two cabs they got into that day to take them where they needed to be got the team lost – despite the fact that the ladies had maps. “He told us he knew the way, but in actuality took us all over the city,” Andie tells HollywoodLife.com exclusively. “By the time we realized he would never get us there and switched cabs, it was too late.”


“It was the definition of bad luck,” Andie says. “And it was unfortunate, because we were working really well together.”

The mother-daughter duo still managed to have a positive experience — going on the show brought them closer together. They had been writing letters to each other for almost two years, when Andie saw a tweet from Jenna stating how much she loved The Amazing Race.

“We just wanted to get to know each other in the best way possible – take off the makeup, get underneath, and see each other for who we really are,” Jenna says. They make sure that they still keep in contact. “We talk a lot, and text each other.”

And Jenna has some advice for anyone hoping to be on the shows someday: “Be yourself, and stick to that. Don’t try to fit a stereotype.” Also, you’ll never know what could happen if don’t try.

“Don’t be afraid to go for it,” Andie adds. “Dream big, because you never know.”

Offline MamaT

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #33 on: October 06, 2010, 10:16:56 AM »
Here's a great interview from Realitynewsonline.  Andi & Jenna discuss in a little more detail the history of their relationship and respective families.   

Reality News Online: Hi, Andie & Jenna! Thanks for talking to Reality News Online!

Andie & Jenna: Thank you!

RNO: What made you decide to apply for The Amazing Race?

Andie: We had been writing letters to each other for about a year and a half and we knew that we wanted to meet at some point. I happened to see Jenna tweet “Watching The Amazing Race. I want to do it.”

I got excited thinking our lives are so busy and this might be a way we could leave all the distractions behind and really get to know each other on a deeper way then we would in normal, everyday life. I also just really thought it would be fun and cool to be on the Race – and I knew that Jenna was kind of like me in that she loves to travel and likes to do adventurous things. It just evolved from that twitter.

But we had been talking for a year and a half. So we knew each other pretty well just through letters.

RNO: Jenna, you seemed to do a good job at the sunglasses Detour. How long did that take you to complete?

Jenna: I just wanted to get it done as quickly as possible. I really had no concept of how long it really took. I just tried to keep going. But we did show up in last place and we left in sixth place – so that was pretty cool.

RNO: How far behind Gary & Mallory did you get to the Pit Stop?

Andie: Just a few minutes, maybe ten minutes at the most. So it was very close.

Jenna: We thought we were last by a larger amount than that. It turns out we were pretty neck and neck.

RNO: How long was your driver lost on the way to Peace Motors? It looked like you lost most or all of the time you had gained on the sunglasses Roadblock.

Jenna: It was awful!

Andie: There’s so much coming at you that I don’t think anyone of us had any awareness of time itself. All we know is that this guy said he knew where it was – and that’s why we stayed in the cab with him – but he took us all the way to the opposite side of the city from where we needed to be.

By the time we finally got out of his cab and got in another one, the guy was racing through the streets to get us there – but it was too late.

RNO: Some of the later teams who were lagging got their taxis to drive like crazy to get to the Pit Stop. Did your taxi driver do that?

Jenna: I wish they would have shown it! We were freaking out just as much as any of the other teams. We had our horn blaring and our taxi made an extra lane as well. We were just cringing in our seats, just wanting to get there as fast as possible.

RNO: Unlike many teams who have known each other for quite a long time, you don’t know each other as well as those teams. What was the most difficult thing about going into the Race with someone who you didn’t really know all that well?

Andie: We decided that there were advantages and disadvantages. A disadvantage was that we had to train totally separately. We weren’t in the same city. Everything we did to get ready for the race was not together.

We would talk and we chatted about what we were each good at. We were both watching old episodes of the Race so we could talk about “If this were the challenge, which one of us should do it?” But, ultimately, until you spend time with someone you don’t know all the little things about them.

What we found was that the first leg in England was a little tough. We were starting to get to know each other, but it was hard. We had issues with the car… But we did figure it out. At the end of that leg and the beginning of this leg, boy we felt we were great together and communicating well together.

So, there was a learning curve, but I think we made up for it pretty fast. That’s why it was a shame that something out of our control ended up getting us eliminated. We thought we were really communicating well and working well together.

RNO: It seems like you did well at both the main tasks this past week, but it was the dreaded Amazing Race taxi cab of doom that did you in.

Jenna: Oh, totally!

Andie: At least we can hold our heads up and know we did a good job and it wasn’t our fault. It could have been any team that day with those taxi cab drivers not knowing where they were going and the craziness and the traffic, it could have been any one of us that day.

RNO: Andie, you said you have been writing letters for over a year to each other and you told Jenna that your gift to her was choosing who would raise her yourself. You’ve talked about how this is really your only time together. Why is it that you never met previously?

Andie: Nowadays, you see these really open adoptions where the birth mother gets the child every summer for a week and this and that, but when Jenna was born it was open in the sense that I actually chose her parents for her, and I knew they shared similar values for education and being Catholic and all these things that were important to me.

They would periodically send me a picture or a note saying how she (Jenna) was doing. That was always so great to hear, but it wasn’t open like many adoptions today.
I gave Jenna’s parents a note saying how much I loved her and that I had prayed for her every day of her life and I made it clear to her that I didn’t expect Jenna to have a relationship with me, but that my door was always open if she wanted one.

Right after her freshman year of college that movie, Juno, came out. It got her kind of curious. Jenna went to her parents and started asking questions and they were able to give her that letter from me. She wrote me back.

We took it slow. It was a really great way to do it, very much with her parents involved. I’ve talked to Jenna’s mother many, many times on the phone. Her mother knows her best and this was going to be the best way to handle it.

RNO: Besides finding out you’re both double-jointed and have frizzy hair, what did you learn about each other on the Race?

(Both laugh.)

Jenna: I think we both have very similar temperaments and I think that was to our advantage on the race because we didn’t break out fighting. We didn’t waste time with that. We were very meticulous and calm and collected.

In high stress situations we tend to get very focused and determined and we don’t lose our cool that much. So that was nice to see how we’re similar in that way.

Andie: Jenna was raised exceptionally well. She has a very mature outlook on life. I love her world view. She has such security in who she is. She’s very confident. She knows who she is and who her family is, yet she still has this warm, open heart and give me that comfort of meeting her after wondering about her all these years.

Jenna’s a very loving person and that was neat to learn. I mean, I didn’t know who she would be! I just feel like it couldn’t have turned out better.

Jenna: I just want to add that I always knew that Andie was a loving, giving person – just because of what she did. So I knew that I already respected her and I thought she was just so great. It was really nice to have that be real. I definitely wasn’t disappointed. Andie’s awesome.

RNO: Jenna, how do your parents feel about watching you and your birth mother on the Race?

Jenna: My concern when it comes to them, was that I didn’t want anyone to think that I was trying to fill some sort of void in my life. My mom is just the best mom. There’s no way to have a void with a mom like that. She’s awesome.

I’m so thankful to them that they support me. They really cheered me on.

RNO: I do think that came across from both of you on the Race.

Andie: We’re both very grateful that they gave us their blessing. I mean, what generosity!

RNO: In what way do you see your relationship continuing now that you’re done with the Race?

Andie: I think we’ll always be friends, we’ll always keep in touch. Jenna’s 21, she’s not going to want to hang around with me that much. But we’ll always be friends and she knows my door is always open. She knows I love her and we’ll keep in touch.

She texts me now and then and I love it. It’s a great, easy relationship. We’ve said that we never want to stress each other out with any expectations. Whenever we hear from each other is great, but there’s no pressure.

RNO: Andie, how does your family feel about you doing the Race with Jenna?

Andie: Well, my kids have always known about Jenna and they’ve always prayed for her. They were so excited to finally get to meet her. It’s been all positive. I think if they hadn’t have known about her it might have been a totally different thing. But they were excited! They love the Race.

Jenna will tell you, my other kids and Jenna are all Facebook friends now. They text and my son goes to UGA where Jenna goes. He’s a freshman and she’s a senior and they’ve gotten together for lunch. My family loves Jenna.

RNO: Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your experiences on the Race?

Andie: Dreams do come true – on so many levels. It was just a dream come true to run the race. It was a dream come true to be with Jenna. So, dream big.

Jenna: Exactly. It’s awesome that a mother of 10 children can still take out time for herself and do something that she would have never fathomed. For people my age who are graduating and about to go out and the world and get a job – everyone’s nervous about it, but this experience has shown me that anything is possible. You can do anything you want to do if you try. I think that’s a really important message.

RNO: Thank you for talking to RealityNewsOnline today!

Andie & Jenna: Thank you!

Offline Jobby

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #34 on: October 15, 2010, 12:21:00 PM »
It was really sad but fun reading their interviews!

Offline georgiapeach

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #35 on: November 01, 2010, 03:00:19 PM »
removing this because the person in the post has FOUND a "forever home"...so all is good!

Love to Andie and her awesome family!
« Last Edit: March 04, 2011, 01:11:28 PM by georgiapeach »
"Our fans are pretty good. They don't give away too much. Sometimes people love dropping spoilers, but our fans are good. They tend to do it in such a way that doesn't ruin it for fans who don't want to know."--Phil Keoghan

Offline Jobby

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #36 on: November 02, 2010, 06:30:03 AM »
Awww, so sweet! :hearts:

Offline georgiapeach

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #37 on: November 02, 2010, 01:11:46 PM »
Pay Pal is possible too, let me know if anyone needs the details..
"Our fans are pretty good. They don't give away too much. Sometimes people love dropping spoilers, but our fans are good. They tend to do it in such a way that doesn't ruin it for fans who don't want to know."--Phil Keoghan

Offline DrRox

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Re: TAR 17: Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes -- Birth Mother/Daughter
« Reply #38 on: April 02, 2011, 10:34:13 AM »
Andie posted one of the funniest April Fools Jokes yesterday........I am still laughing!!!!!


Andie said.........." I just foung out I am going to have my 12th child!!!!................APRILS FOOLS!!!!
Matthew 7:15


 

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