From the time she identifies her younger self on the milk carton, Janie struggles between wanting to know the truth and worrying about the consequences. Once she theorizes that she has been adopted and possibly abducted, she grows increasingly curious about her biological parents and how she came to live with the Johnsons. She thinks often of ways that she could learn more and eventually meet the Springs.
Janie contemplates calling the 800 number that is on the milk carton that she emptied, flattened, and saved. She actually picks up the phone, begins to dial, and then puts it down again. She cannot think what she would say. She also worries about how learning of the call would affect her parents.
[W]hat would it do to her parents to find out their very own daughter was calling the authorities to announce she had been kidnapped?
As she grows anxious from holding her suspicions inside her, she thinks about confiding in her friends. While she does not doubt their sympathy, she rejects this idea as well. It seems almost certain that they would tell their parents, and word would get back to her mother and father.
After she finds the polka dot dress in the attic and learns about the mysterious Hannah, her curiosity and fear grow stronger. Janie even fantasizes about putting an ad in the paper, asking for a fuller description of Jennie and identification of Hannah. She rejects this idea because she is not interested in disrupting her family.
I could put an ad in the Sunday classifieds down there in New Jersey …. But that would give those New Jersey parents hope that I exist. That I am out here, and I miss them, and I want them.
I exist. But I don’t want different parents.