The year was 1962.
Middle class family..suburbia..
Father blue collar worker, stay at home Mom..
She was a sixteen year old recent High School drop-out.
She worked as a Car hop at a local drive in hamburger joint.
He was handsome in a Jeffrey Hunter way..beautiful blue eyes and a winning smile.
They dated,'fell in Love" and before long, she missed a period.
When confronted, he denied everything.and left the picture..
Thin naturally,she did not outwardly show more than a slight weight gain..
But by September when she had promised to enroll in Adult High School she had to tell her parents of her situation. They were not thrilled at this news in the least. Her Father consulted friends as to how to handle the dilema .One suggested Abortion which was Illegal at the time.Roe vs Wade had not even been considered.
Finally a solution was found. The wayward daughter would be sent to a home for unwed mothers in a neighboring city. Her disappearance would be she was attending shool while assisting her grandparents who lived far, far away.
In that October, she was driven to the Florence Crittendon School which would be her home until the child was born .
The Home was a rambling two story Victorian farm house situated on several acres,Various outbuildings housed the school building, the laundry facility and the kitchen and dining hall.Another building housed the clinic where health matters were closely monitored. A physician was on call for monthly checkups.Routine weight checks,prenatal vitamins were administered by the resident Nurse. Fresh air and exercise was the norm and highly encouraged.Gardens were planted, attended and harvested assuring an abundance of fresh vegetables and flowers for the dining hall and chapel..
She was one of 25.. the youngest being 13 the oldest being 28. Each had a different story to tell of how they ended up pregnant in a home for unwed mothers. While there, those in the earliest stages were housed in the upstairs quarters two to a room.Only in the last month did a move to the lower floor occur. Chores were assigned, the hardest of course going to those in the earliest stages,easier ones to those in the final stages.
One girl,studying dietary college courses became the assistant Dietician assuring all meals provided the required nutrients as well as watching calories. Anyone possessing skills or natural abilities were utiliized in that capacity.Extra curricular activities such as art classes were provided. Sewing machines, and supplies were readily available.At one point, one hundred baby dolls were brought by the local women's club to be dressed and given to needy children at Christmas.
No one was allowed to use their last name for privacy reasons, and once delivered, the mother immediately departed the premises. Altho friendships were formed, contact afterwards was frowned upon. Some girls kept their babies, but for the most part,this time was for making the decision of a lifetime.. for two people.
In early February, her labor pains began. The resident housemother, a registered nurse timed the pains and whisked her away to the hospital at the appropriate time..There she was alone,now 17 years old, in a hospital far from home delivering a child which had been a part of her for nine months. In those months, she had formed a bond of love,knowing she had to be strong for the day when she would make her final decision.
She awoke, painfully sore, hurting in her heart and soul, knowing her baby was no longer a physical part of her..but now a separate entity ..living and breathing without her.
The nurse approached with a bundle, placing it into her arms for a few moments..the moments of a lifetime.
Peeling the blanket away, she saw the delicate black lashes on rosy pink cheeks, ..a headfull of dark hair..
a rosebud mouth..further investigation found chubby pink toes and fingers..and finally her eyes opened..mysterious and dark.. .. connected..mother and child.. As swiftly as she was placed, just as swiftly was she taken away.Mother never saw the child again..until the finalization signing of papers relinquishing custody and all parental rights.The next day she was released from the hospital, with prescriptions to dry her milk from aching breasts,and spent two more days at the home recuperating in order to travel. Four days after the birth,her father picked her up for the drive home.
A very long and quiet drive, other times lectures of not ever to do this again.
Three weeks after the birth, the new mother was taken to The Children's Home Society to meet with the adoption lawyer..By this time,her parents were begging her to change her mind, let THEM bring the baby, their first grandchild, home and raise it as their own! This would present an entirely new set of problems..not only for the family, the younger teenage sister.. but the child herself. The answer was NO..the best she could do for her child was to allow her to be adopted, praying into a family who could provide all the love and necessities which she , sadly, could not do. So with the stroke of a pen, she totally relinquished all rights to the child she had carried and birthed. And in her heart..she cried..and prayed.
Her emotional toll was disregarded..moodiness finally passed and she returned to a somewhat normal life of a teenager while inside she had become an adult.. The following year at age 18, she would marry and later at age 22 had her final child. But she never forgot her daughter,her firstborn, her first love.. every year on her birthday, she said a prayer for hope of one day seeing her again.
On may 19, 2005 she received an email..saying Could you possibly be my mother? All the mother' pertinent facts were there..and her prayers were finally answered..YES!
a frenzy of emails were exchanged, telephone calls for hours on end and so many questions answered.
Later that summer, the two met at the airport in a distant city, and had dinner with the adoptive mother, the husband and grandkids.The grandson was fearful his grandmother's place would be taken by this interloper..instead, he learned no, the new "birth mother" was not trying to gain entry into the family, but would remain on the periphery..the Grandaughter so joyful was so happy that she had someone else to love in her life.
Adoption today is a viable alternative to abortion. There are all sorts of options, ranging from surrogacy, to international and open adoption. It all boils down to someone caring enough to carry a child to term in order that someone else can have a child and make a family.
This is a true story..
I know ..because it is Mine..the story of me, Lisa my daughter and of her making the journey to find me..
At dinner that night, I felt at home as I answered any and all questions with honesty and candor.Ty asked me pointedly if I would be another Grandmother..said I ..only if you want and need one..mostly I'd like to be your friend..Mac was just so happy to learn where I lived and could she come at Christmas break to play in the snow. I left that dinner feeling elated, having met Joy.. I knew I could never have picked such a perfect mother for my daughter. I said many many prayers of thanks to her for making , guiding and loving Lisa ito becoming the well adjusted, beautiful lady and mother she is today. And I thank God then and now for giving me the strength to give Lisa every available chance in life that could only be gained by Adoption.
She has met Keith, her half brother, quickly forming a tight bond of siblings. Meeting my sister for the first time, she stated" you have my legs!! They too have formed a neat bond..I think one of the funniest comparisons came at that first dinner When Ty noticed my eyes were like his in color ..but it was my nose that he commented on..our noses are just alike..he had never seen one like it before..until seeing me that first time.
Today, the kids and I easily communicate on Facebook, via telephone and even email..They all call me MYLou..which is just fine and dandy with me!
Lisa first birthday
Keith first birthday
Joy Mac Lisa and Ty
Now go on over to Jen's Unglazed for more A actions..