Neva and Birth Siblings - Alberta Human Services - Government of Alberta

Neva and Birth Siblings

Adoptee Neva and Birth Siblings Mary-Lynne, Robert and George
Reunited in 2011

Life Brings Many Surprises…

Neva, an 80 yr old Alberta adoptee, has spent her adult life searching for birth family. She shares her personal and moving memoirs with us.

Also, read her sister, Mary-Lynne’s story and how she and her brothers found their way to their sister, Neva.

Neva’s Memoirs

Very early in childhood I was told God loved me, and I was His child.

But who was the “her” and the other “his”? I knew I had a human beginning, the product of a male and female sexual encounter, but whose? Who were they? Who was I? Whose genes did I inherit? Why was I what I was? Who besides God made me?

Of course I did not ask or question any of these ideas when a young child!I had a mom and dad who read books to me, taught the alphabet and numbers; a happy home life with other family folks.

Then when the school bell was soon to ring, Mom sat me down to give me some warnings and facts of life. In closing the talk she said “Now at school you may be teased or questioned about being adopted, but don’t let that bother you. Just say being adopted is a good thing, it means your mom and dad really wanted you.”

“But”’ I questioned “What’s 'dopted mean?”

“O that just means when mammas and daddies want a baby because they don’t have any at home, they can go to a place where there are babies that don’t have any parents or a home, and they can get one.”

“But why don’t they have any parents or a home?”

“Well that’s because the women who borned them didn’t want them so they gave them away.”

“O the poor little babies. Why would mammas do that? Why, mamma?”

“Never mind, that doesn’t matter. What matters is that we wanted you. Now run along and go play.”

End of introduction and meaning of adoption. But the subject and questions were stored away for a later time, and life went nicely on.

Yet the thought that I must have another mom and dad somewhere lay in my mind with occasional surfacing. Meanwhile I was fed, clothed, and carefully tended to when I was sick; protected from the world, the flesh and the Devil by my overly protective mom; doted on and bragged about by Dad.

There were always small gifts at birthday and Christmas times for us kids, and whenever dad returned from a business trip to the city. My adopted brother and I enjoyed and or quarrelled over the usual goings on, the ups and downs of normal family life on a farm in the thirties. Being ‘dopted was no big deal, except for those times when I overstepped mom’s boundaries, and receiving the consequences, she would look at me with consternation and say “I can’t imagine wherever you must have come from or what sort of people they were.” This negative remark planted a seed of inquisitiveness that would soon come to life. That seed sprouted one afternoon while playing with moms cousin’s little girl and she asked me “What’s it like to be ‘dopted?” I didn’t know what to say, and said nothing. Then she announced, “I know what your name used to be when you were with your other mom. It was Rose Marie . And your brother Gayle was Allan. So which names do you like the best?”

“Well” I replied “I don’t much like Neva, but I don’t like Rose Marie either. I would rather be called Dorothy or Shirley.”

That evening when we arrived home, I brought up the conversation to mom. To my fear and surprize, a cloud of anger came over her face and she vehemently said “Who ever told you had no business doing so. Besides they don’t know what they are talking about! Your name is Neva Victoria and don’t let me ever hear you mention that name Rose Marie again.”

Not given to argue or persist when mom was in such a mood, I kept quiet and stored this away in my head.

Adolescence was soon approaching, and with it came all the normal questions and unrest that is common to those years. I became very aware that I didn’t fit in with anyone else in the family. I loved music, and as often as I could I tuned into radio music. My grandma, sensing this, suggested that I needed music lessons, and told mom if I would promise to practice she would let me have their old piano. Of course I promised, and the weekly fee was somehow provided for me to have lessons for almost a year. I liked to express myself and ideas in writing and used up many scribblers doing so. I was a nature girl, and a lover of animals. Sports and games were not my thing. I knew I was different; I felt different; I looked different; and a large empty place grew inside me.

Perhaps if Mom had been able to deal with all this in an open kindly way it may not have been important and troubling to me. But she couldn’t, and I now realize she may have been insecure and afraid of losing my affection and obedience. She was the product of her genes and era, growing up when adoption was not popular. I have since learned that she and dad adopted me against the approval of their parents. They thought it was a fine thing to take in and give care to an orphan but don’t expect it to fit in or be like your own. However I must say that once I was adopted into the family my grandparents were accepting of and nice to me.

That empty space in me begged to be filled, and I once again timidly asked Mom to please tell me when, where, and how I was adopted. As if in exasperation she curtly answered “The place in Calgary where we got you from when you were a year and a half old didn’t tell us much, and I didn’t ask because I didn’t want to know”.

“All they said you were given away because you weren’t wanted by a young girl who was very poor and couldn’t take care of you. You were so homely nobody wanted to adopt you for a long time till we came and took you.”

No mention of the possible sorrow and sadness of the ‘poor girl’ who had to give me away, or any understanding and sympathy for her. By the tone of finality I knew not to pursue the subject. I couldn’t understand or know her reason and attitude. She was not an unkind, uncaring sort of person. I often heard her laugh when she and dad were conversing, or when with friends or relatives. And I never heard any arguments she and dad may have had. But she did not or could not verbalize love and affection or outwardly show it. I don’t ever remember her saying ‘I love you’, or calling us endearing names, though she signed cards and letters ‘Love, Mom’.

So the emptiness stayed empty, but now the word ‘secret’ was added. I am Nobody, and I will never be able to find out why, or who I came from.

Through the years I cannot count the times I have been asked what country did I come from, what nationality am I? People have surmised I am Aboriginal, Asian, Eskimo, South Sea Islander, Slavic, or French!

As a result of those questions and Moms attitude, I became very introverted, insecure, shy, with a poor self-image. Even though I had school friends, did well scholastically, dressed similar to my peers, I felt I was a misfit in society.

Because my folks practiced a very conservative religious life style, I did not attend movies, dances or other evening community entertainments. Visits with family, the yearly school Christmas concert, and some church picnics were the only social activities I had. Somehow I did not feel too deprived; I had my pet animal friends and my music. I read books and the weekly Farm papers, and wrote in my scribblers. It seemed Mom was afraid to let me out of her sight, though my brother could go to hockey and baseball games. Looking back now as an adult I think she was secretly afraid I would follow in the steps of my wayward birth mother (as she thought of her as). But there was little chance of that happening when I was so ill at ease around boys none would ever venture to be my special friend or brave the eagle eye of Mom.

High School days were coming to an end. I think my folks realized the time was near when they no longer could control every aspect of my environment nor the people I would meet. Reluctantly and with much advice and fear, they enrolled me in a parochial academy several miles from home.

I was excited, yet fearful to go, but soon grew relaxed and enjoyed this new experience. Letting me go was an emotional and also a financial sacrifice for them, but because it was a boarding school with opportunity to work I was able to pay most all my expenses.

My folks expected great things now to be proud of me, but said there would be no money from them for further education after grade X11. Dad was at retirement age, and in poor health, and I would have to earn all my own way.

I dreamed of becoming a veterinarian, but this was totally unacceptable to Mom, and she suggested I take a Dietitian Course. Needless to say I still had a damaged ego, lack of self-confidence, and inability to venture off into an unknown on my own, and probably out-of-province schooling.

I decided I better find a job in the local hospital, which I did, and surprisingly did very well. One of the doctors there thought I was suited to a nursing career and encouraged me to enter the vocation (which with his help I did, but five years later!)

Around this time a next door neighbor introduced me to girls from her church, and we became friends. These girls had an older brother, and even though I had no idea of how to relate to a boys attentions having had zero experience, he strangely found me attractive. Soon we were actually dating, another first for me. Though I was too young and immature dating led to marriage, then parenthood. Both of which did give me a better feeling about myself and what I was even though marriage turned out to be far less than I imagined and hoped it would be. My old fears and questions were still lurking around. Before our baby was to be born, I wondered what would happen if it was born colored. So once again I braved Moms disapproval, when she was already unhappy about my marriage, and said ”I know you don’t want to talk about this subject, but please tell me if there’s any possibility my baby will not be white”.

With a sigh she replied “I can’t answer that, but I don’t think you need to worry. Your husband and his family are all Anglo-Saxon, and no doubt there are also in your background. I don’t think your baby will look foreign”.

Looking ‘foreign’ was very unpopular, and was an oft used adjective in describing me. It smacks of racial discrimination, though that term was not used as it is today. I don’t believe my folks or anyone in those years were racists, or looked down on colored races; but apparently there was strong disapproval of mixing bloods. It seemed that it was considered nearly immoral, with the children of such suffering from it. Today it is almost a non-issue in most people’s eyes, and I no longer feel the stigma as I formerly did.

“Furthermore” Mom added “You will love it, regardless, just as we have you.”

End of discussion, and sure enough both our daughters show no signs of ‘mixed colors’, and even if they did it would make no difference in our love for them.

Fast forward another 12-15 years and my children are teen agers. Mom was visiting, when my daughter asked me in mom’s hearing if I knew anything about my birth family or if there was any way she could find out. I replied without putting thought into it, “Ask Grandma, maybe she can tell you.” Mom burst into tears, which was most unusual for her stoic personality and cried “Will this subject never be forgotten? Why can’t you totally accept me as your only mother? Why can’t you get over this wanting to know and asking questions?”

More tears, and then silence. My daughter was awe-struck and frightened, while I determined that never as long as Mom lived would I ever by word or action let the subject arise in her presence. And I didn’t.

I think I was a dutiful, considerate daughter who cared for and about her the remainder of her life. We were not close in most ways, but we were friends to the end. I owe her and Dad and have nice memories of the care and concern they gave me as a child. I have gratitude and appreciation for all they did for me; I grew up safely, was nurtured with good Christian principles, values, and beliefs. I think I was saved from some near tragedies by their prayers, as well as those of my birth mother. Why Mom was so possessive of me insisting I be completely immersed and enmeshed in her genealogy back ground and family of which she was very proud, I do not know. She did not seem to recognize or know that I might need and want to feel the same about mine, especially since I felt so different, and was different. Maybe that’s why she determined to change me into what she thought and wanted I should be. Yet at the same time wanting me to never forget that she and Dad had rescued me when no one else wanted me. It seemed an oxymoron situation, making me feel very indebted to them, but not totally belonging. Strangely she did not seem to be invested in doing this with my brother, who incidentally did not look ‘foreign’, and fit in better with her and Dad’s background.

Shortly before Mom died she wrote a letter to my younger daughter telling her ‘all’ she knew about my adoption, which was more than I had ever been told.

She said my birthmother was a teen-aged, tall, German immigrant girl, very poor, who got into ‘trouble’ and was unable to keep me. There was no other information, and none whatsoever of who or what the man involved was; although the adoption people surmised he was probably Metis or Asian because I had a foreign (that word again!) appearance.

“But,” she continued writing, “Your mother is a bright, smart, and pretty woman, and you know your dad is of Scandinavian descent, so don’t think any more about that matter”

Apparently both our daughters have done this, and have successfully fielded any curious questions regarding their mothers heredity background.

When I was nearing middle age I developed some troubling health issues, which my doctor at that time suspected to be of a genetic disorder. As is usual he asked for my medical history, of which I had none. He strongly advised and encouraged me to make inquiries for information that would be useful in making his diagnosis. He suggested I apply to the Mormon Archives and several other resources. As much as I had always wanted to know about my past history, I was intimidated and without support. By this time I was an only child, after losing my brother to a violent death. But I reasoned I could still make some inquiries without involving my folks.

So I began the search.

But how do you find a nameless somebody? All I knew was my birthdate, sex, and probable place of birth. I wrote to the Salvation Army Hospital for unwed mothers, the Woods Home for Children and Orphans, and a Catholic Hospital all in Calgary. For some unexplainable reason I felt my roots lay within the prairie-foothills country, and as my adoption had taken place in Calgary this must have been where I was born.

These institutions replied that they had no information, and furthermore even if they did it was illegal for them to disclose it. I wrote again, disbelieving that they had no records. Two of my letters were unanswered, but one replied that yes there had been records but they were all destroyed when the old place was closed and demolished.

I then began inquiring to the Vital Statistics Departments, but that produced no results due to my lack of data. Next stop, Adoption Services with many letters, and replies that told me they could and would not divulge any info due to the Confidential Regulations.

Now I was becoming impatient and persistent because, as I told them this information was about ME, and who would have more right to it than I? But they were adamant with many excuses (reasons they called them) and gave lots of advice about forgetting the past and getting on with my life. But similar to the woman in the Bible story, who irked and wearied the judge with her constant request, finally gave her what she wanted in order to be rid of her, there was someone who, likewise, out of provocation(?) or compassion(?) finally sent me a copy of my adoption order with my birth name on it! Not names of birth parents or other identifying info, other than my birth mother was of Lutheran faith. Everything else was obliterated with black ink and completely unreadable. But I was overjoyed and could hardly believe this stroke of luck. I had a name! With that surely I thought (very mistakenly) it wouldn’t be too hard to find my birth root family. But it is a name, such as Smith or Jones, there are thousands of them. Of course it was not possible to contact them all, but I began an extensive and expensive exercise of sending letters, placing newspaper ads, perusing district history books seeking answers.

Because of this feeling I had I focused on areas in Southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, believing that people did not travel about as they do today, and that my roots lay within these areas. I was correct, but it would be forty years later before I would know for sure.

I received replies from many people, archives, newspaper ads, but all they could give me was regrets and encouragement. One of the persons who wrote was a lady who gave me a hope that she could be the one I was seeking to find. She was a social acquaintance of an aunt, and my sister-in-law, both who saw in her great resemblance to me. They were sure she must be my mother; and with the information she had given me, I began to think it was very possible. My sister-in-law arranged for me to be able to meet with this lady in a casual public venue, which I did. She was rather nervous, but we had a friendly conversation. Then when she realized I was the person she had corresponded with and why, she became uneasy, so to spare us both I said good bye and closed that door of hope. I later found out it was probable that she did know of my family connections and did not want to become involved in any way.

I joined the Parent Finders Organization, which gave me advice and ideas of how to keep searching, and also let me know I wasn’t alone. There were and are many others searching for roots and connections, some with happy endings. How I longed to have my own successful one, but it was not to be and my quest continued. As time advanced I realize the possibilities were growing less because all who would know or be involved were growing old.

I sought legal counsel of a lawyer friend; hired Search Agencies; kept pleading with Provincial departments in Social Services; Adoption Services; wrote my MLA asking that he work to amend the adoption policies. I attended Adoption Anonymous meetings, which were interesting and interested, but always the sacred rights of confidentiality made them useless and powerless to solving my needs.

I hired yet another Search Agent who worked diligently with the info he was allowed to use, but to no avail. I was ready to call it quits when I happened upon an obituary in the local newspaper. Something about the names and places it contained gave me reason to ask my Agent (Ray Emsinger) to make contact with a family member of the deceased.

He did so, and found a person who actually did know of my birth mother and her family. She indeed was a second cousin and had direct connections! Contacts were made, but for her own reasons, this person (who is my very own sibling) denied the evidence of truth and declined to co-operate. Her decision cost me the last opportunity for me and my mother to meet, as she died shortly after this. I regret this, not even so much for myself, but thinking it may have meant a lot to her to find me and know I had a good life. It might have brought her peace of mind and solace in her last days. Just as it comforted me when I later found out that she had enjoyed a good life.

But who knows, my coming into her life might not have brought positive results to her or her children. Time and circumstances may not have been right, and I accept that. I certainly do not hold resentment towards my sister; she did it thinking to protect our mothers failing health, and her long kept secret which had never been told to anyone of her children.

After the death of our mother, my sister wrestled with the decision of whether to forget the truth or make herself known to me.

Almost nine years passed before her conscience and compassion won out and she contacted the Post Adoption Registry where my name was on their files. This brought about immediate action, and found me alive and well.

Hence that unforgettable morning when I received the phone call from Fran with the Post Adoption Registry telling me I have a sister who wants to find me! There are no adjectives I can think of to describe that moment, or hours and even days after.

Letters, pictures, phone calls followed in quick succession, and culminated in a joyously happy meeting together with my very own baby sister and her son, my nephew. A few weeks later it was my joy to visit her again and meet my two brothers, nieces, nephews and cousins. Since then my sister, brothers and sister-in-law journeyed to Alberta to visit me and my family. It was such a delightful time with everyone feeling comfortable and belonging. We hope and plan to enjoy additional happy visits as many times as possible, sharing our lives with one another.

I have been blest with a husband, my own dear children and grandchildren who love one another; the good fortune of an adopting family where I was accepted and included. My in-law family have always made me feel wanted and welcome and I’ve had a church family where ever I have lived.

But I never knew the joy and closeness, and specialness of a birth family. Now I do, and realize it is something different from any other relationship, even though I did not grow up with them to experience each other’s lives, I feel such a bond, and that blank space is filled.

People who are not members of or involved with the Adoption Picture do not, perhaps cannot, understand the basic, important, and painful need that almost every adoptee has to know their roots and heritage.

It is NOT for any ulterior motives; dissatisfaction or dislike of our adopting family; or any wishful fantasies. In my searching I found that the ones (sadly including my adoptive mom) who were the least understanding were some personnel and officials in Government departments who were rude, demeaning in their attitude, often implying I, the adopted one, was an unthankful busy-body trouble maker who should not be delving into things that were past.

So it had been a long, frustrating, often despairing journey of searching, and as I neared eighty years of age I finally was ready to give up. I was tired and it wasn’t such a pain in my heart anymore. Perhaps it was best for me not to know, and I was willing to wait for Heaven to find out the truth that seemingly was not going to be revealed on Earth. I accepted that, even though at birthday time my thoughts were of my birthmother, wondering if she thought of me, or if she were still living. My husband had been passively supportive and interested but agreed there was no use or benefit to keep looking. Our children and grandchildren were all adults and had no hang-ups about their ancestry. They are fine people, upstanding citizens, engaged in worthwhile vocations and careers, and bear no taint of bad genes.

In most all ways I have had a good life, though as an adult it has not been stress free. I have suffered and survived traumatic heart break; and other sorrows which are common to all lives. Today, although I am not an out-going, extroverted sort, because of the process of maturing, experiencing life’s meaning, and my spiritual growth, I am a more confident, unafraid and capable person. Even so, being united with my birth family has given me something, a new joy and added dimension to my life that I didn’t have. Maybe I didn’t know or realize it was missing! My ‘baby’ sister and my ‘little’ brothers are well into being senior citizens along with me, but what a gift of joy it is to have received it even in our old age.

Every day now I thank God that my search ended with such a happy, worthwhile conclusion. I have been found and given information that I longed for, plus the added, an unexpected gift of being so wholeheartedly accepted and welcomed by a loving family who have embraced me as their own. They actually call me a treasure and blessing! I am so blest. I know who I am…and I am still Gods child.

EPILOGUE:

I have pondered the matter of Adoption from what could be titled others points of view. Which aside from my own I do not know all the aspects of; but I do wonder about the negative responses from the Adopters to Adoptees questions… such as they were with my mom, and other parents of adopted children.

Perhaps because they feel they have done a good and loving act by adopting (and in almost all cases they have), but when the adoptee questions and wants to know their past, they feel threatened. Maybe feeling they are unappreciated and their efforts unsatisfactory making them fear a loss of the child’s affection and loyalty. Or do they feel so possessive they cannot bear the sharing of the child with anyone related by blood?

For me personally, and I think I speak for the majority of adoptees, all these reasons are totally groundless. We have no desire to cause concern to ones to whom we have great gratitude. They gave us a stable, secure home life and upbringing. They parented in the truest sense of the word by their nurturing and educating us.

But when you know you had a past life, a secret beginning, it is not an unnatural or morbid desire to want to know when, where, who, and why.

I just wish that my adoptive family could have been relaxed, open, caring, and secure enough to tell me and approve of my desire to know, instead of intimating that I was an accident, unwanted, and abandoned; that my other mother gave me up without sadness and regret. Yes, even so, I would have felt a loss of her, but perhaps I would not have cried for a long time wanting ‘Mamma and some cocoa buns’, as Mom unemotionally told me I did.

Even though I am now an old lady, I still wish I could openly have a conversation with Mom, and dispassionately discuss both sides of the subject. Of course I cannot, but I wonder what she would think if she knew of my long search and final happy ending. Would she rejoice and share my happiness in finding my siblings and other family members? Or would she be negative and turn away without interest or welcome? I do not know, and cannot even venture a guess. Nor can I imagine how I would be received by my birth mother. Her family all speak so lovingly of her and hold her in high esteem, and by the way I have been welcomed by them, perhaps she would also been made happy to see me. Or it may have been too much for her to handle. These are things I nor anyone will ever know, and it’s probably best that both my mothers are asleep in their graves without knowing ‘the rest of the story’.

I am glad that today laws and studies have been made, with programs and resources available that help everyone involved in the Adoption-Fostering experience. These will make for a more relaxed, accepting, and satisfying relationships for all.

Children will be seen and acknowledged as needing, worthy beings, not statistics without feelings to be put into secret files, as they have in the past.

With wisdom and discretion these files should be made available to adult adoptees, if they desire them. Thankfully, our Government has recently made that possible.

Adoptees will be able to accept, understand, and have compassion for, the reasons their birth mothers could not, or in some cases, would not take care of them. They can and will feel loyalty and gratitude for the adopting family that chose to step in to give them love, stability and protection that for whatever of life’s various and undesirable reasons made it necessary and good.

Mary-Lynne’s Story

One evening in June 1999, I received a phone call from my cousin, Cheryl. A researcher who puts adoptees in touch with their birth parents had contacted her after seeing an obituary for her uncle that listed a survivor with the same name as my mother. Cheryl knew that my mother was a likely prospect.

I was completely stunned. I told Cheryl that I didn’t think the person they were looking for was my mother since I’d never had a scintilla of a hint that my mother had a child who was put up for adoption.

I didn’t ask Mom about this for two reasons: if she was the birth mother and had kept the child a secret all these years, who was I to bring it up, and second, she had enough to deal with at that time – my dad was aged and declining and required a lot of her energy and attention. Then I wondered – does he know?

In September of the same year, Cheryl phoned again and said that the researcher had sent her documents that he wanted her to forward to “Rose’s daughter.” She asked if she could send them to me. I agreed to look at them, all the while denying that Mother had had a child I didn’t know about.

The packet contained photocopies from the adoption records showing the child’s name – Rose Marie - birth date, the mother’s name and where she was from, undeniable evidence that my mother was also this child’s mother. Also included was a letter written by the adoptee daughter addressed to “Rose’s daughter” which said that she just wanted her children to know about her birth family. She didn’t ask if her mother was alive or for contact. Enclosed was a sealed envelope with photos to see “if her or her children bore any resemblance to Rose or her children.”

I photocopied one or two papers with mom’s signature releasing her baby for adoption at 18 months. I recognized Mom’s handwriting. I didn’t open the envelope with the photos. I didn’t want to see the photos, and I wanted Rose Marie to think that she was on the wrong track even though I knew she wasn’t. I returned the whole packet to Cheryl and asked her to return it to the researcher and tell him that I couldn’t help.

I have felt guilty and sometimes still do that I thwarted Rose Marie’s chance to meet her mother, but my first and only inclination was to protect Mom. After my father died in 2000, Mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer. If she hadn’t become so ill, I might have asked her about Rose Marie and given her the choice to meet her. When Mom was dying, I waited for her to tell me about Rose Marie, but she never did. She kept her secret to herself.

If I had been the only surviving child, I would have looked for Rose Marie after her death, but I had two brothers to consider. I (wrongly) thought their respect for our mother would be diminished.

After Mom’s death in 2002, I visited her old friend, Eileen, whom Mom had met around the time of Rose Marie’s birth. I started the conversation by asking how she and mom had met. Eileen replied, ‘You have a sister, you know’. I replied that I was aware of her. I asked if my father knew, and she replied, “Yes, he did.”

Mom tried for 18 months to keep her baby, but her circumstances were such that it was not possible. Eileen knew the baby well during those 18 months. I asked about the baby’s father, but Eileen didn’t know.

For many years, I was tormented, not knowing whether to tell the family. I was not ashamed of mother nor did I condemn her, but because she, my dad and her family had never given an inkling that Rose Marie had been born, and I was not at all certain whether Mother would have wanted me to share her secret.

Interestingly, the few people I asked for advice (Eileen, a priest and later my lawyer) – whether I should tell or not - all told me to “leave it alone.”

A few years ago, I found the Alberta Post Adoption Registry and filled out the application forms. In January 2011, I finally told my husband, then my children (12 years after I first learned of Rose Marie) and decided to send the forms in and register my name. I finally told my brothers after I first met Rose Marie.

Their reactions surprised me; they were excited about their new sister and couldn’t wait to meet her. While delighted to welcome their sister, they, like me, feel such sorrow that mother had to carry this secret all those years, never knowing what happened to her baby or what kind of life she was leading. I’m sure she thought of her baby often, especially when she looked at us.

Since June 2011, we have been together 3 times, and our reunions have been filled with joy and excitement. We all felt connected immediately.

The younger generation doesn’t understand why grandma never told us. After all, what’s the big deal? They don’t understand the tenor of the times – the stigma, shame and secrecy that accompanied an unwed pregnancy. People and attitudes were different in the 1930s.

Meeting our new sister has been a renewal, bringing us closer and healing a few rifts along with it. We have learned that being FAMILY means everything. We feel blessed.

Our heartfelt thanks to the Post Adoption Registry and, especially, to Fran.

Mary-Lynne, George and Robert

Created:
Modified: 2015-05-19
PID: 15624