Today, write about a loss. The twist, make it the first in a three part series.
She went by the name “mom”. She had been married for 3 years and no babies had happened. Lots of stories of the different fertility measures used in the early 1950’s. So with no babies in sight, and an uncle who had just been ordained a priest, Dan and Bette had been moved to the front of the class. I was “gifted” to them on the 6th of December 1955. I was 6 months and 3 days old. It took a year in that state for adoption to become final. This is what I looked like before that happened:
A year after I was placed with this family, my next brother was also placed with “us”. Then the UNTHINKABLE happened. Mom had two kids under 2 and she was throwing up every day. Catholic Charities called her to say they had baby #3 on the way. Mom said, I have my boy and girl and this is all too much. No thank you.
Turns out she was pregnant (betting you guessed that). She was sick for months. If I’d been a little older, I may have found pleasure in this. Mom’s next door neighbor and dear friend told her why she was vomiting all the time. That would be my sister. The first “blood” child. For my mom, all bets were off. It became US vs. THEM. US were her kids, THEM were the adoptees.
I was too young at this point to be of much use around the house – that came later, and not much later. Three months after my sister arrived, mom was expecting again. She wasn’t happy with dad.
But by the time my brother (#4 kid) was born, I had been introduced to that infamous closet.
I was always told I was a very sad child. I showed little emotion. Not surprised. I was born to a single mother in 1955. Her mother had just had a lobotomy, and she snuck off to have me. She didn’t sign relinquishment papers until I was 10 days old. That blew my mind. No matter what my imagination did, these adoptions were sealed. To find out against all odds she held me over and over was overwhelming. But abandonment was a feeling that pulled at me for most of my life.
Catholic adoptions at the time were the most secretive.
Before I hit 5 years of age, I knew how to change diapers, feed a bottle, scrub toilets, rinse out soiled cloth diapers in the toilet, and use a toothbrush to clean the tile around the toilet.
The US vs THEM was now fully in force. By this time it was the turning point and a chance at a “normal” childhood was lost.