Friday, February 2, 2007

Posting more info on Donna's beginnings

Sandy, Donna's birth mother, and I have been like sisters since the day we met. I was dating her older brother, Bill, back in high school (that would be Rome Free Academy) in Rome, NY. Bill and I married in July of 1962 and divorced in June 0f 1972. There are three daughters of that marriage who are Donna's cousins. All of my daughters work in the medical profession, two are nurses.

After Bill and I divorced, Sandy and I remained in contact and have always been very close. We still communicate daily by email even though I am now living in Colorado and she still lives in NY.

Here is more information on Donna's beginnings:
Her birth mother is Sandy Shaffer Gotthard
Her birth father is Alfred (Fred) Paul Calicchia II

Sandy was sent to St. Faith's (an Episcopalian home for unwed mothers) in Tarrytown, NY, in November of 1965. She remained there until February of 1966, delivering Donna on January 28, 1966 at a hospital, the name of which she was never told. Retracing the trip recently, even though she was in hard labor and scared to death at the time, Sandy feels sure she was taken to Yonkers, NY. She remembers the name of Dr. Capone who delivered Donna. We searched professional licenses in New York State and found an Anthony J. Capone, MD, an obstetrician and gynecologist, who lives in Irvington, NY and had privileges at St. John's in Yonkers, NY. It appears he may be retired now as he may well be in or nearing his 70's.

Sandy remembers sneaking into the nursery to see her baby girl. The nurses seemed to turn their backs; she remembers "Baby Girl Shaffer" and "Mother: Sandra" on the card on her bassinet. There was a social worker, she cannot remember her name, who encouraged her to keep her little girl. As much as Sandy loved her and wanted to take her home, it was forbidden by her mother. Sandy returned home, leaving Donna at St. Faith's, where both she and her father hoped they could change her mother's mind. That was not to happen and one day, after delaying the signing of the relinquishment papers for as long as she could, Sandy and her father went to the law offices of Larry Cook, Rome, NY, and the papers were signed. Sandy and her dad (who was a wonderful man) cried all the way home.

Sandy had a lot of provisions in those relinquishment papers. She signed papers that assured her that Donna would keep her first and middle name. She was assured that Donna would go to a couple who did not already have children and that they would be a Christian family. She wanted Donna to be adopted by a family with sufficient means to give her a good life -- something that Sandy could not do at that time. She was about to start college, had a low paying job as a clerk and would have no place to live if she brought her baby home.

She gave the attorney a letter for Donna to read when she turned 18 years of age. She also received two pictures of Donna; one when she was quite young and a second when Donna would have been near 2 years of age. Sadly, Sandy's mother destroyed them both.

Sandy's parents, Tom and Bette, are now both deceased. Tom died several years ago and her mother died last year. Sandy has a son and a daughter from her marriage. I have posted some pictures of all of us here in Colorado as well as pictures of Sandy and her daughter. You can view them at
Contact me if that link does not work.
I also have another site with just Colorado family members on it. You can view that at:

I'm hoping this information will sound familiar to someone out there reading it.

Peace to you and those you love,
Aunt Patty

1 comment:

Judy said...

my hubands birth mother was in st.faiths home from oct. till the end of nov. 1965. Maybe she knows her name? That wold be wonerful.
My name is judy. E-mail is. please e-mail if you know anything that can help in our search.