Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Were You Born in Albany, New York in 1958?

Imagine this. You are a young unmarried woman, deeply in love with a man who swears he loves you and has promised, any number of times, to marry you. You discover you are pregnant. Due to your circumstances, the fact that you are not married to the baby's father, you feel ashamed that you are expecting, you don't have enough money or resources to support a baby, you plan to give this child up for adoption.

As the pregnancy progresses, you are told you are carrying twins. You rethink the adoption plan, fearing that your babies will be separated at birth and will not be raised in the same loving home you were assured they would have.

Against all odds, because we know there is no help or encouragement for single mothers who wish to keep their children, (and there was even less help back in 1958) you leave the hospital with your twin sons, determined to do whatever you must to keep your family together.

The father of the boys is occasionally on the scene; he sees you and the boys, he helps out when he can but still his promises of marriage remain empty.

The twins are only a few months old when you discover you are pregnant again. You know you are not able to support and care for another child and you return to the same agency you used before. Once again, they assure you this baby will be placed in a loving home and will be given all the things you cannot possibly provide for it. You feel pressured. It's not an easy or a comfortable decision, but you tell yourself you will try to keep an open mind about it; after all, everyone is telling you it's in the best interest of the child.

A blizzard of record proportion hits Albany mid February and you worry about getting to the hospital if you go into labor since you are due any day now. Over the next two days, city crews manage to clear the streets and on the 21st day of February you arrive safely at the hospital to deliver this baby.

The stages of your labor are recorded and hospital records do not indicate that you were given anything for pain. Several hours later, the baby is born at precisely 6:09; you probably never heard her cry because precisely at 6:09 you are given demerol and ether which knocks you out. You wake up, well over an hour later, and are told you delivered twin baby girls, both stillborn. You ask to see them and you are denied. You ask for paperwork, death certificates, stillborn birth certificates whatever is provided in cases like this and you are told there is no paperwork for you to see.

Now imagine this: An adoptee is searching for her birth mother. She knows little, which is typical of the information given to adoptees, but she does know she was born on February 21, 1958 to an unmarried woman who already had twin boys about two years of age. She was told she was born with a positional club foot, corrected with massage. She is also told her mother struggled with her surrender and did not turn her over to the authorities until she was several months old, when she finally signed the relinquishment papers.

The adoptee's search is diligent; she and I team up with other search angels. She photographs yearbooks, every woman who even vaguely fits the description of her mother since she was told her mother relocated to Albany from another state to finish high school after her own mother's death. The adoptee is told she is most likely, based on the information they received from her mother, the result of a one night stand, a blind date her mother was talking into.

I could not possibly count the number of places her search information was posted on the internet, the number of city directories searched, the number of obits searched, the number of emails sent to potential classmates and phone calls that were made and the list goes on. Finally, there is a break through. Her twin brothers are located.

Fast forward to today: The adoptee is reunited with her twin brothers via phone and email; a face to face is in the works. Sadly her birth mother passed away a few years ago, but not before this kind and loving woman moved back to her home state, met and married wonderful man who would be totally dedicated to her, her children and their children for thirty years.

The adoptee also learns she has an even bigger family; it's not just the twin boys but also two other children adopted out before her mother's marriage, and two half siblings from the marriage. DNA testing was done and the adoptee is the full sister to the twins and two others, one male, one female; all of whom had found each other a few years ago.

She learns that her mother had wondered all her life if her twin girls were really stillborn. It would be easy for a reader to judge her; please don't. She never lied about her past and her deep love for the man who fathered her children; she was open and honest with all her children, which helped them to find one another, well almost - there is, according to the stories the mother shared before her death, one more child born sometime in 1960 and of course, the other "stillborn" twin girl.

My own outrage: This mother lived all her life being told her twin daughters were stillborn. This adoptee has searched much of her adult life hoping to find her mother. I know this goes on. It has happened to other mothers and other adoptees. And yet, I am outraged! I will continue to be outraged!

Why is a mother knocked out with ether and demerol at the precise moment her baby is born if the physician on the receiving end of that baby is an honorable physician?

This woman's paper trail (same agency) would clearly indicate that she changed her mind once before when she delivered twins, fearing they would be immediately separated. It would also indicate that this woman was gutsy enough (remember we are talking about 1958 here) to initiate a paternity action against the father and win!!!

How long have the adoptive parents been standing in line, waiting for this woman to give birth and how much money did they pay to stand in line? Is there a birth certificate? Does it have the adoptive mother's name on it?

Where is the other twin? Was it really stillborn? Was it really a girl? If she's living, does she even know she is adopted? Nothing in the adoptee's hospital records (which she has since been able to obtain) indicates a positional club foot; maybe in all the bullshit flying around that day while the mother was knocked out,
it was the other twin who had the club foot? Once someone starts playing God and spitting out lies between their teeth (which BTW is something God does not do), I imagine it's difficult to keep it all straight.

I realize this didn't happen to every woman who gave birth in Albany, New York in 1958, but it happened to one and that's one too many.

Call me livid; call me angry and you would be right! We are looking for someone born on February 21, 1958 in Albany, New York. We have no idea how to find you but if that's your date and place of birth, and maybe you've always felt like you didn't quite fit into your family, there may be a reason. We have more information than is posted here. I know TRUTH can be a scary thing. Upon finding the truth, it isn't always honorable, right and just. Still, I prefer to be a seeker of the truth; I don't like walking in the dark, amongst lies, at all.

Peace to you all and those you love,
Aunt Patty

2 comments:

Rose said...

Dear Aunt Patty,

I am doing research for my friend who is looking for her birth family. The information she was given about her birth was: she was born on February 28, 1958 and adopted in Brooklyn, New York.

This is a long shot (aren't they all?) but could we share more information to see if they match?

Thanks,

Rose O.

Aunt Patty said...

Hello Rose,
I can't believe I never saw your comment until today.
Did you ever find your friends birth family?
If you ever see this, I'd be happy to share info with you.
Peace,
Patty