Posts Tagged Nun
My adopted sister Amy and I were adults in our forties when we were told, “You were adopted!”. Growing up as kids and long before we were apprised of the truth, there were many events and encounters that felt odd and which we could never explain away. One looms quite vivid.
We had a cousin who was mentally challenged. I’ll call him “Donny”. One time at a family gathering Donny announced to my sister Amy, “It’s a good thing you moved away from L.A. before your real mom found you and took you back!” I gasped like a nebulizer shot compressed air into my lungs.
My adoptive mom’s sister Aunt Dodie lived next door to us. Amy asked Aunt Dodie, “What in the world did Donny mean when he said, ‘It’s a good thing you moved before your real mom found you?’” Dodie became stiff and looked straight ahead, repeating mechanically, “I don’t know a thing, I don’t know a thing, I don’t know a thing.”
(And what effect does this have on a child, not to mention a secret-keeper? Fall out from a closed adoption system, still in existence in many states.)
Amy’s adoption circumstances were very different from mine. My sister’s biological mother had several children when she became pregnant with Amy. A seaman came to port in her town. Nine months later, Amy’s birth mother was receiving free delivery care in a nunnery.
In November of 1960 when my adoptive parents went to pick up their second child, the nuns saw that my adoptive father Del was in a wheelchair. The nuns delivered the knock-out punch to my adoptive mom saying, “Oh no, no, we didn’t realize your husband couldn’t walk. We believe this baby will be better off with her biological mother.” My parents returned from the nunnery empty-armed and heartbroken. My adoptive mother told us later that she was in tears, inconsolable.
By February of 1961 something drastic had changed. I suppose we will never know just what. But at the age of 4 months, my sister Amy joined our melded, complicated clan.