I always knew that I was an adopted child. So did my brother. My parents told us that we were as long as I can remember. We had this really cool book that we used to read all the time. I think it’s called “The Adopted Family” but it is about a Mommy and Daddy who got to go pick out their very own child. I still have this book and it is a treasured memory of my childhood.
My biological parents were 17 (Ruth) and 16 (Jurgen) years old at the time of my birth in Denver, Colorado. They were dating and in high school. When Ruth got pregnant and she and Jurgen told their parents, it was decided almost immediately that the baby would be put up for adoption. Ruth was an only child and her parents were a little older so they couldn’t raise another child. As was common in those days, Ruth was sent off to a home for unwed mothers to await the birth of her child.
Ruth had made it known to the staff of the home that she did not want to see or hold the baby when it was born. She knew that would make it too hard to give the baby up. She was at the home for 4 or 5 months and was keeping up with her school lessons.
In the middle of the night on February 2, 1965, Ruth went into labor. I’m not exactly sure how long it lasted but I do know that the staff was not as prepared as they should have been. When the time came for the birth, only an intern was present. After the baby (me!) was born, the intern just picked me up and plopped me into Ruth’s arms as he continued to do what was necessary. Years later, when I met Ruth, she said she was so glad that this happened. In the years after my birth and adoption, she always held those few moments of holding me very dear.
A few days later, Ruth signed the necessary papers for my adoption and was picked up from the home by her parents. Ruth wanted her parents to see the baby, but they did not want to. Also, she was told on no uncertain terms that this incident was never to be mentioned again.
Ruth went back home and back to school, no one the wiser except for Jurgen. He had moved on during her absence and they were never close again. Poor Ruth had to act like nothing had happened. No one ever knew…or if they did…never talked about it again.
I went to a foster home to until the end of the waiting period for my adoption to be finalized.
Part II coming soon!