"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." ~George Bernard Shaw

"Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time." ~Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Magpie 38-Unknown Mothers

Adopted at the age of five

Was your Mother still alive

Were you abandoned

Or saved?



My mother always told us that she had been put in an

orphanage at the age of 4 and adopted by an older woman

when she was only 5 years old. She always told us that

she only remembered swinging on a gate waiting for her

father to come home. When he didn't my mother was

sent to an orphanage with her smaller sister.

My adopted Grandmother died when I was only 3.

So I don't remember her at all. I only remember the

horrific stories my mother told me about how she was

raised by this older widow and the one letter my grandmother

wrote me when I was a tiny baby.

Years after my Mother had passed away, my father

told me that my biological grandparents had not died,

but had put my mother and her little sister in an

orphanage for unknown reasons. My mother's biological

mother had attempted to contact my mother, but was

refused at the front door. My grandfather tried to also see

that my mother was okay. Another refusal by my mother.

I tried to find them by writing the Orphanage and the City

where she had been adopted. It was too late as all I could

find out was that everyone had passed away.


  1. Anonymous4:52 PM

    I'm going with Saved. Just sayin. Great Mag. Love and Light, Sender

  2. Oh, this is so very sad. So many mysteries, unanswered questions. Perhaps you could somehow find if your mother had blood siblings, some cousins, something. Or perhaps you could do a search in census records. (I think this is what I would do first.)

  3. You were reminded of very sad events in your own background. Let's hope the present is much better.

  4. Anonymous8:22 PM

    Wow, this is really touching. Makes you wonder what happened.

  5. touching - thanks for sharing :)



  6. "Were you abandoned
    Or saved?" Perhaps both!

  7. Sad, sad, sad. That is quite the story, and a very good one. I think you should do some writing on this - the long version.

  8. So sorry for the sadness of not knowing.
    I do like the simplicity of your pondering! Thanks-

  9. Sad tale, indeed. You might try searching Ancestry.com for records. There's a wealth of info available there.

  10. Very hard to live through that situation. I hope it was Saved too.

  11. Anonymous1:22 PM

    What a sad poem. The story of your mother really points out how sad it is. So many people during the Great Depression were forced to put their kids up for adoption. Since they looked for her later, it makes me wonder if they were in that type of situation.

  12. heartbreaking...I agree with those who are ging with "saved"

  13. Abandoned, saved. Sometimes they're the same, you know?

  14. so sad, but your mother was lucky to have you and your father. I hope some day you find some family to connect with. this really was a touching story.

  15. Oh Kathe this is such a sad story indeed for you and your family. My hope for you is that you find much peace and happiness in your children, grandchildren, and future. :-)

  16. Saved. I'm sure. :) A story unusual, bittersweet and touching.

  17. I relate from the other side of that story. I wish your union would have happened. I am not sure mine ever will. Warm wishes, Kristen

  18. Anonymous3:46 AM

    I'm a firm believer in we are what/who we are because of the past... so you were all saved.

  19. one will never know what it would have been like for her to not have been adopted...great, thanks

  20. A great Mag together with such a sad story.

    We never know the sadness and pain that some people go through during their lives. I have always said that everyone has a story to tell. Without the story, one cannot give a testimony sad though it may be.

  21. very touching kathew... i hope and pray that present and future fills you with enough happiness to shadow sad memories

  22. How desperately sad; told with clarity and without self-pity. As RR says (above) - hope things are better now.

  23. So much sadness, brought about by unanswered questions.

  24. Sad tale... but no, lovely tale of selection of one so special. The unanswered questions can be tough, still searching could lead to historic answers which might aid in bridging the void. Could lead to distant relatives who might be able to shed some light. Good luck in your quest.

  25. Oh, how very heartbreaking. I feel for that little girl your mother was. Not knowing her mother.
    And yet, people all over the world who cannot feed their children put them up in orphanages. It makes me angry that they have these children they cannot provide for, in the first place.


  26. A most touching and personal Magpie. I do hope you will in time be able to find the information you seek. New avenues seem to open all the time, so keep looking!
    My stepfather's father was killed in a work accident when my stepfather was around four. His mother stuck him in a Presbyterian boys' orphanage in NC. No letters or visits, until one day when she showed up to take him to Reno, where she had just married into money. He was 15 and suddenly thrust into a pretty wild party existence and no love. No wonder he was such a weirdo! - the poor guy was damaged and never healed.

  27. That was almost too much, but it was so beautifully written. Very, very moving.

  28. A very sad story. I hope your mother found peace in her life. Thank you for sharing.

  29. This is so sad, but I believe it happened quite often. Sometimes one child from several was placed in an orphanage. How could anyon choose a child to abandon?
    Good Magpie.

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  31. Oh my goodness now sad for you and your mother....during the depression so many children were left in orphanages...because they had no way to even feed them...how terrible for your real grandparents...hopefully you can find a peaceful closer to this mystery...bkm

  32. after reading everyone's replies - I realize what not only my mother experienced but also what her parents must have suffered- having to give a child up to an orphanage- so that the child may simply eat and survive....I just hope that my mother eventually realized that and forgave her parents. I do.

    Thanks for all your kind comments Best regards and hugs, Kathe

  33. What a poignant story. Despite all that humankind is always forgiving.

  34. Love the poem -- the story makes me sad.


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