The young Air Force couple who shaped my life brought me to their tiny Sumter, South Carolina Home in February 1952, when I was five months old. The infant home managed by Sisters of St. Francis received me as a newborn the previous September from Saint Francis Hospital in Greenville.
Agnes and Al finalized the adoption papers in October 1952 when I was thirteen months old and changed my name from Ruth Ann to Mary Ellen. They gave me the life my poor textile-worker mother could not afford.
Adoption and a transient military lifestyle have given me much to contemplate and to write about. There is much to tell about my journey of self-discovery. I'd like to share my stories with you, as I begin to blog segments of my memoir-in-progress in the near future.
My Story -
Adoption and Beyond
about my adopted life in an Air Force family, the separations, the moves, the uncertainty, the quest for self, and the discovery of my family of origin.
* I write about my coming of age as a female adoptee in an Air Force family in the 1950s and 1960s. How Catholicism affected our family dynamic. The Baby Scoop Era, when poor mothers were encouraged to give up their newborns as a betterment to society.
* I write about the loss of identity inherent in adoption, how I became aware of loss at an early age, and how it affected me as a teen and young adult.
* I write about my search and discovery of biological mother and maternal kin in my 40's and embarked again on my search for paternity twenty years later.
* I write about the joy and toil of professional gardening in my 40's and 50's in the Philadelphia area.
* I write about the hemorrhagic stroke that altered my life at age 57, and how I came to terms with rehabilitation and recovery.
* I acknowledge the act and art of Writing as transformative and therapeutic; physically and psychologically.
Empty Lot Tanka
Safety scissors snip seed heads
and grasses brush my legs--
barefoot, shirtless natural child
my first venture into the empty lot
with ribbons in my hair.
New Milford, NJ
(5-lined Japanese poem)