Her Mind Can No Longer Keep Her Secrets

My parent’s marriage was troubled from the start, which can happen when each person thinks the other is going to save them. My mother wanted my father to save her from a future as a farm wife. My father wanted my mother to save him from himself.

My mom lost two babies before me and one after me. After that, she couldn’t have another.

I always wondered how my parents faked out the adoption agency to get my brother, how they pretended to be a happy couple, how they survived the interviews and the home visit.

Here’s the answer: They didn’t.

Growing up, Mom always said they got Eric when he was about three months old. But on my last visit with her, she corrected me, firmly. “He was ten days old.” And then she told me how they got him.

It was 1959. My mom was at an appointment with her doctor when he said, “Joyce, I know you want more children but can’t have any. I have another patient who is going to have a baby she can’t keep. Would you like to have the baby?”

Did my mom talk to my dad about this? Did she just say yes? What if she brought the baby home, as a surprise. Is that possible?

When I visit Mom in October, on the way back to Cincinnati, I’m going to stop in Pennsylvania. But it won’t be at the halfway mark. I’m going to visit Lois, my brother’s birth mother.

It will be a lot to process.

Chewing the Cud of Good

closeup of bright pink, pale pink, and white peony flowers, with green leaves and little blue flowers
Thankful for the floor beneath my feet.



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