Once upon a time …
The hospital where I was born freely gave me a copy of my disturbing-looking birth records, where it noted that as a newborn I had been discharged late in the evening to the doctor who delivered me. The judges in two different states granted the court’s permission to give me copies of my incomplete adoption records (from birth and as an adult). Vital Statistics helped me search for my birth certificate that my parents would only say was “missing.” Vital Statistics gave me a copy of my only birth certificate on record – my original birth certificate which had never been amended. DCFS, who was supposed to be protecting my best interests as a child, stated my file at birth was empty, except for a one-of-a-kind waiver signed by the judge stating not to check the home that I was being placed in. Catholic Charities stated that that they still had an incomplete adoption application sitting in their old records for my mother and her first husband who raised me (my father for the first 6 years of my life). Apparently, at that time, the agency had sent them a follow-up letter that they never answered. It spelled out that to be considered for adopting a baby through Catholic Charities that they must come back in and finish filling out the application.
There is absolutely no way, from the judges to the many clerks, that they could have missed all the irregularities and glaring discrepancies in the sparse court documents they kept handing me – with no possible explanation or resolution to the emptiness that I was feeling. The many chapters from my life journey were not only frustrating, but my self-worth as a once-innocent newborn to an adult clearly got lost in all the mind-boggling deception.
Since my half-brother on my newly-found birth father’s side of the family recently found me, I’ve had this question that has been tugging at my heart. My birth father’s family was Roman Catholic. He lived with his wife in the same small town where I was born, but not conceived. I always wondered why it said, “NO SHOW BABY” on the top of my hospital birth record and underlined several times. The other man who I thought was my biological father lived with his family far away in a different state. Nobody in my birth mother’s family lived close by either. I don’t want to get my hopes up, but it would have a great deal of significance that my true late birth father might have known about me and asked that I be baptized before leaving the hospital. For me, it represents that someone cared.