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We got all settled in at the house. We talked a lot that first night, and she brought a photo album for me – of Jeanne as a child and growing up, her parents, her family, and her son and daughter – my half-brother and sister. Our plan for the next day was to take a ride around Scranton, and talk some more.

We drove to St. Joseph’s and sat outside awhile. I could tell it was hard for Jeanne to relive this. Her story was an incredibly difficult one.

Jeanne was raised in a very strict Catholic family. Very disciplined. She was happy to go off to college and start living her life. She dated someone who would be the first person she would sleep with – my birth father. It was Christmas night (there’s that Christmas thing again!), and they went on a date and had a few drinks.

What happened that night changed everything – forever.

When she realized she was pregnant, her fear must have been unbearable. HOW would she ever approach her super-religious mother with this news? She told her older brother her dilemma, and they decided the best approach would be to tell their father – he would likely be the more understanding of the two, and would help her break the news to her mother.

Then, the unthinkable happened. Just as she was going to tell him – he died a sudden death – heart attack.

Oh. My. God.

She was left with terrible grief, and a terrifying secret and only one person to turn to – her mother.

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Today was the day I was to meet my birth mother. I was almost 31 years old.

We drove to the airport in Allentown to pick her up. She had gotten the picture of me that I mailed to her, so she knew what I looked like. I didn’t get the picture she’d sent – so I had NO idea who I would be looking for in the crowded airport. We nervously waited.

The plane landed. People started getting off – and I was sort of expecting she’d be one of the first off the plane for some reason. But nobody looked like they were looking for me lol. More and more people got off the plane, until it was just the last few stragglers getting off. At this point, I started joking around – saying under my breath to ANY woman who got off the plane – old or young, black or white – “are you my mother”? lol

Well the plane emptied. No Jeanne. Now what?!

I phoned her house and learned she had missed her flight! Wow – more waiting!

So, we sat and waited and finally her plane landed. When people started getting off – I saw her. She was petite – just like me (lol -not!) and she was cute. And we hugged. We laughed about her missing her flight. We looked at each other and smiled a lot.

She had something in her arms that she had carried all the way from Michigan on her lap on the plane – My christening gown. My 31-year-old christening gown. She had saved it all these years. Waiting for this moment.

How sweet is that?

I couldn’t wait to get home, get settled, and TALK.

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I’m going to blog about this in chapters – so as not to bore anyone! lol  But perhaps, it will be interesting to some, and hopefully, helpful to a few as well 🙂

I was born in Scranton, PA.  I don’t know or remember when I was told I was adopted – it’s just something I always “knew”.  I think that is the best way – I don’t remember any shocking story about anything.  My parents made it into a beautiful story, that always made me feel special.  It was always just a part of “me”.

My parents applied to St. Joseph’s in Scranton to adopt a baby.  They applied in August.  I was born in September.  They had the usual background and home checks and waited.  Suprisingly, they didn’t have to wait very long.  They secretly wished for a girl, but of course would have been thrilled just to have a baby – son or daughter.

On December 21, Mom was downtown shopping – she had taken the bus, and Dad was at my grandparents house.  And, they got “the call”.  – Come and get your new baby – TOMORROW! 

Dad ran to the busstop, and waited for Mom.  When she got off the bus, he told her their news.  It was snowing.  It always played in my mind that it must have been such a special moment.

Mom was lucky – she had four sisters – and three of them had children – so they knew just what to do.  They put together a baby shower in record time, so they’d have what they needed to welcome their new baby.

The day I was adopted, they brought Mom and Dad into the Chapel at St. Joe’s.  The manger was set up, and they wanted to give my parents their baby in front of the manger.  It was December 22nd. 

They told my parents, that they had chosen a baby girl for them – me 🙂  And, I was handed to them in front of the manger.   They named me “Mary Christine” – partly because my grandmother’s name was Mary, and mostly because it was Christmas. 

We always celebrate my “second birthday” on December 22nd – How cool is that?

Forever grateful to my parents.  They have given me a wonderful life.  Great family, childhood memories – the works!

Tomorrow – I will tell you about “the search” – how it came to be, what happened, and how it all has played out.  I do want to say, that I was never an adoptee who had that “burning” desire to seek out, or felt that “part of me was missing”.  I just wanted to know who I looked like, what my medical history was, and whatever else happened – happened.  My parents will always be my parents.  My birthparents are my birthparents.  Your true parents are the people who raised you, and took care of you your whole life.

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