Thursday, June 16, 2011

Foster Children- Part 1

Even though there are many years between my older siblings and myself- 10, 12, and 13 years, I was not an accident or an oops baby. My parents wanted many more children, but my mother had several miscarriages between my brother and myself. One time she almost died, when my oldest sister was 8. She knew enough to call the minister's wife, who was a RN. My father was at church camp over an hour away. Maxine, the nurse, rushed over, asking almost embarrassingly, "Jean, do you have any whiskey?"
My mother, appalled, "You know we don't drink."
By now, the whole neighborhood was in the living room. The next door neighbor slipped out the door and soon came back with a bottle of whiskey, "Good thing, you have drinking neighbors!"
Then my mother worried about riding in the hearse that doubled as an ambulance with whiskey on her breath. She related it was very strange to be in that vehicle with the wine color curtains.
My dad, in his hurry, rushed to the hospital in his tennis shoes, forgetting his dress shoes at camp. Men in the 50's did not go to the hospital in tennis shoes.
The other miscarriages weren't as dramatic. My mom told me she just went to the bathroom one time. The doctor examined the results only saying it was a multiple birth. She also had one a year before I was born.
With me, Mom thought she was having a gallbladder attack. They performed exploratory surgery. One surgeon wanted to abort when they discovered she was a month pregnant, but the other fought for life, saying, "She's young and able to have this baby."
A woman being 36, pregnant, in 1960, probably seemed old. Her cousin, who was younger, had a Down's syndrome child the year before. But life was chosen!
My father said he knew all along Mom was pregnant. His nickname for me was "Little Gallstone"
Yet, after I was born, my mother was instructed to not have anymore children. She felt bad that I didn't have a little sister. Which was the start of the desire to either adopt or open our home to foster children.
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