I Was Adopted—When I Was 41
At thirteen, a neglectful foster system tore me from the only woman I ever wanted to call “Mom.” Decades later I tracked her down and finally got my happy ending.
“Hello?” The voice at the other end was hushed, similar to Jeanne’s. “Anyone there?”
“Yes. May I speak with Jeanne Kerr?” I crossed my fingers.
“Who’s asking?” the voice cracked.
“Its Regina Louise, I think we may’ve met a—”
“I don’t believe so,” the stranger interrupted, her voice turning a shade defensive.
The line went dead.
“… ever work at the Edgar Children’s shelter?” I’d wished to ask. This latest Jeanne joined the long list of crossed-off Jeanne’s I had scribbled on a well-thumbed notepad in pencil, pen and crayon.
The last time I saw the Jeanne I was looking for was in 1977. I was fifteen years old, standing in a juvenile courtroom, in front of a crook-necked microphone, my right hand raised, prepared to “tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” about what it would mean to live with someone who actually wanted me. I was asking the court to allow Jeanne Kerr, my counselor from the Edgar Children’s Shelter in…
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