Guest blogger, Yvette Piiparinen, shares her personal story on a quest to discover any information about her birth mother. She found it helpful to tell her story through blogging and we are grateful she is allowing us to share her story. Though this isn't your typical adoptee search story, we as fellow adoptees, do understand her desire to know who her birth mother is. Please note this is her personal story and we all have our own voice to share, please respect her story she has chosen to share with us. Thank you :)
"Birth MOM search @ 65" is my Blog to Chronicle the journey to find my BIRTH Mother "LENORA ANNE JENNINGS" who I last saw in 1964 when I was 10 years old.
My mother Lenora Jennings apparently met my father Peter V. @ a hotel in Chicago. They both worked there and in their early 20's. Dad thought mom was rich because she was wearing a mink coat, ya gotta LUV the 50's. I don't know the name of the hotel where my mom worked in Chicago. I heard she worked in a cocktail lounge as a Cigarette Girl, dad was a bartender.
My parents married in March of 1953 in Chicago, Cook County in Illinois and then moved to Toronto, Ontario, Canada where my father was raised. My paternal grandparents came to Canada from Italy originally. Dad was born in Guelph, Ontario and moved to Toronto, Ontario with his 2 brothers and sister. It was a Strict Roman Catholic upbringing and my mother just did Not fit in as far as I know.
The "VERI" BEGINNING
I was born a year after the marriage in March 1954, and my little sister Tina was born July 1956. I remember the house, things seemed happy at home, and I have some fond memories of my parents. I do not have an exact date when my parents split, but I am guessing about 1958. My mother was a surprise to dad's family. Apparently dad just showed up with a pregnant mother to be as his wife. The tight knit family hadn't heard about my mom and she wasn't readily accepted into the fold. It was to be expected, after all she had worked in a night club and was fair haired and fair skinned and most shocking was she had given birth to a baby boy before she met my dad. Most definitely not a nice "Italian" girl. My father had a habit of keeping "his" people separate from his other people...I saw it first hand growing up. Mingling with the other family and friends was not encouraged, so I think mom was kept apart from the main core of the family. Only brought out for special occasions.
After my parents split, life changed drastically for my sister Tina and I. The next 5 years we were boarded out (Group Homes). Many times to strangers and we did not see our mother often. We were fortunate the homes we were placed with were kind people and children our age. I remember at least 4 different homes, a summer with an Uncle and his family in Fenelon Falls, Ontario and twice with mom...all within a 5 year period. There was a lot of moving but we spent holidays and summers with our dad. We were young and excited to spend time with him.
It was during one of those visits with our father, that we stayed at his new house. Dad was living with a new woman "Mary Turner" and her daughter and son. I expect the idea of fighting for custody had something to do with Mary wanting to secure a home base for her own children. We never liked Mary, none the less there was a custody battle and we were living with dad and Mary Full time. Our mom was a single woman raising 2 girls and working as a Cigarette girl. Dad had a house and a stay at home woman who would care for us while he worked. It is no surprise dad was granted custody.
It was 1964 and the LAST TIME WE SAW OUR MOTHER (except for when she tried to abduct us from school but dad stopped her - a story for another time).
Birth MOM search @ 65 years old!
There are a few reasons why "I am 64 and trying to find my BIRTH mother"
Tina and I did not spend enough time with our mom to know anything about her previous life. We never talked about her parents or siblings, the town mom grew up in or anything else about her life. I don't even know my mom's date of birth, her education or even her favorite color. Something inside me (maybe impending retirement) is feeding the sense of urgency to find out everything I can NOW while I can.
Another reason is the death of my dear sister Tina in 2009 and now the death of my father in 2017.
Finding out what happened to my mother will not bring them back I understand, but hopefully will release the demons of wondering what ever happened to my mom. My sister and I tried to look for our mom but could never find any clues. Watching the "Adoption Search" programs of a happy reunion is a fantasy for me. I will be happy just knowing her final resting place.
One of the most heart breaking things that happened when I was a child, is that my dad destroyed ALL the pictures of our mom. I am really grateful though that he saved 3 wedding pictures (which he gave to me when I turned 30). Dad would NEVER talk about mom, and later he said she had died, end of discussion! Never any details about it and any time we would ask a question, there was shit to pay. Dad was a good man, but strict and unyielding. I am now free to search for my mom.