135 Years, 135 Stories title image

Grateful

EILEEN, District of Columbia

It was 1968 when I entered the Florence Crittenden home for unwed mothers in Washington DC. I was 18 years old and living on my own and working as a telephone operator for C & P Telephone Co. I was scared and had no support from my family. Only my father knew I was pregnant and he strongly advised me to put my baby up for adoption. So I agreed that I had no idea how to raise a child alone and that he would have a better life with a stable and loving home with 2 parents.

I felt safe and secure when I was at FCH during the last 2 months of pregnancy. It helped to be among the women who shared this experience. We bonded and we gave each other moral support daily.

On the day of my baby’s birth my water broke and my reaction provided entertainment for the rest of the girls. In other words , I was very excited and even panicky. I provided some comic relief.

After the birth of my baby boy, I met him and fell in love. I still love him, but never saw him again when my social worker picked him up. That was traumatic to me. I screamed and cried in dismay. There was a hole ripped in my heart that is still scarred.

I waited until he was an adult in his early forties before I started a search. It was a closed adoption. I found out that my records had been destroyed at FCH and George Washington University Hospital. I can only hope that someday he will search for me. I have left a file in adoption agencies in Virginia, Maryland and DC.

I am grateful that he was adopted into a stable family and I always hoped he had a good and successful life.