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I know what it feels like to be born into this world unwanted and unprepared for.I am the child of a woman who never had other children because of the shame and guilt she felt at having surrendered a child for adoption.It was the 1960’s and it was a women’s college in the south.
A woman who died too young because her secret destroyed her. I am a woman who brought two very wanted children into this world.
And I have some thoughts about how we talk about adoption and abortion. I fantasized she had named me Caroline, and that we looked exactly alike.
She spent weekends at her father’s Manhattan apartment in the Carlisle, visiting her brother at Columbia, shopping at Bergdorf’s, drinking martinis.
By the time she set sail for her junior year in France *I did my junior year in France* she was already sophisticated and worldly. I know little of Gloria’s life from when she returned from France to when she arrived in New York.
These stats are depressing and hopefully they awaken us to a need for an alternative to abortion that avoids the physical and emotional damage.
One organization with the cause of helping women make the decision between adoption and abortion is LDS Family Services.Her father was a lawyer and her mother a home maker.Her older brother Tom was her best friend and confidante.Amidst the death and destruction of that day, I found renewal and rebirth.Gloria’s brother Tom died in 1991 at 40, her father Daniel died in 1999 at 90, and her mother Dorothy -who spoke with me only once- died in 2013 at 100. Gloria Gerwin was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee.I am especially thankful to her husband, who despite learning about me from a letter I sent, mailed me the very first picture I ever saw of Gloria. My then three year old daughter thought it was a picture of me and said, “You look so pretty mommy, where are you going?”His letter -and the photograph - arrived on September 11th, 2001.My birthmother died on January 11th, 1995, exactly one day before January 12th, 1995. She never met me, she never had other children, and she kept my birth a secret for her entire life. Her brother was the only person who knew of my birth, and she kept me for three months before deciding she could not manage motherhood on her own. Within hours of my birth -never named, known only as Baby Girl Gerwin- I was surrendered for adoption.Within days, Gloria was whisked back to her wealthy parents in Memphis.Gloria’s life was one of wealth, expectation, and dreams of something bigger.*Just like mine.*When she arrived at North Carolina’s Greensboro Women’s College, Gloria was already different.