Happy Gotcha Day to Me - My adoption story

41 years ago today my mom and dad got me..the whole thing was a bit of a whirlwind.

WWII was over and after some courting mom and dad were married in 1954. They tried to have children (blah blah blah no visual) but nothing..nada..no baby. I don't think that there were fertility experts back then..they checked both mom and dad's plumbing, the only thing they could think of was that dad's tighty whities killed off his swimmers..Who knows. Mom was a school teacher, dad an electrician. They had TONS of nieces and nephews and were enjoying life.

Now we go to February 1966..a 18 year old chicky and her 21 year old bf were doing the nasty. She KNEW he was bad news. He had already gotten another gal pregnant and she had to give up her baby..and his motivation wasn't there..he would rather play tennis, race cars and drink than anything else. He came from a great family but she knew there wasn't any future. I think reading between the lines he may have been abusive. She became pregnant and he wanted to marry her and start a family but she knew in her heart that wasn't a good idea. She went with her mom to Children's Home Society in Kirkwood MO. She told them that she told the daddy that she had a miscarriage and she broke up with him. Her dad was on his 2nd tour in Nam and he was in the choir at his Catholic church..when she lived with her dad she loved that Catholic church, one day she would become catholic. She told the social worker that she wanted the baby raised catholic. They promised they would do that.

August 1966 mom and dad went to get new tires. Such a good couple they do everything together. They don't even go to all girl or all boy type parties. They stay together. They were sitting in the waiting room at the tire store waiting for their car. There was another family there w/ a little 2 year old named Jenny. Dad thought Jenny was adorable. They ooed and ahhed at the baby and enjoyed watching her play. In talking to the parents they come to find out that baby Jenny was adopted. Mom and Dad were sad that it was too late for them. The parents assured them it wasn't and they exchanged phone numbers and information. They told mom and dad they used Children's' Home Society. Mom and Dad called later that week and got information on how to start the proceedings. They had their priest friends write letters, their employers and families..all confirming that they weren't nut jobs. They passed with flying colors. Mom and dad were told that within the next 2 years they should have a baby for them. They were VERY excited. Mom and Dad prayed every night. They asked for a white, healthy baby. They weren't too particular.

November 10th 1966 I was born. I bit premature. I was born at Jewish Hospital in St Louis MO then transferred to another hospital off Grand Ave where the CHS had their nursery/orphanage. I was kept there for a month. I was very tiny and cried alot. The nurses liked me very much at the nursery my name was Mellisa Ann.

December 9th 1966 Dad gets a call at work. He was out in the field so a call came through his supervisor, John Sullivan. John told dad that he was supposed to call Children's Home Society. Dad called and they said you need to pick your baby up tomorrow. Dad freaked and called mom at school. They were both let go from their jobs and went home to spread the news. Dad and Vince next door went out to buy a crib and other baby furniture. They didn't know I was a girl so they bought a yellow onesy for a newborn to go pick me up. It was chilly but not too cold outside. Mom, her cousin Florence, Nana and some other relatives all went to purchase the other essential items. Mom and Dad were VERY nervous.

December 10th they went down South Grand to the hospital. The nurses put on my brand new outfit..Boy was it big...well I was so little. I came home and cried and cried and cried. They didn't know what the hell they got themselves into.

Days like today make me wonder; would I still be ME...if those events didn't happen JUST LIKE THAT? I don't think I would be. I totally think we are who we are by who raises us. I think somethings are genetic and by reading the non identifying information I have from CHS...I have to laugh at the similarities between me and that couple destined not to be together.

I get presents on my Gotcha Day..from mom, she gives presents alot. This year is a large hard covered Weight Watchers cook book :-)
People ask when I found out I was adopted...Well I always knew! The tire story was a great story. As a little girl I used to go to CHS every Christmas w/ Jenny (girl at the tire store)...we used to sit on Santa's lap and we got a present. I used to love the Christmas parties at the orphanage...and it really was one then.

Thanks to the chicky who did the right thing..and thanks to Jenny's parents getting tires..and thanks to mom and dad's timing..perfect! Karma?? Fate?? I think a little of everything.


Badness Jones said...

That's a beautiful story. Does your mom call it your Gotcha Day? I love that! Happy Gotcha Day and thanks for visiting my blog!

MarysMom said...

Happy Gotcha Day!
What a heartwarming story, love all the happy endings (or should I say, happy still-going-ons...)

lisa's chaos said...

That is the best "birth" story I have ever heard and I love the idea and name of Gotcha Day! WOW!

Hey we're near the same age and grew up not that far from each other. :) I was born in Feb 1967 and grew up in Joplin, MO. Just moved away from there in 2002.

Happy Gotcha Day!!!!

MP said...

I think it was my mom that came up with the gotcha day..she heard it from my cousin's mil..who used that with her kids. We always celebrated the day...but the phrase is about 20-25 years old. :-)

dawn224 said...

Love it - I think this is a fantastic story. Every word of it.

(Watch out for the weather, stay safe.)

Lucky Gem said...

What a great story! And so close to Christmas. How sweet.

Happy Gotcha Day!

Jay said...

Oooh, sweetie, this is making me cry. It really does seem like it was meant to be.

Melissa said...

Great story! Happy Gotcha Day :)

Linda said...

Happy Gotcha Day! That really is a nice story! I'll share this one with Hubby, he'll like it!

Biddy said...


ok, so i seriously thought you were going to say they went to get tires and came home with a baby...

close enough :-)

i'm glad they gotcha

Slade said...

MP, This was such a wonderful story! I'm so happy you shared.

AnnieM said...

Awww, I'm all teary! Happy Gotcha Day!

klasieprof said...

I worked recruiting Foster and Adoptive homes, matching up kids and parents, doing background checks and all that.
The BEST part of the job...is ADOPTION DAY.

KEWL for you. Nobody needs a drunken idiot dad, and back in '67...very little was done about it.

My little one STILL wants to adopt a baby for Christmas..."REALLY" adopt!

Lulu said...

Awww! This is just such a sweet story! It's a good thing mom & dad went to get tires that day, huh? Funny how things happen.

And how smart of the 18-year old chicky to realize the position that she was in and was able to do the right thing.

Thanks for sharing your Gotcha story!