More Thoughts on Adoption, Adoptees and Adoptive Parents

My daughter called me tonight and we talked a bit about my blog. I said that I am trying to be sensitive since I am dealing with the lives of my very much loved relatives. Adoption as it pertains to me was due to babies being born to unmarried mothers. It was a hidden event during the forties, fifties & sixties. And since then, everything has changed. My adopted mother, Harriett, was very aware of this change in social mores and wrote me this poignant note in 1995. I clipped out the center part of the letter as it revealed too much personal information about one of her friend’s unmarried granddaughters who chose to keep her baby.

Letter from my Mother Harriett

My parents never concealed the fact that I was adopted. All of the announcements contained the word adopted and it was never a secret in our family. Harriett & Ray were such great parents that I am surprised that Harriett would ever have any doubts in her skills.  As a parent, though, I know I have many regrets as to my parenting skills (or total lack of).  But as immature as I was, at least I got a chance to grow up with my daughter .  And I am still sorry that I never created a fabulous baby book — but of course Nanny (Harriett) did that for me.

Janet K. Page Adoption Notices

5 responses

  1. I loved my childhood and wouldn’t change a second of it. You are a wonderful mother! Zenda is one lucky lady to have such a fab Grandmama too!

  2. I love and miss that font from Nanny’s typewriter.

  3. Dear Jan, We had many close conversations as girls together, and i remember how open and curious you were about your adoption– and we both speculated about from whom you received your glamorous, exotic look. I have made friends with others who were adopted, but none who had the confidence instilled in you by your darling, supportive parents, who I remember vividly. I am certain, though, that you were born with that strong sense of self, but your parents certainly nurtured it. I thought that Harrriet was the identical twin of Harriet Nelson, and the absolutely Ideal Mother of the 1950s & 60s. Ray was calm and solid– I always felt secure in your home, assured that they truly, deeply cared about you, and this was always an amazing sanctuary for me. I witnessed stability there.

  4. What a wonderful letter to have. You actually had two wonderful moms. Things were so different in the 50’s and 60’s. I felt things changing in 69 when Susanne was born and we were living in San Francisco for three years. I’ll never forget that day at the Candle when you told us that you were meeting your birth family. You are a strong person and I know you’ve done the important things with Marissa, more important than a great baby book, and that’s not just because I haven’t made those for my daughters. I don’t have one either, but I never doubted for one minute that my mother loved me.

  5. Hi Jan,
    Mom had that same font and it brings back memories as does your mom’s signature, because without fail I got a card from her every year on my birthday, signed just as in the letter you posted (signed Aunt Harriett of course). Would love to know more about your findings.
    Cousin John.

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