You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby . . .Not So Fast

Ugly Children

Ugly Children

Joan Rivers says that when she comes across an ugly baby and can’t think of what to say, she comments on how nice the crib is!

Here is some background in case you haven’t read my earlier posts. My older brother and I were both adopted from The Willows Maternity Sanitarium in Kansas City, Missouri. We aren’t related genetically, but grew up together and are close. As close as two complete recluses can be.

My brother is four years older. After my parents adopted him, they immediately set the wheels in motion to adopt another baby. Single child households were not common back in the late 1940’s – early 1950’s as these were the baby boom years after WWII.

In order to adopt another child, my older brother was taken to a child psychologist and interviewed. I’ve copied what the psychologist wrote about him.

Psychologist's Evaluation

Psychologist’s Evaluation

And she was dead on about my brother. From an early age, he showed incredible mechanical genius. He was a mad inventor even as a little kid. My brother made rocket fuel in the basement. He created a mechanical witch that popped out of the clothes hamper in the bathroom to scare me when I got up in the middle of the night to pee. And on and on. Mom said that whenever she visited his elementary school unannounced, he was always standing out in the hall being punished for one thing or another. Honestly, he was just bored. A.A. Hyde Elementary School didn’t appreciate his aptitude and also didn’t know how to handle him with the exception of making him stand in the hall.

In 1951, my parents were given the opportunity to adopt a baby girl (me). One month after my birth, they drove to Kansas City to pick me up. As you can see, I was skinny, very red and hairy. My eyes appeared oversized, much too big for my face.

Me at One Month.  Taken when Mom & Dad picked me up in Kansas City

Me at One Month. Taken when Mom & Dad picked me up in Kansas City

My big brother and me.

My big brother and me.


Four Month's Old

Four Month’s Old

The state of Missouri has finally changed their laws on Sealed Adoption Records. If both biological parents are dead (and you can prove it), you can petition the Court to receive a copy of your adoption file. (I have written more on this subject in earlier posts)

I finally received a very thick manila envelope of paperwork from the Circuit Court of Jackson County. Inside were pychological evaluations of my parents, letters of reference, copies of receipts, etc.

Of course, I have read through this file several times. I thought I had thoroughly read everything until yesterday when something new caught my eye!
pretty

Luckily for me, Mom didn’t see me through other people’s eyes. If she had known what the home visitor had written, that I was not pretty and not precocious, she would have driven to Kansas City and kicked her in the butt! Once they got us, Mom and Dad were the most loyal parents ever.

Below is copied from a letter that Mom wrote to the social worker in Kansas City. (a copy of her letter was in my big manila evelope)

Her hair is very dark for a tiny baby and her head is beautifully shaped. I have seen pretty babies, but none as pretty as Jan. Now, if we can just teach her all the things that must go with her being so beautiful.

I wish our pictures truly could show you how sweet our baby is, but some day we will be in Kansas City and we will bring her to see you.

Thanks Mom and Dad! R.I.P.

11 responses

  1. This made me cry. I love your story. BTW, you were a really cute baby.

  2. Marissa Gimeno | Reply

    That letter nanny wrote made me cry too. What a great entry today mom! All of these new pictures that I’ve never seen before are so incredible. Were these some of the slides you transferred recently? You definitely improved with age, but you weren’t so homely to warrant a crib comment from Joan!

    1. no, those are snapshots from my baby album. I bet Zenda will have a virtual album — so much easier.

  3. I loved this post! Ugly babies we may have been, but we’ve more than made up for it 🙂

    1. yes! I think of us as “exotic” rather than ugly (ha!)

  4. It’s too bad that everyone does not have a letter like that. Your parents knew your beauty from the first moment they held you. You can see it in their first embrace, that first picture. And then they wanted to bestow on you everything you didn’t have besides being the most beautiful sweet baby they’d ever met.

  5. Jan, I am fascinated with all your posts. I just love reading them. This was a great story.

  6. Florence Bernstein | Reply

    I just love reading all about you, and what great work you have done.

  7. Well done as always, Jan. I especially love how the psychologist refers to the Page family as “unusual”.

  8. Thanks for another touching, funny, and informative post! xxxooo

  9. Florence Bernstein | Reply

    The picture in the crib looks so much like Zenda. Those big eyes. Enjoy your findings so much and knowing your parents it seems both of you were really wanted and taken care of.

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