Adoption ~ My Story

I was adopted. No, no I wasn’t in an orphanage or anything. It wasn’t like Shirley Temple. It was pre-arranged before I was born by a mutual friend of my moms, Judy Donohoe. My Mom, Gerry Brewer, had several miscarriages and it was determined that she couldn’t have children. My birth mom, Grace Gordon, got pregnant by someone who wasn’t her husband while her husband, Jim Gordon, was away in the Air Force. Jim said, “It’s the baby or me!” Back in 1960 not many women worked or had careers. Abortion was illegal until 1973 when the U.S.Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that during the first trimester, a woman has the right to decide what happens to her body. It would have been a hard life for Grace and her children if she had gotten divorced. So, being 1960, and Grace having other children, she gave me up for adoption.

I was born on April 26, 1960 at Intercommunity Hospital in Fairfield, California. At nine days old I went home from the hospital with my new family and Laura Jane Brewer became a spoiled but sweet only child who had a pony. Apparently, my birth mom, Grace, would call and check on me until my parents asked her not to. It scared them too much because the birth mom can ask for the baby back up until it’s six months old. Also there was an incident when my parents were out at a pizza restaurant. Their name was called out, “Brewer!”, to come pick up their pizza, a woman with long reddish hair came up and asked them their name then hurried away. They think it must have been my mom. They all lived on Travis AFB, CA at the time.

I’ve never met my birth mom, but I’d like to meet her. I tried to search for her on the internet, but it’s a common name, and who knows if she stayed with her husband? She could have remarried and have a totally different name. Somewhere out there I have two or three or more half brothers and sisters. I’d love to meet them, to know them, to see if they look like me. Then there is my fathers side of the family, that’s another total mystery.

Being adopted is sometimes difficult. I don’t know my heritage. I don’t know my nationality. When the doctor asks I don’t know if I have a family history of any diseases, like heart disease or breast cancer. Maybe my family is rich!? Maybe I am decended from royalty!? Maybe they are poor and I could help them. I just don’t know?

But on the flip side, I have wonderful parents. I could not have been more loved. Although I think Grace loved me and was really torn up by the decision she had to make, I think she made the right one. She gave two people who desperately wanted a baby to love her child and made them a family. Thank you Grace.

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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. My father told us both his parents had died in the fifties. We knew he had a brother but he would not tell us his name. When he passed away in 2001, my brother put a post on a genealogical site asking anyone for possible information about the long-lost brother.
    A year and a half later, we received an email from a 22 year old guy from Chicago. He believed he was our second-cousin. He was. We found a whole new family with an aunt, two cousins, multiple second-cousins. My father’s mother who was supposed to be deceased had actually passed away in 1988.
    My advice is put as many feelers on the internet as possible… You never know who might be looking for you.

  2. I am not adopted, but was left with family members, for the best. My biological mother did what she had to do, it took me a very long time to understand that. Possibly longer to understand that. But I am thankful. I was loved and cared for (at least for a little while).

    Best wishes for you on your search for your birth parents.

  3. A beautiful story that I hope has another chapter coming. Don’t give up looking, and keep your eyes open. I have faith you’ll find your “other” family one day soon1

  4. Thank you for sharing your adoption story. I’m an adoptive mom and I always appreciate hearing about adoptees’ different experiences.

    I hope you find Grace and your siblings someday.

  5. I’m always so touched hearing people’s personal stories. (((HUGS))) to Gerry for becoming your mom.

    My father passed away when I was 12, so while we have different stories I can relate to dealing with some hefty emotions in my younger years.

    (LillyMunster ;-))

  6. Get started on your search today! You haven’t a day to waste! People get old and die. What a shame it would be to never meet your mom because you waited too long.

    It definitely sounds like your mother loved you and was concerned and it’s very sad you adoptive mother told her stop calling. Your adoptive mother was
    unnecessarily frightened. A mother cannot just take a child back without there having been fraud or coercion, or if the father never signed.

    1. Repost this with your name, DOB and the city etc.
    2. Register with ISRR http://www.plumsite.com/isrr/
    3. Ask your adoptive family for any papers they have that might contain a clue
    4. Search the internet for adoptions search groups. be very cautious of paid searchers, but try to find a local support group in your city.
    5. Refrain from publicly exposing ALLEGED details of your mother’s ALLEGED indiscretions which could be a cause of great embarassmentfor he and cause her or anyone who knows of hr to stay clear of you because of lack of discretion in a delicate matter.
    6. Remember that adoption is built on LIES. Anything you were told has a 50/50 of chance of being true. Keep an open mind.
    7. Join BN at bastards.org and get to know thousands of others like you going through the same struggle in regards their own personal history and the larger fight for equality for adoptees.
    8. There will be a protest march in New Orleans in July.

    Good luck! Every day you hesitate is another day of not knowing your truth.

  7. Thanks for sharing. What an interesting background. I see the makings of a memoir… 🙂

  8. Hey Laura! See? I knew there was a reason why I instantly liked you. I’m adopted too! Except I was in foster care for 6 months before I was placed w/ my adoptive family. I was reunited w/ my birthmother & bio-siblings in 1996/97 (she had four kids, gave the youngest three away for adoption). Long story for another day. NOTE: I was also a long time & very active member of Bastard Nation, worked closely w/ CUB & other Open Records groups on a bill here in CA to unseal adoption records (as well efforts in OR, AZ, and MO). Don’t believe all that BN tells you about search/reunion. It’s not for everyone.

    That said, the good (and bad) news is that you were born in CA – a sealed records state. After the mid 50’s, CA stopped changing the birth certificate number once a child was adopted. You just need your amended BC #, and then you can do a reverse search on the CA Birth Index for your original birth certificate number. It’s tedious work, but doable. That will give you her maiden name, married name, her date of birth, your REAL date of birth, etc. Email me, & I’ll tell ya more.

    P.S. Dunno who told you that about birthmothers being able to reclaim their biological children before 6 months of age, but it’s not true. If your adoption was legal, she relinquished all claims to you once she placed you for adoption. At the most, she’d have had 3 days to change her mind. That’s it. Even in 1960.

    Anyway sister, thanks for sharing your story!

    Cheryl ~
    @jasperblu

  9. I hope you get in touch with your Birth Mom. I was also born in April of 1960. In 1978 I gave up a boy for adoption with Catholic Charities and have yet to make contact. There are lots of books on the subject of searching and also reunions. Hopefully we can be part of that as well.

    From another member of the Adoption Triad.

  10. I HAVE THE SAME NAME OH YEAH I AM COOL!


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