In 1949, at the age of 14, my mother was raped on her way home from school. In three months she was sent to St. Peter’s, in Castlepollard, a mother/baby home in the Midlands of Ireland where I was born. My mother spent 19 days with me, then was assigned to a convent in Dublin.
In my first year I was fostered out three times, finally being returned to the doorstep of St. Patrick’s, an orphanage in Dublin. I spent almost 5 years there and now with a much better understanding I wear the title “Banished Baby” with great honor. In 1953, when I was adopted and brought to California, I had rickets, malnutrition, intestinal parasites, iron deficiency, and epilepsy. I could neither walk or talk. My adoptive parents were never told of my ailments, only that I was “fragile.”
As as adult when I learned about my life in Ireland, and my birth name,I immediately began my search for my birth-mother in 1985. The Sisters at St. Patrick’s Guild helped locate her in 1990, but she wouldn’t see me, as she had never told her family, not even her husband about my existence. She left a letter with the Sisters for them to send to me. I in turn had left a letter with them to give to her. Neither of us received our letters.
In 2007, I found my birth-mother again on-line and within six months returned to Ireland with my daughter, Aaryn James. We met with her on my 58th birthday. Meeting her changed my life forever, and helped me understand why I had to tell her story. I knew I had a responsibility to her, so I did extensive research to create an accurate novel of what her life may have been like while in the Home and the Laundry.
I have been blessed to find a publisher, and am thrilled to be working with Dan and Josh at HBE Publishing. I look forward to a busy productive year, and hope by Christmas 2015, my novel, The Swan Garden will be out there for the world to read.