Thirty six years ago today, a sixteen year-old gave birth to a baby girl in a hospital in Germany. Johanna's family were impoverished refugees from Chekoslovakia. For a while the family of six children lived in a cave. Later, social services could barely keep up with their needs.
Johanna's unexpected pregnancy was unbearable and unacceptable, but so was an abortion. She named her baby Manuela and abandoned her in the hospital. Some months later Johanna needed to know what had happened. She came back to the hospital to inquire about her baby--did she have a home, a good family?
Meanwhile, a few months earlier, a young American couple living in a small town in Germany, had begun the adoption application process. The paperwork complete, the waiting began.
German Social Services had reservations: Who were these people? Did they belong to some strange cult? What were they doing in this country? Finally, the English-speaking midwife who had befriended the young couple two years earlier, put in a good word for them. They met her when she was called at the last minute to help with the delivery of the Americans firstborn. Now, once again, she intervened.
The very next day, a social worker knocked at their door and asked if they wanted a baby girl.
I was that extremely excited "expectant" mom who answered the door!
Come back in July for the rest of the story...
But today, I am remembering Johanna as she mourns her loss--our gain.
I am thinking of our daughter who also grieves her abandonment and wonders...