Sunday, May 15, 2005


This post by Caboodle got me to thinking about my memories of the time in my life before I was adopted.

My first recollections in life take place when I was in the second Foster home in which I had been placed. Of course I didn't know it was a Foster home at the time, but it was home.

I lived on a farm with a family that I remember having several children, all much older than me. For all I know that could mean they were anywhere from five years old to teenagers. I was only three. And- they all had skin much lighter than mine. (They were farmers in Iowa- no surprise.)

I have several distinct memories but here are the most clear to this day:

Me and "Lassie "

1) There was a dog there on the farm that I called Lassie (I think it had a different name, but she looked like Lassie to me.) Also, there was a "jackpot" door around the back side of the barn where the new baby kittens were. Three year olds LOVE kittens. I was no exception. (I'm a dog person now though.)

2) The mother of the home had a rule for me. "Stay away from the fence." Do you know how when someone tells you to do something you are always tempted to do the opposite? One day I found out why the fence area was off limits. As I wandered toward it, I could see that there were several cows on the other side of the fence far down the way in the pasture. As I stared at the cows in the distance, I heard the sound of hooves pounding toward me and this awful heavy breathing, and as I looked to my right I saw this giant lumbering animal coming at me at a high rate of speed with mean looking eyes. I screamed and began to cry. Thankfully there was a fence between me and the bull. (I don't remember ever going near that fence again though.)

3) The farm had dairy cows that spend time in a milking area in one of the barns. For those who have never seen a milking barn, the cows are lined up in rows where they are milked. In some of these barns, there will be a trough cut into the floor where the cows "do their business" during a long milking session. I remember being in the barn one day wadering around, being curious standing near these giant animals looking down at that smelly trough in the floor when someone opened the barn door behind me. As I turned to look to see who it was, my foot got caught and I fell backwards into a small sea of cow manure and urine. As I waked back to the house, crying and my arms out to the side, I knew that the only part of the barn that I ever wanted to see again was where the kittens were.

I also remember the day the nuns came to take me away. I know that they packed a suitcase for me, but it didn't quite click that I wouldn't be coming back. They took me out to eat before we went to the airport and I had ice cream for dessert. The waitress put two cookies in the scoop of vanilla and made eyes out of cherries. I thought it looked like Mickey Mouse. Next stop, the airport. The plane was a big silver one with propellers. I remember getting on, but I think I fell asleep shortly after takeoff. At this point in my life, I wonder how they could afford to fly me to Omaha from Dubuque, but I suppose that there were regional airlines that did that sort of thing back then.

It's funny- I could never remember any names from that family, or even picture what they looked like. But to this day, I feel a sense of gratitude toward them. Maybe someday I'll get the chance to thank them too.

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