‘Momma, you gave me away. Why, Momma?’
When Sharon, a friend of mine, was eighteen and still at school, she got herself pregnant.
No big deal about that. A lot of people point fingers and blame the
girl. As if the boy had nothing to do with it. That’s hardly fair. In
any case, what happened is as old as history and Sharon needed
Her parents backed her to the hilt.
‘Tell us what you want to do, Sharon, and we’ll help you all the way.’
‘I’m not sure how to handle this.’
‘Do you love the boy? Would you consider marriage?’
‘No, I still have to finish school. I’m too young to marry and I want my freedom.’
‘Well, how about having the baby but giving it up for adoption, legally, everything signed and above board? Then you know your baby goes to a loving couple and a good home?’
So that’s what Sharon did. In South Africa, the law prevents the
biological mother from knowing who the adopting parents are, or
trying to contact either them or her child.
Sharon completed her schooling, trained as a graphic artist, married a naval officer and bore him a son. Then the marriage failed and she was on her own again. She didn’t make much money and as her parents lived in a big house, they invited her to live with them.
Her son grew up, left home and married. So, except for her parents,
Sharon was alone again. The years went by and she celebrated her
forty eighth birthday.
Then one night the telephone rang.
Her father picked up the receiver. ‘Hello?’
‘Is that Mister Cooper of twenty four Somerset Road?’
‘Yes, Daniel Cooper speaking.’
‘And do you have a daughter, Sharon?’
‘Yes, I’ll call her … Sharon … phone for you.’
‘Are you Sharon Cooper?’
‘Yes … who’s speaking?’
‘And did you have a baby when you were eighteen, whom you gave away for adoption?’
‘Yes … who’s this?’
‘It’s me. My name is Chris. You are my mother, but I have never met you. Can we have tea together?’
Sharon couldn’t stop her tears. ‘You are my son …? From so long ago …?’
‘Yes, Mom. You are my real mother. Sadly, my adopting parents were killed in a road accident. They were very good to me and I had the best of everything. So I must thank you for that. After they were gone however, I searched for my adoption papers, found them and traced where you live.’
When Chris called on his mother, he brought her flowers. She had a
surprise for him, her other son. So each son found a brother. And Chris discovered he had a grand father. Big get-together, many tears, much laughter. This story, by the way, is still very much alive and