Cod Liver Oil & Orange Juice

J.S.Z. ~ 30.091018

I believe I was kept at the Home longer than any other:  I stayed there until I was 17 months old.  Why I was never adopted out I will never know, but I stayed there in that nursery for nearly a year and a half; until my birth-family finally took me home.

The Salvation Army sent many letters asking for my family to come get me.  One even said, “If (the child) is left here much longer, we fear she will be socially retarded.”  Thankfully, that did not happen.   On the contrary, I think I was given very good care.

When the event of ‘going home’ finally happened, instructions were to “be certain that (the child) has a glass of orange juice every day and takes her cod liver oil.”  I have a small baby quilt some lovely woman made for me while I was there – it is the only thing I have of my time spent at WS, and I treasure it.

I returned to White Shield fifteen years ago.   The place still haunts me.  I have forced myself not to go back.  I stood outside White Shield, looking up at the delivery room – I believe there were two – and thought of my mother, there all alone, no family or loved one with her, so frightened having a baby in her young life.  My heart still breaks for her.

I have a letter written to my family just after I was taken home, saying how much ‘they’ missed (the child) in the nursery and how it seemed so empty without her, and how soon (the child) would forget all about them.

How not so!  I will ‘remember’ as long as I live.  I am so very grateful to be one of the White Shield children: they did so much for me.

– J.Z.S.

Looking for Grandmother

A.K. ~ 50.071219

I would like to find the Grandmother of my children. Apparently she gave birth to a son at the white shield home in June of 1956 or 1957  on or about the 11th.  My children are estranged from their father and his adoptive parents and I would like to find their real grandparents or family so they can enjoy having an extended family.  I live in Portland as do my children.  They would like to have grandparents to share their future families.

Dishes & Ice Cream

Laura M ~ 68.071113

Back in 1968, at the age of 18, my mother gave birth to a baby boy at White Shield in Portland.  She remembers the routine of her daily duties, a dishwasher was her chore she chose to do.  She was in a room with 5 other girls and she remembers that the girls went by their first name and last initial.  She mentioned that they had Sundays off and she and several other pregnant girls would walk down the hill to the market near by and get ice cream cones.  She has never had or attempted any contact with the little boy, but remembers having about a hour to hold and rock him before he was taken away; she watched out the window as they took him to a car and drove off.

Ten years later she had me, and I always wonder what it would be like to have a sibling because I am her only other child.

I write this asking for a few tips, on who I should contact or what website might be helpful to assist me in maybe locating information about the little boy that is my half brother.

Thank you
Laura M.

Happy Reunion

Diane ~ 72.070908

My name is Diane, I am 51 years old and am a birth mother who lived at the Salvation Army White Shield Home in Portland, Oregon in 1972…  I have many memories from my 3 month stay at the home… When I stayed there is was still very secretive.  Birth mothers used fake names (so no one could look us up later), were not allowed to tell very many people where we were (only close family in my case) so my memories seem like a dirty little secret but I know they are real and I have a very big need to let them out… Just to let you know, my son and I found each other 10 years ago.  The reunion has been wonderful in so many ways and we are both thankful that we know each other and know “our story”.

Sincerely,

Diane

Looking for Brother

V.T. ~ 40.070726

I am just beginning the process of trying to locate the son that my mother relinquished for adoption in the early 1940’s.  She stayed at and gave birth at the White Shield home.  I did not learn about this child until after my mother’s death in 1989.  It was, sadly, something she could never have disclosed.  What prompted my search was the book The Girls Who Went Away.  I was so moved by the words of both the mothers and their children that I felt compelled to find the child, even though I could no longer talk to my mother about this event.  There is no doubt in my mind, however, that the birth and relinquishment of this child changed my mother’s life immeasurably, irrevocably, and in ways that none of her other 6 children and her husband (who did not know about the birth) could imagine.