Promises to Keep

Alexis W. ~ 68.100908

My sister, Patricia Jean Perkins gave birth to a son at White Shield of Portland in 1968 or 1969.  I did not know for a few years about her having this child and giving him up for adoption, but when the same man, James Amauba, got her pregnant the second time, she did tell me about the first pregnancy.   At that time she also told me that part of the program was that she was not supposed to see the child when it was born; but she did see the child and it was a beautiful boy.   She told me that a very nice couple supposedly adopted that child and one of them was a doctor and either had connections in Africa or was going to be in Africa for a while (the paternal father of the child, James Amauba, was an African).

When she got pregnant the second time by the same man, she was determined to keep this child.  This time I found out about the pregnancy and supported her in any way I could.  She finally told me about the first child when the second son, Aaron, was born.  After that, I would find her outside many times over the years looking up at the stars and telling me “he was up there.”  She and James had 5 children (including Aaron).  My sweet sister just died at the young age of 62.  James was deported back to Africa many years ago and Patty raised those 5 children all alone and they are all wonderful marvelous people.  All she wanted was to know that her first son was OK and that he knew she loved him deeply.

Can anyone help me reunite this family? I have tried all the on-line avenues and they are a hoax, they all want your money and offer you no information.  I sat with my sister as she died and I have to find this child.  He needs to know he has a chance to meet 4 sisters and a brother and that his mother loved him more than he will ever know.  How in the world do you chase a dream and the unbelievable commitment I have made to my sister?  Any help would be so appreciated.

Thank you so much ~ Alexis Warner

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Ease My Heart

Teresa ~ 61.100508

I have to say that any digging, no matter how slight, into my adoptive past is usually done with an equal mixture of interest and dread.  I have often thought about the White Shield home, imagining it as something along the lines of a dark, awful orphanage (think Jane Eyre). I imagined strict, nun-like disapproval of the young girls and women who found themselves pregnant and in need of a place like White Shield.  However, I just finished reading your story about your visit, and it has eased a burden on my heart that I have carried for my birth mother.

I was born Mary P., (now Teresa) at White Shield in 1961.  I was at the Home for three months before I was adopted, from what I understand. I always wondered if my birth mother and I were in the same building for at least part of that time.

I have always been grateful for my birth mother’s selflessness (hopefully by her choice, but most likely she didn’t have much of one), and guilty that she was forced (as she was from back East, I am assuming she was ‘sent away’) to spend her pregnancy and childbirth in a bitter, hostile environment.

To find out that she was in a place that, although not a perfect one, seemed to be at least not the awful, fearful place I had always imagined it to be is such a relief to me.  Hopefully she made friends with some of the other young women there, and had their support and love.

Checking In

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day – for adoptee, first parent, and adoptive parent alike, a day that stirs up a complex stew of emotions.   It is also, coincidentally, my first mother’s birthday, and with that in mind, I thought it appropriate to share with you a little window into my own story – a portion of the first contact that I had from her, sent June 2, 2006 – shortly after my sister and I found one another.  The subject line of her email…Checking In.

“Now how is that?  Checking in.  Like I have known you all your life.  Knowing maybe not; but you have been with me all your life.  You just didn’t know it.

… I am so thankful to know you are alright and that you have a good life.  When I found out you were going to be born, the most important thing to me was that you had a wonderful, happy childhood, with two parents who would love you as long as they lived.  I knew I would love you always but I didn’t know if I could give you that happy childhood so I did what I thought I could to ensure you what I had always wished I could have.

I remember just like it was yesterday, the day you were born and the 30 minutes they let me hold you before they took you away.  You were the most beautiful baby I had ever seen.  Like a porcelain doll.  Your tiny hands and feet and your angelic face.  You have always been with me…

Receiving that email changed my life, and I  am so grateful to my first mother for her inner strength and her kind heart, both of which I like to believe I inherited.  I share this very private message with you today because I know that it is one silently repeated every Mother’s Day by thousands of birth mothers throughout the world.  “You have always been with me…”

I wish you peace, hope and great love this holiday.

Warmly,

Renee ~ Founder, The White Shield Project

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The Girl Next Door

Caitlin M. ~ 60.100322

Dear Friends, What a wonderful project –

I lived at 3115 NW Thurman in the 1960s, and when we were kids we used to see the beautiful pregnant girls taking walks. Our house has the fountain on the corner, just over the bridge. It was many years later that I had any idea how important it was that this home was available to them. In my own family, getting pregnant meant staying home, regardless of marriage. And though some girls were there for other reasons, many seemed to be there to hide out. Well, what a beautiful place to have a baby. So peaceful and surrounded by nature’s beauty.

I am also doing research on the house we lived in, and have come to a crossroads because I need to find out some information about Pearl Thompson, a maid/cook at the house in 1910 – 1920? for the Elrod family. she may have had a child, and it crossed my mind that she might have delivered the child at the White Shield’s Home. has it been long enough ago for you to release any information about this? The child may have been born in 1916, or 1917, and died six months after birth. The child’s name may have been Martha Thompson, and I do not know if Pearl was married. She was 19 years old in 1910.

Many of the records in Portland were destroyed by fires and floods. I would appreciate any assistance that you may have. I cannot locate your history anywhere, so I do not even know if you were operating between 1910 – 1920. Have a wonderful day.

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.