I still cry when I think about those three weeks after I got born in Lethbridge, Alberta on August 24, 1980.
I missed my mom in those three weeks more than anyone could ever imagine.
Both of my parents are full-blooded Cree. My mom is from Kawacatoose and my dad is from Peepeekisis. Both are in Treaty 4 territory in Saskatchewan.
My birthmother was 16 years old at the time of my birth. My father had already left. My grandad was a single father and was of deteriorating health so my mom rightfully felt like she was going to be alone if she raised me. The ministry suggested she put me up for adoption.
It has taken me a long time to come to terms with the anger and pain I still feel over my adoption. I felt so abandoned and unwanted by my mother even though I could never know how scary it must have been for her and how strong and brave she was and is for putting up her first born child for adoption. I’m sure every instinct in her body must have been screaming for her to do the opposite, to hold me, love me and keep me.
I know in my head that it’s very important developmentally for newborns to be cuddled, that the mother/child connection is important and children that don’t get that are sure to have issues later on in life. I could research that in an academic way if I wanted but I feel that I don’t have to. I lived it. I know many people will scoff when they read that I remember that time but scoff all you want. It still hurts and I do believe it probably always will.
The ministry didn’t really tell my mom anything about the family that was adopting me but I was lucky. My parents were and are two very intelligent, loving, open-minded and compassionate people who I thank Creator for every day. I was blessed to be adopted by Nell and Keith Howard, a young beautiful European caucasian family from Sundre, Alberta. My mom was a young housewife and my dad was a young (United Church of Canada) minister. I had an older sister, Sara. I was actually adopted on her birthday, September 15.
But there is no handbook for life and especially for things like the 60s Scoop.
There is no handbook for life and especially for things like the 60s Scoop.