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Monday, August 30, 2010

JOIN ME FOR TEA and A STORY (or not)!


If you are here for tea, I will understand if you want to skip the “story” part of this post.


Two little girls, ages two and three, huddled together on the steps in front of the brick building. They sat very still, being careful to not wrinkle their new dresses. The older girl held the younger girl’s hand in her lap and watched intently as each vehicle approached. She put on her best smile as a lady climbed from the car and walked briskly past them, without even a glance in their direction. The girl’s smile drooped, and a worried look crossed her face. Through the open window, she could smell the breakfast sausage and hear the clatter of dish clean up in the kitchen. She began to wonder if they would eat good meals at “the new place” (as she had begun to call it in her mind). She glanced at her little sister, and for the umpteenth time that morning, wished that she, like her sister, was young enough to not understand what was happening.

The orphanage lady (in her head, “orphanage lady” was what the child called the director) had explained to her that new parents would come take them away today. New parents! A man and a woman whom they had never met! Although the sun was shining brightly and they were wearing their new sweaters – one pink and one blue – a shiver ran down her spine. Of course she was worried about “the new place” and the new parents, but she was even more worried that they would pull up in a big car; get out and take a look at the girls, and decide they didn’t want to take them after all. The orphanage wasn’t a bad place, and she didn’t mind staying there. The fear she was fighting was that of not being wanted. Most of the nice looking couples who came to the orphanage wanted one of those little babies that was always crying in the nursery room.


Her mind drifted to the old lady’s house. She had no idea how long they had been staying in the tiny white house with the fragile looking old lady who told them to call her “Gram”. There were no toys in the house, but the kind old lady took out a jar of buttons and let the girls sit at the kitchen table, gluing the buttons to paper. On the kitchen wall, there was a calendar with a picture of Jesus. It seemed to be the only ornamentation on the walls of the little house. There was one child-sized rocker in the living room, and the two girls had fought over the right to sit in it. Gram cooked everything they ate in one pot on the stove. It was poured into bowls and eaten with crackers. Gram called them Saltines, and she put two on each of the girl’s plates.


At night, Gram put the two girls in a big bathtub and told them to bathe. The older girl helped her sister bathe, and Gram usually called from the other room, “make sure you wash behind your ears”. When they had dried themselves, Gram pulled a long white nightgown over the head of each girl, and sent them to sleep in a room across from her bedroom.

Through the open door, the older girl watched as Gram took down her bun and brushed hair that looked just like the old lady – very thin and very brittle – as if it might break at any moment.


The last night at the home of the woman, they were shocked out of sleep by a loud banging on the door. The two girls sat up in bed and watched as the old lady shuffled to the door. They could hear someone shouting, “Police Officers”. The girls crept from their bed, and hid behind the partially opened door as they watched the two policemen talking quietly to the old woman. To their shock, the old woman suddenly sat down in the floor and began sobbing. They ran from their room to console her – or maybe to console themselves in their fear. One of the men’s eyes widened when he saw the two little girls. The men helped Gram into a chair and one of the officers tried to distract the children with his car keys and a flashlight. The other officer spoke in soft tones to Gram, as she nodded her head in agreement.


The old woman tried to speak to the two little girls, but the words wouldn’t come out through her sobs. The policeman told the older girl that the old woman wanted them to go with them in the police car. The girl wasn’t frightened about going with the police, but she did feel that she needed to stay and help this fragile woman, who was still sobbing loudly. Knowing that she couldn’t abandon her little sister, she walked out onto the porch, still hearing Gram’s sobs. It was hard to think of the old lady, crying all alone in that empty little house.

Seated in the back seat of the police car, the girls didn’t respond when the police officers tried to talk to them, and except for chatter on the police radio, the car became quiet. The younger girl quickly fell asleep as they rode, but the older child stayed awake, looking out the car window as they passed farm houses with no lights in the windows and then approached some larger buildings, much closer together than the farm houses she was accustomed to seeing. Some of the buildings had lights on inside, and the girl noticed more cars on the streets. She heard cars honk their horns, and she wondered to herself why they were honking.


When the car stopped, one policeman picked up the sleeping little girl and carried her up the steps of a big brick building. The older girl followed closely behind her sister. She heard the policeman say to the woman at the door “parents killed in a truck wreck”.

That is how the two little girls eventually ended up sitting on the steps of the orphanage in their blue and pink sweaters, waiting for new parents to arrive.



Yes, the older little girl was me (Obviously, I didn’t miss any meals at the orphanage!). That day, my little sister, Julie, and I went home with wonderful, loving parents. I don’t know how much of this I remember and how much of it I dreamed, but it feels very real to me. I vividly remember the old woman’s sobs, and I vividly recall the police officer saying “killed in a truck wreck”.

I apologize for the long story. If you didn’t read the whole thing, I completely understand! You can blame it all on Shannon at A Southern Belle with Northern Roots, who is sponsoring the weekly Story Tellers Link Party. I’m sure that other blogger’s stories won’t be as long or as dull as mine, so go over to Shannon’s and get the links to check them out.

StoryTellers2-1-1-1[1] I’m also joining Lady Katherine Tea Parlor for Tea Time Tuesday. I can guarantee you that the other links at Lady Katherine’s won’t post a long, boring story with their tea parties. Go check them out.


If this is your first visit to my blog, I promise I don’t usually write these long posts, so please come back some time, and I’ll try to not bore you with another long story. Unfortunately, once you wind me up, I just go on and on and on and on…. Thank you for coming to visit me today. laurie


xinex said...

Oh Laurie, this is such a sad story but I like how it ended up happily ever after. You and your sister were so cute. I hope gram was ok. Love your tea pots and accessories...Christine

Sarah said...

Laurie, what an amazing story. You've never mentioned that your were adopted. Now I want to know more. I remember seeing the photo of you with your mom and sister on the downtown street. You are going to have to share more, dear friend. You can go on and on and on . . .
Thank you for sharing this wonderful story. ~ Sarah

Glenda/MidSouth said...

I remember you saying you were adopted, but did not know why. Tears were pouring as I read this. So glad to know there was a happy ending.
Excuse me while I go wipe my eyes.

Mellodee said...

You don't have to apologize for anything you want to write, especially stories about you! Long or short, happy or sad, makes no difference. We want to know more about one of our favorite people. Write on!

helle said...

Being loved and wanted is what each and every one of us deserve, and the most important part of life. So glad you and your sister came to loving parents!

My husband and I have 2 adopted sons from Korea and we love them so much.

Hugs from Helle

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Oh Laurie,
I was captivated by every word! You are a wonderful writer and you were an adorable little girl. This story about your adoption is so excellent you should have it published.
And it's a real tear jerker too!
Oh my, I am so touched.
I am having fun admiring my new cherry bowl!

Tricia said...

Wow, Laurie, you are a great storyteller and writer! And the fact that it's a true story is very moving. I agree -- you need to get this published!

Debbie said...

While I think the tea table is lovely, it is the STORY that I really loved. I wondered if it was going to be true. I'm kind of sorry that it was, but happy at the ending.

What a beautiful job you did in telling it.

I love stories.
I want to visit that blog today.

Wonderful, Laurie!

Salmagundi said...

That story wasn't too long - it's YOUR story. How fortunate that there has always been someone to love you, and now you have a chance to pass that love on to your great family. Take care, Sally

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Laurie -- I knew that you had said that you and your sister were adopted together -- but didn't know the rest of the story. Thanks for sharing with us and even though we can't know what "might have been" -- we certainly do know the wonderful person you are -- so glad that we've met you through this thing called blogging - I truly love those whose posts are not imprinted upon my life.

Kathleen said...

That was lovely! I remember some of what you have told us about being adopted, but I didn't know what happened to your parents.
I often think of a boy I had in my class. Both his parents were killed in the fire at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. He and his brothers instantly orphaned. Elderly grandparents unable to take them.
So many stories in life, but your had a happy ending, thank God!

shannon i olson said...

Laurie, I read your story last night and have anxiously awaiting your link. Your story is so touching. Sad yet beautiful. So well written, I had tears and my heart just hurt for you and your sister and Gram. I am so thankful you found a wonderful family. Thank you for sharing this beautiful tale.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Laurie this was a wonderful story to read but sad and hopeful and happy all at the same time. Not too long at all. You and your sister were very lucky to be adopted as 'older' children. So happy for you that you found a family!

Cortney said...

That story was beautiful! Some times it takes a few words and other times it takes many more to convey the emotion of a story, and you did it. Length doesn't bother me, and mine may be equally as long. I hope you check it out, I linked up at Story Tellers under "Bunker History".

Thanks you for sharing.

MimiKay1950 said...

Your adoption story has been in my head and my heart since you told it to me over thirty years ago. I cannot imagine any friend I have who has shown their love to their family as compassionately as you have. God truly gave this world a gift when he allows us to see the world through your eyes. Please promise me you will always write.
Your friend,

Sonny G said...

thank you so much for sharing your story with us and yes I read every word..
Blessings to you and your sister and to the wonderful folks who became your parents..


Unknown said...

Hey Laurie, Thanks so much for writing this story it meant so much to me.

Happy Birthday Sister.

Love you,


Ann in the UP said...

Thanks for showing us the adoption tale from the child's point of view. Two of my sons came to us from an orphanage in Colombia a great many years ago. We often thought that it must have been a terrifying experience for them to leave the only place they'd ever known, get on a plane, and go to complete strangers!

Your wonderful story was very well written and I thank you, too.


Brownie said...

I read every single word.

Honestly when I read the intro I settled down for a long read only to discover it ended far too soon!

What a memory to have - so happy that good parents were found for you.

marieDee said...

Your story was not at all boring! It is a beautiful, heart-rending story accented with beautiful photos. Thank you for sharing.

Unknown said...

Your story as all the stories I have read by you kept me spellbound. What a wonderful story. I am glad that the new parents arrived so quickly.

I love the photo of you and your sister. I love that you can remember such detail that I could visualize where you were.


santamaker said...

Hi Laurie!
First of all, thanks so much for coming over to check on me! You are so sweet. I'm doing just fine!
What a beautiful, bitter-sweet story you have. I feel like we are kindred souls in that we share a similar first couple of chapters in the story of our lives. Also wonderful is that we were blessed and so lucky to have each found our prince charming in later chapters and blessed with children to make our stories complete. You write so beautifully and are very talented.
Wishing I could give you a hug,

Sue said...

Oh my goodness, I am quivering with tears and excitement at the same time! I hung on every word. What a beautiful, poignant story of your adoption.
It is funny what we remember from childhood- I would swear certain things really happened to me, but I guess they could have been only memories I dreamed up.
I'm glad you and your sister went together to your new home. Thank you for sharing your story with us.
xoxo Sue

Susan (Between Naps On The said...

Hi Laurie,
I'm so sorry about what happened to your parents but so grateful you and your sister were kept together. Your adoptive parents must have felt very blessed to have two precious little girls to love.

Unknown said...

Hi Laurie,
I came back to read your story again. You are an amazing writer Laurie. Every time I have read a story of yours it's like one of those great books that you read, and you want the story to continue so you avoid reading the last chapter. Or you wait with expectation for the next book to come out.

Well, I love this story, and I love the way you write from your heart.

Anonymous said...

Laurie Eve, What a beautiful story you have shared..I say "beautiful"because I know how it all turned out!
Thanks for sharing your inner most memories with us..I knew part of it but not all of it. I am glad you put pen to paper and filled in the blanks, as you recalled it..I think that picture of you and sister and Santa is precious.S

Diann @ The Thrifty Groove said...

Hi Laurie!

Like so many have already said, I knew you were adopted but, didn't know the story behind the adoption. First of all, beautiful writing and telling of your story. Not too long at all. I read every word slowly and my heart filled with so many emotions. The sorrow of you losing your parents and confusion of the aftermath. The joy of starting a life with new parents.

All of the things that have happened in your life has shaped you to be one of the sweetest, most generous and loving souls I have ever "met". I feel so fortunate to "know you" and see your beauty, your humor and your love for life!

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us and doing it in such a heart warming way.

Hugs my sweet friend!

Unknown said...

I read every word and felt my heart tugging. It is a wonderful story, complimented by beautiful photos. You must write more of this and I will be checking out those other blogspots too.

Anonymous said...

HI Laurie! Oh, bless your heart! I'm so sorry about the tragic accident with your parents.
I do hope Gram was okay and I'm glad you and your little sister were taken together to a wonderful home.
You're a fantastic writer, Laurie, and you had me crying and then I smiled when I saw how cute you and your sister were - although looking a bit scared of him! :)
You're so precious!
Shelia ;)

KBeau said...

Thank for sharing your story. I have to admit that I was so captivated by it that I hardly looked at the tea pictures. But that picture of you and your sister is so precious.

Terra said...

I read every word of this compelling story and am glad you and your sister found a home with loving adoptive parents. Was the old lady your grandma?

Simple Home said...

It is my first visit, but I was captivated by your story. I came over from Cindy's blog, and I'm so glad I did! Thanks so much for sharing.

Anonymous said...

YOUR,story has pulled on my heart strings.I was never blessed to be a mother.And I often wonder WHY?..but everything happens for a reason,thought about adopting,but time has gotten away from me.You and your sister are blessed to have gotten to stay together and have parents that love you as thier own.I enjoyed the reading,look forward to future blogn'.
Jo from LazyonLoblolly

Karen said...

This is my first visit to your blog and I will definitely be back. What a wonderful story and you are a gifted storyteller as well!

Chari at Happy To Design said...

Hello sweet friend...

I'm nearly speechless, Laurie! Of course, I know that you are a very talented writer...but the content of the story is what leaves me feeling void of words! Thank you for sharing your story with us, sweet lady! I knew that you were adopted but I guess this is the first time that I really heard you speak so personally about it! I really can't imagine how such little girls can experience such hard things so early! I'm just so thankful for the happy ending, my friend!

Well my dear, I was so engrossed in your story that I had to actually go back and look at your beautiful tea table! It really is lovely...just like you, sweet lady!!! Thank you, this is a very special post!!!

Love ya,

Anonymous said...

As I was reading your story, I was having a physical reaction to the words. That is one of the best signs of a well written story.
I did not know if it was your true experience or a very sensitive telling but you had me following each word closely. Now I want to know, were you able to see your Grandmother again?
I also have to say the eyes of Santa look a lot like my cousin Karl.
Thank you for the Story Tellers link. I accidentally deleted it yesterday. So happy to get it back.

Carol said...

Thank you for sharing your special story, I enjoyed reading it so much.


Lavender and Linen said...

Your story is remarkable. I had to go back and read it again.

You are so smart and talented!

Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Amazingly flowing, sensitive, and professional writing. You indeed have a gifted talent. --david said...

Hi Laurie
Bill from Affordable Accoutrements directed me to your blog and I am so glad he did, especially as you have written that lovely true story and shared it. I worked in a Children's home in the late 60's and I know we had babies come from the mother and baby home and then went straight out to the adoptive parents, the children we had in the home were ones who had some defects, hare lip. club foot etc...but they were all beautiful children to us.

Pleased that you and your sister were adopted together. I have friends who adopted two sisters and they are all so happy.

Although the children wouldn't be here without the birth mother as they live and grow together they are one family.

My son is not the biological father to my grandson, but you would never know and people say he looks like me, same brown eyes.

Thank you for sharing and I will be back to see more of your blog another day. Jackie in UK.

Herb Sissom said...

A really great story. Of all that are linked to Shannon'a (my daughter) blog, she recommended this story to start on. Thanks so much for writing. I love to read, and just found out how to get to the stories linked to her blog. Thanks again.