Both my father and her sister were adopted by my grandparents. Their stories are similar, but different. I’ll tell my aunt’s story first, so that tomorrow my father’s will be at the top of the blog and I’ll worry less about offending someone with his story than I do with hers. My grandparents had a teenage son, but wanted a daughter to complete their family. The agency that they used to adopt my father no longer existed and they didn’t have the money to be certain about their acceptance by another agency. My grandmother wasn’t exactly the ‘motherly type’ but then again, neither was Joan Crawford. My grandfather made up for my grandmother’s weaknesses with extra love and effort. Someone they knew told someone else and through word of mouth, a lawyer came to visit my grandparents. He had a teenage daughter who was expecting a baby and they needed to find a family for this unexpected grandchild. The deal was that they would give my grandparents enough money to leave the state and start over someplace else if my grandparents would disappear with the baby. My grandparents moved from Skokie, IL to Martin, TN and used the money they were given to start a small business. Skip ahead about 30 years to my father and aunt cleaning out the family home and preparing to move my grandmother in with my father. My father found the adoption paperwork and being the sexist male that he is, he approached my uncle with the paperwork. My uncle quickly decided that this was a can of worms he didn’t want opened and destroyed the paperwork. Years later my aunt made a small attempt at researching her birth family but made no progress. Irony, fate or cruelty?