I was fifteen and in love as only a teenage girl can be. I was sure that my daughter's father would always be the love of my life. The relationship was becoming painfully passionate and sexual and I really wasn't ready for that and didn't know how to stop it. I was only a few months away from the conception of my oldest child.
A year later, I was in a maternity home, alone, isolated, outcast from my family, friends and all I knew or from whom I had ever felt any comfort. It was the beginning of a change in me that lasted my entire life. I would never see myself in the same way again, would never trust the way I had trusted before and would feel, for years, that I was unworthy of any happiness.
Twenty-eight years later, after counseling and hard work and raising two kept children, I was beginning to allow myself some self-esteem and happiness. I was about to marry the man I am happily with today, and reaching out to life. A few years later, I would have my world rocked again when I reunited with the two adult children who were taken from me for adoption when I was so young and helpless.
These pictures have brought all this back to me in a way that has caused tears and even more anger. My human rights were violated in more ways than one. My two oldest adult children, who may not even care, have lost a precious civil right by being denied access to their original birth certificate.
The "confidential" stamp across the picture of me as a teen is symbolic. But the scarlet stamp of unworthy and unfit was put on us deliberately and we refuse to wear it any more.
I'm ready for a fight.