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Hi, I Think I'm Your Daughter

By M. Page Jones


That day in early December 2003, my hand was shaking so hard that my wedding ring clanged loudly against the shiny silver knob on the door in front of me. The strong, steady presence of my husband behind me helped keep me somewhat distracted from the dozens of onlookers who lined both sides of the hallway. These strangers seemed to all be holding their breath as I reached once more to open the door.


I don't recall making the conscience decision to bolt for the front lobby but my feet were running that way so I had no choice but to follow. I got as far as the automatic double doors in the lobby. However, when I stepped on the large rubber mat, the doors automatically flung open bringing a gust of cold, winter, Ohio air that slammed into my face causing me to catch my breath. I stood there frozen not from the temperature but from the thousands of thoughts that were pounding in my head. The doors continued to whoosh open and whish shut as the fight between my body and mind continued resulting in an odd backward and forward dance on the mat.


What was wrong with me? This is what I had wanted my whole life. Why couldn't I bring myself to just walk into that room and say, "Hi, I think I’m your daughter, glad to meet you".


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Hand Holding Brown Paper Bag

When I was Little, I Hated Brown Paper Bags

By M. Page Jones


When I was little, I hated brown paper bags.


Whenever one appeared, I knew I was off to a new foster home. At the tender age of 2 years old, I was taken from my father who had badly neglected me and placed into the local children’s home. There were about 20 of us ranging from infants to pre-teens, all wards of the state either due to loss of parents, given up for adoption or being forcibly removed from home.


When a foster home became available, a staff member would come get you from your room and take you down to the basement. There were large tables covered with plastic bins filled with donated shoes and clothes. We would walk over to a large sign on the wall, find your age, and a list of what you were allowed to take with you.


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Sir Man-With-Beard

By M. Page Jones


The children at Boyd Village Children's Home in Ohio always knew when it was a Saturday. When the rest of humanity was allowed to sleep in and enjoy their weekend, workers were busy bathing, scrubbing, brushing hair, and stuffing the orphans and foster kids into various donated hand-me-downs. It was the day that all the children were herded into a single line in the main visiting room to see if anyone thought they might want to adopt or foster a child.


Abby, a pale girl of four, with a scattering of freckles across her nose always wore a permanent scowl.  However, on Saturdays she would include a furled brow and tightly pursed lips. She hated these weekly "Meet and Greet" events and made no attempt to hide it.  They were held in the main room that was badly lit by several fluorescent lights, held hard green plastic furniture and even harder plastic chairs. As if there wasn't enough plastic in the room already, large plastic plants were stuffed into dusty plastic containers and placed around the room as if they could add some cheer to the space.


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