“You promised you’d help me,” I screamed, as the nurse lifted the newborn from my arms and handed her to a stern-faced nun.

“We are helping you. We’re going to find your daughter a good home.”

“Her home is with me!”  I was practically incoherent, sobbing and trying to climb out of bed. After a difficult labor with very little help, I was too tired to fight, but I couldn’t just let them take my baby.

“No money, no husband, no morals – what can you give her?”

“What a baby needs most – a mother’s love.”

The nun shook her head and left. The nurse tucked me back under the sheets. Later, I sneaked down to the viewing room where all the newborns waited for their “perfect” families.  My little girl’s name tag read “Healthy Female”. The St Agnes Home for Wayward Girls believed the new parents should name the babies. I whispered her real name over and over. “Dianna. Dianna. Dianna.”

I stood there in the dark for hours, tracing the outline of her shape on the steamy glass, tears streaming down my face.  Once she opened her eyes and looked straight at me.  Still blue, those trusting eyes, but already hinting at the warm brown they would become. “Yes love, it’s me. Your mother.”  Her dark hair was slightly damp from the moist air, and curled up at the ends, just like mine. Maybe if we meet again someday, she’ll recognize me. I imagined the child she would become.


“My name’s Melody. Who are you?”

“You may not remember me.”  I twirl the ends of my hair. She twirls hers, studying me.

“I remember something –  a special lady watching over me. An angel, maybe. Or a fairy godmother. She whispered one word over and over. Would you like to see my doll?  I named her Dianna.”

Her brown eyes look at me more closely.

“Are you my fairy godmother?”

In answer, I hold out my arms and she runs to me. No words, no questions, no explanations.  Just the two of us, wrapped in love.

Somewhere.  Someday.  Somehow.

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    Margarida Brei
    Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
    10 months ago

    What an absolutely emotional, melancholy and disturbing story, Julie! Sad indeed that society once forced unmarried women to give up their babies. Your brilliant short fiction echoes “Philomena” and her real life search for the son she was made to give up.

    Greene M Wills
    Greene M Wills(@greene-m-wills)
    10 months ago

    In the name of religion and false claims to morals, so many women had to go through such heartbreak!
    You imagined their reunion in such a perfectly emotional way that I nearly cried, hoping that it would come true. I loved it!

    Melissa Taggart
    Melissa Taggart(@melissa-taggart)
    9 months ago

    This story is rich in emotion, Julie. I cant imagine the heartache one must experience when having to give up a baby. The reunion gave me space to exhale. Another wonderful story!

    9 months ago

    Heartbreaking story, Julie. Telling it in first person makes it so real. It’s hard not to cry when reading it. I hope the reunion the mother imagined came true for many of those poor mothers.

    Christer Norrlof
    Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
    9 months ago

    This is a terrible story, written in a beautiful way, Julie. What makes it even more poignant to me is that there recently has been an intense debate about adoptions of foreign children to Swedish families. Many children who came from South American (also Colombia) and Asian countries were stolen and sold without their mothers’ consent or the adopting families’ knowledge. So greed could be added to the list that Greene gives,… Read more »

    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    9 months ago

    Your story is so heartbreaking. My world stopped, while thinking about the situation and the feeling of your character. I hope the reunion will come someday. Well done, Julie. Can I expect for the part II?

    Linda Rock
    Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
    8 months ago

    Such a heartbreaking story, Julie. The mother’s first words ‘You promised you’d help me’ says it all. So many women were taken in by promises only to have their babies taken from them. Like Margarida, your story reminded me too of the movie ‘Philomena’ which is based on a true story and taken from the book ‘The Lost Child’. I love how you ended your story. It gives us hope that one… Read more »

    Carrie OLeary
    Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
    8 months ago

    Such a heartbreaking story, Julie. The imagined reunion made me feel very emotional. I recently finished listening to an excellent audiobook called Foundling about a woman who had to give up her baby. That story nearly broke me in places too!

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