The Journey

It was one of those days that went just like any other, animals were tended to, chores were in the process, and I was lying in the grass. I loved watching the clouds move and take shape, I loved to talk to the man in the moon. It was all I could do to keep my imagination occupied.

This is exactly what I was doing on a cool day in February 1997, when a large van and several Mexican police cruisers invaded my thoughts as they drove onto the farm lot. I was slightly confused, our regular visitor came on horse and buggy, or on horse back. This was unusual. My first instinct was to go get my older siblings and parents from the barn where they were milking the cows.

Soon the visitors and my family were gathered in a circle in front of the barn. There was a tension in the air that even I at the age of seven recognized. As the conversation continued I began to realize they were talking about me. I heard one of the visitors, a woman, say to my family “I want my baby back, you can’t keep her. She’s my baby.”

Slowly I began to understand what was really happening. These visitors were from Canada, they wanted to take me to my real family. I discovered I was not who I thought I was. I was not the daughter of a Mennonite preacher, whom I loved so dearly. I was the daughter of a poor Mennonite family with thirteen children.

Tears began to blur my vision, all I wanted to do was hide. Next thingΒ I knew I was running to the playhouse leaving the adults in complete silence.Β Once I got into the playhouse I picked up my favorite doll, pressed it to my face, and cried in the middle of the room. I cried for all the years I had lived on the farm believing I belonged, only to discover the opposite.

I sat crying in the middle of the playroom for what seemed like hours when the woman I had believed to be my mother came into the room. Without saying a single word she packed my favorite toys, some handkerchiefs, and my best dress into a bag. She moved slowly, with quivering lips and tears in her eyes. She pulled me up from the floor, handed me the bag, and showed me the door without so much as a hug goodbye.

My world as I knew it was shattered.

The drive to Canada was long and we stopped many times along the way. On the second day I was introduced to my younger sister Helena, I saw her first while we were sitting in a police station, waiting for papers to be signed. The journey was made somewhat happier knowing I was not alone in my situation.

22 thoughts on “The Journey

  1. Wow, what an amazing and terrifying situation to find yourself in. I can even begin to image what that must have been like. Thank you for sharing, your story thus far has been very moving.
    Blessings to you…

      • You have a very fascinating family history. I know I have Russian/Polish heritage on my father’s side, in amongst all the other nationalities, but I haven’t researched that far back yet. I hope you’ve managed to piece the puzzle together somewhat more since some of those earlier comments of a few years ago. Finding out about your genealogy really changes things doesn’t it? I know it did for me when I managed to finally uncover my own family mystery. I felt for the first time in my life that I knew where I belonged. Powerful stuff.

      • Puzzle pieces are still scattered about waiting to be uncovered. Finding out my genealogy didn’t change all that much, I had more to brag about mind you. I know sometimes knowing where you come from, can be a pretty big deal.

      • I think because I’m such a genealogical hybrid, and both my mother’s and father’s family have never really been that forthcoming with family history, mainly because they didn’t know, I always felt like I was in limbo. Not really belonging anywhere, and not really fitting in to the community that I grew up in. But through strange twists of fate I was lead to discovering parts of my heritage without even knowing it. You may have just given me the inspiration to write that piece that I have been putting off for the last year. Thank you πŸ™‚

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