The search is over. I’ve finally found answers. But, story of my life… Its too little too late.
After almost 23 years of wandering what ifs and searching for my face in every stranger I meet, I now know what happened to my birth family. But this truth is so close to what I always thought I felt in my heart was right that even now as it’s breaking, its not a completely unfamiliar feeling. If anything, its lighting a fire in my blood I didn’t even know existed, and the heat is blazing its trail through my past straight on through to my future, setting every lie and broken bridge ablaze in my wake. But I’m not afraid. Ive walked through flames before, and now I can barely even feel the burn beneath all the battle scars.
On January 7th, 1992, my birth mother Holly Jeneanne Baker, her sister Kelly Baker, and my grandfather stood in a hospital in Kennewick Washington fighting about my yet unsealed fate. Holly had become pregnant out of wedlock with a boy from her high school she was never serious about dating. She was 18 years old, living on her own in the world since 16, free from all my birth familys mental illness, abuse, and religious fanaticism. But even though she loved me and wanted to keep me, she knew her parents were never going to sign on to financially supporting me, regardless of how much they argued otherwise, and she was scared. For 19 hours her family members begged, pleaded, and threatened action if I was to be given away to strangers. The only reason they conceded and agreed to leave the hospital without taking me with them is because of one man, and one man alone. The lawyer handling my case had already screened 4 other families on a list of names before he got to Eddy and Ruth Corbridge. Holly had made it clear to him that she preferred a catholic or atheist family, but not Mormon. Her father was Mormon, as were many other extended family members, and she saw first hand what Mormonism was like. The problem with this was the nature of Washington Mormons. If the reader is unaware, the LDS church broke into 2 different distinct factions in the Joseph Smith hightime, one following the softer made easier to swallow version of Mormonism Joseph favored, and the other following the fundamentalist fanaticism of Brigham Young. Over time, those factions devolved into more and more differing cliques of belief until now when we have the mainstream church, the FLDS church, and the orthodox Mormons like the Blackwaters in Washington who run their own Mormon fundamentalist polygamous communes. Most factions except for the mainstream church support the kind of religious practices that lead to baby graveyards. As such, its hard to adopt out a child with that kind of history, because it literally has to take a miracle for those kids to grow up to adulthood without at least one developmental disorder, mental illness, mutation or problem. My adopted parents had no idea whatsoever, even though the lawyer himself was involved with the mainstream church. And it was the lawyer who robbed me of my entire goddamn life. He weaved this beautiful bullshit story about the life I was to be given, convincing my birth mother that what they could give me she never could, until finally she made the heartrending choice to send her family out of both the hospital and my life. She emerged from the depths of that hell, to the front of the building in a wheelchair with me in her arms, and gave me away…for a lie.
Im told that this decision haunted her for the rest of her days, but that she never made contact with me because she didn’t want to shatter any beautiful illusions or dreams about my life and who I am, where I came from, what our family was like. What she never knew was that the reality I had been placed in could only ever be described as my own worst nightmare.
For this, and so much more, Ive decided its time I wrote my story and made it public. The world I managed to survive being thrust into has changed in a myriad of ways, but the underlying dark sickness that proliferates beneath the ever prevalent fog of organized religion and the cult culture our country has become obsessed with is still raging havoc just beneath the surface of so many smiling faces that its become as toxic an environment to simply breathe and exist in as a radioactive confessional. There hasn’t been any real progression of change for the better that doesn’t take an extra 20 years for the church and all of its followers to even mentally process, and while the people in power all sit behind closed doors and talk about it in secretive tones, peoples lives and families are being torn apart all across the country. It isn’t right. There are no moral, ethical, justifiable excuses for this shit any longer. And its about time someone stood the fuck up and told the goddamn truth about the worlds and societies we CHOOSE to participate in and support. I cant stand by and not do more about this. These stories, these experiences, they are important than just me. They are a true testament to the realities still going on all around us, whether seen or unseen. If my experiences can help save even one person from the kind of pain and horror Ive lived through, it will be worth it. And I invite any and all who want to contribute to this story to come forward and get in contact with me.