Friday, October 28, 2011

Chapter 6 - The Local Rite Aid

Hi everyone, Katie here.

My paws are getting tired with all this writing. Can you believe we're all the way to Chapter 6? Could we have just one of these chapters be a little brief? Please? Probably not. Glogirly still has to find the last sister and the story must go on.

But first, if you've missed my previous posts be sure to check out:
Searching For A Girl - Prologue
Chapter 1 - The Day After Mothers Day
Chapter 2 - So You Want To Be A Genealogist
Chapter 3 - Sam From Kansas
Chapter 4 - Four Hours
Chapter 5 - A, B, C

It was the weekend. Glogirly had thought long and hard about her search. She thought about her birthmother's family and the possible outcomes of making contact with them. She considered her own reasons for searching.

Ever since she was very young, her parents had been open and honest about her adoption. She remembered a story book they read to her from when she was just a small child. It was called The Family That Grew. It was part of a two-book set. 

The first book, called The Adopted Family, was a guide book for adoptive parents. It was written for strictly for the parents and was intended to help them explain adoption in words their child could understand. It encouraged parents to talk openly and honestly and prepared them to deal with the inevitable questions that would come up.

The second book, The Family That Grew, was a storybook for the young adopted child. In words and illustrations, it told the story of of a baby and how it came to be born. 

"What's the smallest thing you ever saw?
A pebble?
A raindrop?
A grain of sand?
Once you were even smaller than any of these things. That was before you were born.

Everything living has to start growing. A rooster and a hen start every little chick. A gander and a goose start every little gosling. And a man and a lady start every little baby.

And that's how you started too.

Like everything starting to grow, you were much too tiny to do a single thing for yourself. So the lady kept you warm, and protected you inside of her body, until you were big enough to eat, and breathe, and cry and smile.

Then you were big enough to be born, and you were.

Everybody wants to take care of the babies they grow.

Cats want to take care of their kittens.

Dogs want to take care of their puppies.

Ducks want to take care of their ducklings.

When you were born, the lady and the man who started you also wanted to take care of you.

Sometimes though, something happens so that people cannot take care of the babies they start, and that happened to the lady and the man who started you. So they thought and thought about what they could do to be sure you had a Mother and a Father to love you and take care of you..."

That's how the storybook started. It was written in 1951 by Florence Rondell and Ruth Michaels. The style of the words was a little out of date, but the heart of the book was timeless.

Young Glogirly felt very special when her mom or dad would read to her from this book. She remembered her mom telling her about the "nice lady" that "couldn't take care of Glogirly" but that "loved her very much." She loved her so much that she gave Glogirly to her mommy and daddy so they could be a family and love each other forever. Her mom told Glogirly that she was very special. She had something that few other children had. She had a nice lady that loved her when she was a very tiny baby and she had a mommy and daddy that chose her. This would make her special forever.

Glogirly never forgot this. She still has that set of books and for the first time in her whole life that Saturday morning, she opened up the book written for the parents and read. She recognized the words and phrases that her parents used when they talked with her about her adoption. She could tell they really studied the book and took the words to heart.

As Glogirly grew up, her understanding and appreciation of her birthmother's decision grew and grew. When friends would ask her if she was curious or wanted to find her real mother, her answer was always the same. Sure, she was curious. She would love to know who she looked like. But she already had a real mother. She didn't feel like she was missing anything at all. More than anything, she wanted her birthmother to know that she understood and was grateful for her decision. That everything turned out just fine. She just really wanted to say - Thank You.

This was her chance. Although she would not be able to thank her birthmother, she could at least thank her family.

With Gloman out of town, Glogirly settled into a comfy chair with her laptop powered up. She was ready to spend the day crafting her letter and searching for the last sister, Dorothy. Dorothy was the younger of the two sisters so Glogirly thought it would be best to send a letter to her. She had no idea what kind of health problems either sister might have been facing at the time and figured the younger one might be a safer bet. The younger sister was born three years before Glogirly's birthmother and was in her early 70's. The oldest sister was in her early 80's. She had considered writing a cousin as well. A cousin would be almost the same age as Glogirly and possibly sympathetic to her cause. But they might not even know she existed. Even thinking about the letter and what to write was exhausting, so she continued to search.

Glogirly followed the same steps that had led her to the oldest sister. If it worked for one, it just might work for the other. Glogirly focused in on the Dorothy's.

A, B, C, D. How lucky was Glogirly that one sister married a man named Cotter with a C and the other married a man named Davidson with a D. Dorothy Davidson, the last sister. Hooray for the front of the alphabet! Glogirly was giddy.

Dorothy married Lawrence Lee Davidson. They had three boys, Lawrence, Jeffrey and Mark. Jeffrey was born one year before Glogirly and Mark was born the year after. This meant that Glogirly's birthmother had to give up her child while her sister cared for a new baby and had another on the way. That must have been hard.

Young Glogirly and her white gloves.

Young Glogirly's kindergarten class

With as easy as it was to locate addresses for the other siblings, Glogirly was surprised when she ran into roadblocks with Dorothy's address. There was no listing for Dorothy Davidson, only Lawrence Davidson. Lawrence could have been her husband, but could also have been her son. There was just no way of knowing. If she sent a letter to the Lawrence Davidson address, she just couldn't risk having a cousin, a male cousin, open the letter. It was looking like her only choice would be to send a letter to the oldest sister.

As she thought about that, Glogirly played around with the regular old Google search engine. Some people doodled when they were deep in thought. Glogirly Googled. She typed in the name of the oldest sister, Jeanette B. Cotter and San Luis Obispo, CA. Then she hit ENTER. She wasn't really expecting anything. It was just kind of busy work for her fingers as she thought about other strategies, what the letter should say, etc.

Google found an article published the previous year in the San Luis Obispo Tribune. It was a feature article about a well-loved woman in the community that worked at the local Rite Aid store. She'd been there for years. Even though she was 83, she still walked 1-3 miles every day and enjoyed working as much as she could. Her customers in the store would wait in her checkout line, even if it was the longest, just so they could say hello. Her name? Jeanette B. Cotter, the oldest sister.

Glogirly fantasized about flying to California, going to the San Luis Obispo Rite Aid store and buying a bottle of shampoo in Jeanette's checkout lane. Good sense prevailed though.

A friend once told Glogirly, "Sometimes putting your desire into the universe causes amazing things to happen." And that's just what happened. Finding this newspaper article gave Glogirly her answer. She knew right then and there that she would send her letter to Jeanette.

Now if she could just figure what to write.

Click HERE for Chapter 7 - Dear Ms. Cotter,


  1. This story just gets more and more interesting. I bet that was a very hard letter to write, but I also bet that you did just fine.

  2. Wow - what a story. I hope Glogirly is going to publish this book!

  3. I'm very much enjoying reading your story. My friend, Cathy Keisha, told me about you and I'm glad she did :-).

  4. Is that it? Another cliff-hanger. Ack! Can't wait to read the letter tomorrow.

  5. I think Glogirly has amazing courage!

  6. This has been a real claw biter! We just think you have the best and sweetest heart GG, and we hope you find all the happiness in the world at the end of your journey, cause you deserve it!

  7. Loving this series of chapters about your life! The weekend is too long, can't wait for the next installment. Thanks for sharing!!


Thank you so much for your comment. We LOVE hearing from you!