I was just 19 years old when I made a decision that would change and shape my life forever!
I was working at a company that decided to make toys to take to a local hospital at Christmas that year. I am good with a sewing machine and decided to make cuddly toys for the children’s section of this hospital, which at that time was known as a ‘mental hospital’. I spent most of my wages from then on buying the furry fabric, patterns and materials I needed and made a huge amount of toys.
The company chose me as one of the people to visit the hospital and deliver the toys………and there was the beginning of my life changing decision. I went along with a few other people one Saturday fairly close to Christmas. I was devastated to see that there were a lot of people in the hospital who would probably never leave it due to their mental illnesses. The hospital was arranged in a series of houses, each one caring for people with various degrees of illness. We went into the house where some children lived and I found it unbelievable that some of these children had been put into a hospital when they had little more than physical problems.
There were two little children there, no more than 3 years old, and when I asked what problems they had, I was told that they were unable to walk and their parents had decided to put them into the hospital as they couldn’t take care of them…………I went home and cried!
After that I decided that I would never have my own biological children, but would adopt children with disabilities, who probably would have no chance of a life other than in a residential home. I was then of course not married, so would have to wait until I met and married someone, as social services in those days had rigid rules about adoptive parents. Single people were unable to adopt…….
Did I adopt? Well, that’s a story for my next blog…