February 12, 2012

My Mother’s Special 90th Birthday Gift



Nancy Briskay


     Happy 90th birthday!

     Were you still here with us I would wish you a happy birthday in person.

     I (along with some of my siblings) would also present you with a gift, a very special gift, yet one which I’m not certain how you’d receive. Your gift was sixty-three years in the making.

     The gift: all nine of your babies are present and accounted for, including the two you released for adoption years ago.

     Earlier this week your third child, a daughter, Sib-Sis #3, contacted me via a comment on my blog. I was five years old when she was born, and I was living with your parents while you worked in an adjacent state. I didn’t know for certain of her birth until Tuesday evening, when she posted a comment on my blog. I suspect that you released her for adoption at birth. You were simply not in a position to care for her. You couldn’t manage to care for my older Lee and I at the time, a reason we were living with our grandparents.

     It was just a year ago that your fourth child, Darlene, contacted me via a comment on my blog. I was ten years old at the time she was born. Lee and I were living with you in an apartment two blocks away from our grandparent’s house at the time. You were divorced, working full time, and raising two daughters. Your support system was your parents, who were struggling with their own problems, which probably included deteriorating health in our grandmother. Most likely you chose to release Darlene because of the difficulties of raising an infant under these circumstances.

     Interestingly, neither Lee nor I were aware of your pregnancy with Darlene. Again, we didn’t know of her birth until January 2011.

     You went on to remarry and raise five more children. That, we believed, was our family.

     Darlene was drawn into the web of our family. It is her decision how to enter the web. Monte (my husband) I managed to visit her, for five nights, in her home several states distant, and we had a wonderful opportunity to connect. I haven’t met Sib-Sis #3 (I’m not using her name because she is still overwhelmed by her discovery) yet, but I did talk to her for almost two hours last Thursday.

     Yes, all nine of your babies now have the opportunity to come together and to create whatever semblance of family is possible under the circumstances. But then again, you probably know this, if you are looking down from above.

     And that, Mom, is the gift we present you with for your ninetieth birthday.

    Happy Birthday.

    Your Daughter, Carolyn



In Memoriam: Nancy Briskay Cornell Lipsius

MY AUTOBIOGRAPHY: Nancy Briskay Cornell Lipsius

Decades: An Autobiographical Sketch

My Mother’s Secret: An Adoption Story

Can a Mother Forget Her Infant?


  1. I’m sure you’ll find a comfort zone to all become the family you are. As someone with a child put up for adoption who 45 years later came into my life I can say it can be a difficult transition, but allow them time to go through all the parts of this (excitement, confusion, anger, back to excitement) and they will find the way to connect with you all.

    Comment by Fran — February 12, 2012 @ 6:39 am | Reply

  2. Mothers Birthday Gift…

    […]   It was just a year ago that your fourth child, Darlene, contacted me via a co […]…

    Trackback by Vudaf Blog — February 12, 2012 @ 2:45 pm | Reply

  3. Thank you Carolyn. I hope we all do indeed have the chance to get together someday.

    Comment by Cynthia Lipsius — February 12, 2012 @ 5:46 pm | Reply

  4. Happy Birthday Mom.

    Comment by Jane Lipsius- Driver — February 13, 2012 @ 9:38 pm | Reply

  5. Happy New Life, Mum.

    Comment by Tara O'Leary — February 16, 2012 @ 5:58 pm | Reply

  6. Magnificent website. A lot of helpful info here.
    I am sending it to some pals ans also sharing in delicious.

    And naturally, thanks in your effort!

    Comment by — December 31, 2012 @ 4:09 am | Reply

  7. […] It’s enabled two sisters to connect with their birth family after 60 years (read My Mother’s Special 90th Birthday Gift ). CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS has reaped many […]

    Pingback by Out of the Old Blog, a New Magazine is Born | Carolyn's Online Magazine — January 14, 2015 @ 4:38 am | Reply

  8. […] My Mother’s Special 90th Birthday Gift […]

    Pingback by He Never Says I Love You and Walks Away | Carolyn's Online Magazine — February 12, 2015 @ 9:34 pm | Reply

  9. […] I wish you’d somehow found a way to inform me that you released not one, but two, of my younger sisters for adoption. I already wrote you the following letter: My Mother’s Special 90th Birthday Gift […]

    Pingback by Dear Mom, I Wish You’d Told Me You Released My Two Sisters for Adoption | Carolyn's Online Magazine — July 16, 2015 @ 4:55 pm | Reply

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