I recently watched the movie Philomena starring Judi Dench. It’s a heart wrenching story of a 50 year search for the son she was forced to give up for adoption by the nuns at the Abbey where she took refuge, nuns who sold children to wealthy American’s.
About the same time, I watched TLC/The Learning Channel story “Taken at Birth” and the true stories of Georgia’s Hicks Babies. The taken at birth babies has a more sinister twist. Genealogy is important, especially for health clues. But also to know from where you come from. TLC also has a show, Long Lost Family that helps reunite birth families. Ancestry DNA is uncovering long lost secrets too. Dr. Hicks had much to hide as well, as an “esteemed member of his community.”
Once you see the challenges these young women faced, it’s easy to see how they were again victimized. I was quite shocked at the deceit and cover-up of Abbey’s, but since the priests too had much to hide, the nuns had no oversights and ran an illegal adoption scheme. Dr. Hicks, of McCaysville Georgia, near the Tennessee border, and his Community Clinic, illegally sold hundreds of babies. One of these black market babies is Jane Blasio, below in white blouse, who became a key investigator and who has dedicated her life to learning the truth. The other two are the hosts/investigators of TLC’s Long Lost Family, Lisa Joyner and Chris Jacobs. This is where investigations came together and came to light.
If Jane and the others aren’t strong women then I don’t know who is. Long Lost Families does a beautiful job of being compassionate of each story they unwind. Having done my own DNA search (and my son’s), I too uncovered secrets of our ancestors pasts. It is because of these stories, or “Finding you Roots” on PBS, that the entire paradigm of what we thought we knew is being rewritten, or shattered entirely in many cases.
I encourage everyone to tune into these shows. The Taken at Birth series is particularly fascinating in watching how many people turned their view away from that which they knew to be wrong. Dr. Hicks was thought to be doing good work and providing a necessary service. It’s how he went about it and whose dirty secrets he was also hiding, secrets that today’s DNA has revealed. Philomena sets an entirely different type of deceit in motion, that of the Catholic Church. We’ve all heard the stories for decades now of the predatory actions of priests. This is the story of misguided, mean-spirited nuns, and maybe they too had been victimized/compromised early in life. Be surprised at what you’ll learn. This is how We become Better!