Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

71 years after a baby girl's birth, her mother gets a gift

By Scott Gold


Patricia Hamlin, 71, and her mother Brooke Mayo, 90, are shown together in Paso Robles, Calif., on Dec. 18, 2013. Mayo gave her newborn up for adoption in 1941 and was told in 1945 she was dead when she searched for her. The two were recently reunited


Never give up hope


JewishWorldReview.com |

pASO ROBLES, Calif. — (MCT) The host was a good cook, famous for his mashed potatoes. No — not potatoes. Beans. Baked beans. That was it. Brooke Mayo held a finger to her cheek. "Old age is getting to me," she said at last.

The images of that night are somewhere in that head of hers. They're clear as day, just a little hard to find, like a carousel of slides stashed in the attic a long time ago. After all, it has been 72 years. Brooke Mayo was 19 then — bright and beautiful.

It was late November in 1941. Europe was in the grip of war, Pearl Harbor was days away, and Brooke was preparing to move to London with a civilian Army corps. But for one night, everyone would try to forget all that. There was a dinner party in the Hollywood Hills to kick off the holiday season. Nice, not too fancy. The famous baked beans. A turkey. The host wore a belt buckle encrusted with tiny diamonds.

Brooke had driven herself to the party. After dinner, she walked down a set of stairs to head home. He came out of nowhere, she said, and raped her. She never saw his face.

You didn't go to the police. Not back then. "They would have said it was my fault," Brooke said. "In those days, the man was never at fault. For anything."

When she found out she was pregnant, she considered getting an abortion. But it would have been a back-alley thing. "Women were dying," Brooke said. "I wanted to live."

So she went home. She went home to her mother, and she cried, and together, they made a decision: Brooke would postpone her plans to move to London. She would have the baby. "But I'd have to give her up."

The baby arrived one morning in 1942. Cherub-cheeked, just like her mother.

When you were giving a baby up for adoption, they were supposed to just whisk her away. But a little before midnight, a kindly nurse bent the rules and brought her into the room for a few minutes.

Brooke named her Delphine.

"She was so beautiful to me," Brooke said. "I held that little darling. But then I handed her back. I handed her back and I wasn't going to think about her again."



Brooke moved to London not long after the birth, staying for a good chunk of the war — arranging housing and other logistics for military officers, scampering underground into the Tube when the bomb sirens went off, gas mask in hand.

After she came back to America, she called to check on Delphine. Just to make sure she was OK.

"I called the hospital," Brooke said. "The lady said she had passed away. I couldn't believe my ears. I said: 'You mean she's dead?' She said: 'Yes. That's it. She's dead.'"

Brooke begged the woman for more information. But there wasn't any.

It felt like Delphine had barely existed in the first place. And now she was gone.

Time marched on. Nothing to be done about that.

Brooke worked as a fashion model for a spell — "hats and stuff." She became a showgirl, and moved for the work, to L.A. and New York. She was a voracious learner; at every stop, she took classes at a local college: mathematics at UCLA, drafting at NYU.

She doesn't drink now — but back in the day? Please. To this day, she starts stories with things like: "One time, when I was going with a bookie ..." She wound up in a few movies. She recalls giving Sammy Davis Jr. a ride to his agent's office.

She had two more daughters, finally found the love of her life with husband No. 4, and learned accounting to help him with his CPA practice in Los Angeles.

She had wanted to live. And she did — a good life. A nice life. But the memory of Delphine was always with her — a weight, a yearning.

She kept a box of yahrzeit candles, a traditional memorial in Judaism, in the kitchen, next to the breakfast cereal and the electric can opener. Every August, on the 12th, she would take one out and light it, for the baby, for the dead.

She did it for 66 years.

Patricia Hamlin was stumped.

The phone had rung at her house in Wichita, Kan., one day in 1993. It was her older brother, calling from Omaha. His wallet had been stolen, and he needed a new driver's license. For that, he needed his birth certificate. When he couldn't find his, he called Los Angeles County, where he and Patricia were born. But the clerks couldn't find him in the computer system.


FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO INFLUENTIAL NEWSLETTER

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.


That's weird, Patricia thought. "So I called too." The clerk couldn't find her either, and told her there was only one explanation. Her records were sealed. Because she was adopted.

Patricia was 51 at the time. She knew her life story, or thought she did, and it was pretty simple.

She had been born in Burbank, in 1942. Her father was an engineer with Lockheed Martin, and when he took a job with Boeing, he was transferred to Wichita. She helped run an oil-drilling company in Kansas for 18 years. Now she was a middle-aged woman who liked grandfather clocks and charm bracelets, the mother of three grown children, a volunteer for the Red Cross and an animal shelter.

But she had never been told that she was adopted.

"So now," she said, "I needed to get my head straight. As you might imagine."

That day, she launched a quest to find out what happened. To find herself.

The adoption, it turned out, was "closed," conducted quietly and privately, as many were at the time, orchestrated by her biological mother's doctor and the couple who would become the only parents she had ever known. There wasn't much of a paper trail.

An organization that provides information to adopted adults determined that her papers had been filed in Boone County, Ark., on the north side of the Ozarks — probably, the group surmised, because the doctor had found a judge willing to sign off on the adoption there.

Through friends, Patricia was introduced to the local mayor in Arkansas, then the first of several lawyers who promised to find her records, and the first of several to fail. She flew to California to file a court petition to receive a copy of her original birth certificate, not the amended version she had at home.

Finally, last year, she got the number of a new judge in Arkansas.

"I just called him. He said: 'Yep. It's been long enough. Send me eight dollars and fifty cents."

The paperwork was a window into another time, into the ways the truth was bent to get the deal done, including the suggestion that her adoptive father commuted each day from Arkansas to his office in Burbank. But there was the record of her original name — Delphine. There too, written in tidy, loopy cursive, was the name of her biological mother.

"I found her," Patricia said. "I couldn't believe it. I'd been looking for 20 years. Now I just had to figure out if she wanted anything to do with me."

Earlier this year, Brooke Mayo was at home in Paso Robles. Life was pretty comfortable, and there were few signs that it was going to change.

She and her husband had moved here almost 20 years ago. Since he died, she had lived alone on a cul-de-sac in a planned community dotted with sycamore trees. There was a cat, Bugsy, who slept out front in a flower pot. There were four dogs rescued from the animal shelter, ruled by a trembling Chihuahua with an overbite, name of Killer. There was an old-timey sign hanging in the restroom: "Baths. Fresh, 10. Used, 1."

There were, still, candles for Delphine, next to the breakfast cereal and the electric can opener.

The postman knocked on the door. Brooke's caretaker, Robin Barris, signed for the letter and brought it to her.

"I said: 'Well, open it up.' She read it to me. I just kept saying the same thing: 'They told me she was dead. They told me she was dead.' I thought somebody was playing a joke on me."

But Robin, the caretaker, showed her the last page. There's your signature, she said. It's you. It's her.

Brooke emailed Patricia with the OK to call, and the phone rang a short while later.

"Are you sitting down?" Patricia asked.

"I said: 'Yes. I am,''' Brooke remembered. "She said: 'This is your daughter.' And she said: 'Are you all right?' And I said: 'Yes. Yes. You have no idea.' There is no way to describe what I felt. For the rest of my days that I have on this Earth, I will remember that feeling."

They talked for two hours, putting together the pieces, but realizing too that some things will never be solved: They will never know the identity of Patricia's biological father, who attacked Brooke so many years ago in the Hollywood Hills; they will never know whether the hospital told Brooke that Delphine was dead by mistake, or so she would stop looking.

They realized that for a time, when Patricia was little, they lived just miles apart, in Burbank and Hollywood. As a girl, Patricia was one of Adohr Farms' "Adohr-able Babies," and her face was on billboards that Brooke drove past time and again.

This summer, Patricia, now 71, visited Brooke, now 90, for the first time. When Patricia walked in, it was as if they were looking in the mirror: the same almond-shaped eyes, the same crinkle of the nose when they smile, the same fine, silky hair. Patricia looks uncannily like a painting that was done of Brooke in the 1970s.

Patricia's husband, Richard, quietly kept a list of their similarities: They both needed glasses as girls. They are both left-handed. They are both klutzes. They both collect grandfather clocks. They have the same taste in jewelry, in home decor. They have virtually identical personalities.

They've developed an easy banter. They trade off walkers — Patricia missed a step recently and wrenched her ankle — and both accuse each other of driving recklessly. Brooke has met grandchildren she never knew about, and great-grandchildren are next on the list.

"It's a gift," Brooke said, shaking her head. "It's a gift that G0D gave me. I must have done something right in this world. You know?"

Comment by clicking here.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes inspiring reading material that will uplift you. Sign up today for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Interested in a private Judaic studies instructor — for free? Let us know by clicking here.


© 2013, Los Angeles Times Distributed by MCT Information Services



Quantcast