Jacque’s biological mom lives on a beautiful ranch in northwest Idaho. A quaint and quiet piece of property nestled in the hills with in-laws for neighbors and a menagerie of livestock and horses for company. Once again the resemblance between Jackie and her biological kin is unmistakable. The small guesthouse we are staying in has walls adorned with photos of Jacque’s Aunts, uncles, nieces and her biological moms other children. Jacque has a younger brother and sister. Both are adults and they share many of the same features that seem to proliferate the family bloodline. It’s a remarkably exciting thing for me to see, for Jacque its just more roots to the twisty family tree. The twists and turns were discussed openly in both families and Jacque’s brother and sister were very aware of their sister back east.
Jacque’s biological mom, like everyone else thus far, gave me permission to write about what we talked about. Jacque took the reins and started asking about her perception of going to the local school for pregnant girls and if her recollection was the same as her parents. Her parents described it as being out of a need to stop bullying and teasing from other students. She didn’t seem to recall any bullying or name-calling or really any nastiness from her peers, but acknowledged she had no idea what they would have said behind her back. She did admit that she knew her family was angry at first, but became supportive after the initial shock and that the school was really good for her. She still keeps in touch via social media with at least one fellow student.
This would have been in the late 1980’s and she wasn’t sure the school she knew as Boothe Memorial in Boise was still around. After a quick goggle search it seems the school is still around and thriving and now called the Marian Pritchett School. The school lost state funding in 2009 but is still funded via the Salvation Army and the county school system. Its now a school for “Pregnant and Parenting Teens” and offers daycare and other services. This means that there are also male students who are “parenting teens”.
Jacque’s biological mom talked about her experience as a birth mom to include deciding on Jacques parents as the adoptive family. She said she was looking for a family that had similar values and liked that Jacque’s father was military and her mom some medical background. Mostly she liked that their profile didn’t show these staged couples photos but actual photos of them doing real life stuff like hiking and being outdoors. After meeting them she felt it right away, that they were good people and that they were the right choice. This parallels closely how Jacque felt about choosing parents for BB. Also it was noted that both Jacque and Jacques daughter had middle names that were derived from adoptive parents asking what the biological parents thought about names.
The adoption of Jacque was about as open as things were back in the 1980’s. There was correspondence via a social services mediator and no locations or addresses were allowed to be exchanged until Jacque was 18. This is much more open then the sealed adoptions of earlier years but much more stringent and regulated then the open adoptions these days. There is of course still the option of sealed adoptions today, as well as many different options that fall between sealed and the super open adoption that Jacque and BB have. When Jacque was 18 she did come to meet her family. I asked Jacque’s biological mom if she was nervous for that meeting and apparently it was the most nervous she’s ever been. This meeting also include Jacque’s parents and her sister. There are still pictures of Jacque and all her brothers and sisters (adoptive and biological) on the walls of the guesthouse.
Most of the visit to this part of Idaho has been very laid back. There was little discussion on things of the past but a lot of catching up and just chatting about life and hobbies. It was the most interesting thing I have ever seen, to watch people who have not seen each other for 10 years pick right up with no hesitation. Love and family seem to know no bounds when it comes to Jacques tree. The roots seem to grow deep and the branches are there to provide shade and nice place for a lazy swing to anyone who comes along.
I have learned a lot about Idaho and none of it related to potatoes. I would recommend anyone check out this beautiful state and its friendly people. Tomorrow we will hop in the car for another road trip that will take us north and eventually east to Montana and Glacier National Park for a few days. For now I’m just excited I got to play with goats and sheep and horses and of course name them according to my sensibilities and their personalities. Needless to say I was never able to get Sheepy McScaredy Cat to let me pet and love on her but Goaty McFat Belly and Goater McDick Face were more than willing to let me pet them. My favorite will be a little goat that liked face pets. I have named her Reginald!