Monday, April 18, 2016

Monday Is for Mothers: Alta Mae Slater (1917 - 1986)

I grew up knowing that Mother and Dad weren't my birth parents (although they weren't totally candid, telling me that I came from a "broken home" because my birth parents had divorced, when actually they were never married). So I didn't expect to ever meet any of my blood relatives except for any children I might have.

The fact that the Curreys weren't allowed to formally adopt me (another thing I didn't learn until I was about to get married) meant that I had access to my original birth certificate which included the names of both of my parents. And Mother had saved a letter from the private detective they hired to locate my birth mother during the adoption process* so we knew her married name which made my daughter Christine's task a bit easier when she decided to try to track her down.**

[Alta (l), Courtesy of Olive Slater-Kennedy]
[From my personal collection]
Alta had no other children but her two Slater nieces remember her with love. (Her nephews' memories seem less fond.) As far as we know, she never told anyone about my birth and so I was a total surprise to her family! My aunt and cousins have been wonderfully welcoming to Christine and me, no doubt helped by the fact that I strongly resemble my mother.

This coming weekend we will be meeting up with my Cousin Susan at her mother's house in Arizona to scan the remaining photos in Aunt Olive's Slater family collection and hear more stories about my mother and grandmother. Stay tuned!

*Alta hadn't signed the final papers releasing custody of me.
**You can read a much-abbreviated account of Christine's search here.

© 2016 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

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