Not My Mama's Baby
I was one of three babies born at Booth Memorial Hospital in Covington, Kentucky one day in April 1954. There were two baby girls born about six hours apart in the wee hours, and little boy born that afternoon, and no girls born the day before or the day after. Booth had a bad reputation, and was shut down in the mid-1960s, so no records exist. I always felt different from my family, and as a kid I made up the usual stories about being adopted, although I knew that was impossible; my folks were too poor, my dad was too ill, and my mom had an attitude about "raising other people's kids" due to bad experiences with her oldest step-daughters. Since my parents were hopelessly in love with each other for 50 years, an affair on either part was out of the question. In my twenties, I had long since accepted that this was my family, but since I didn't get along with my older sister and didn't like the climate where they had moved in 1968, I lived as far as possible from them and visited on holidays.
Then, in 1978, I had to have blood tests to get married. That was when I learned that my blood type was A positive. And every single person in my family except me was O positive. (It's a biological impossibility for two O positive people to have an A positive baby.) My questions were answered after my mom died: I had DNA tests done with a cheek-swab from my surviving half-sister, and the results were that we did not have the same father. Then I had DNA testing done with a lock of my mother's hair, and it showed she was not my biological mother. Doing the research from there was a challenge, but that was when I learned that there was only one other baby girl born in Booth Hospital on the same day as I.
I made a trip cross-country to Kentucky and found the "other woman" after spending a few days. Since I was in college (again) and had an assignment to write about someone born on my birthday, and had my professor's blessing, I went to talk to this woman and interviewed her for my paper. She looked exactly like two of my aunts, and had a real resemblance to my grandmother! She was very close with all her brothers and sister (her parents, like mine, had passed away)--and since her family seemed to be everything to her, I did not tell her what I knew. I met her son, and he looked exactly like my nephews. I took pictures of her parents' portraits; oddly enough, 'her' mom looked enough like 'my' dad to be siblings, and likewise 'her' dad and 'my' mom strongly resembled each other. Also, our families both had Irish and Cherokee blood.
Other things that my "switchee" told me during that hour interview answered other questions, like where I got a certain talent and personality traits that I did not share with 'my' family. I was very happy to find that my birth family was a happy, close one; I wouldn't have wished 'my' dysfunctional family on this nice lady.
I still hope to one day meet my brothers and sister. I know I'll never be a real part of their family, but I would like to see their faces, hear their voices, and find out more about my birth family.
No, I don't think I was switched at birth; I know.