This is a completely new edition and brings the story of my Life as a Stolen Baby around full circle.
I am Devy Bruch, born Nell Howell in Tennessee, 1937. As an infant, I was stolen from my mother, Lena Mae Howell, just eight hours after she gave birth. I was then sold to a wealthy family through an illegal 'adoption' by Georgia Tann and the Tennessee Children's Home Society. Lena Mae was a very young woman at the time and was told she had given birth to a boy, who had died during delivery. My mother never saw me, nor held me. Many decades later, she went to her grave still suspecting that her baby may have survived. She had heard me cry. She knew in her heart that I could be alive, but she had nowhere to turn.
One cold December day, just before Christmas, a chauffeur driven limousine with a nurse and Georgia Tann delivered me to my new home. The year was 1937 and I was a sickly, five-pound weakling, six weeks of age. I had been delivered to my adoptive parents totally sight unseen, until that knock on the door - “Here is your baby.”
The years between my illegal adoption and finding my true origins were many faceted, as one climbing up a totem pole, falling down and getting back up to the top over and over and over again.
At 71 years of age, I learned the truth of my life. I learned about my natural mother, Lena Mae Howell and my natural father, Gaston Gann. I learned I had 2 sisters and a brother (deceased) and a real, caring, loving family. Nothing in my life has affected me so deeply. It has turned my life around. I now realize that I spent many years craving a big family. I always opened up my home to everyone, and provided a warm, cozy place for people to enjoy good food and drink. This was my way of creating family. I reached out to my confidants, my friends, and invited them into my heart, but all in their own way, drifted apart from me. The feat of abandonment was present in my life, but no more. The Howells of Tennessee are my people, my blood, my family. The love they have given me and the knowledge that we are one has brought me a joy and fulfillment I never imagined was possible. There is no denying my roots; the resemblance to them is unmistakable.