Cathy Deasy reunited with her birth mother Johanna Sheehy
You my have seen this week’s BBC Two documentary ‘Ireland’s Lost Babies’ which featured the search by Cathy Deasy to find her biological mother Johanna Sheehy.
At 43, Johanna fell in love with the son of the owner of a farm where she worked. When she became pregnant with Cathy she was sent to the Mother and Child home run by the Sacred Heart sisters in Bessbororough, Co Cork.
Cathy lived for 4 years in an adjoining nursery section, rarely seen by her mother, before she was sent to America.
When they were reunited 40 years later Johanna showed Cathy a locket she constantly wore containing a photo of Cathy as an infant.
She told her daughter: “You’ve found the black sheep of the family.”
Cathy Deasy writes:
“It took me 18 years to find my birth mother who gave birth to me at the age of 43 and it was very sad for the emotional/physical abuse she endured during her lock up for 40 years. And before I die it is my mission to see justice for all the other moms and children (now adults) for all the abuse both moms and children endured at the Mother and Baby homes by both nuns and priests.
Not only did my mom go through so many years of heartbreak some time after I was born she was caught putting little booties on me. She not only heard the wrath of the nuns running the facility she was moved to Good Shepard Home, another hell-hole to stay until finally in 1976, with a lot of Irish fuss by my cousins and family, they got her out of that institution and moved into their very loving home for the remaining years of her life.
It was called Mother and Baby homes but believe me I am a living survivor of the disgusting abuse done to both me and my mom. The priests were able to relieve their ‘urges’ every Sunday after Sunday feast with the Mother Superior and her fellow nuns. All we ate was bread and cream of mushroom soup or potato soup every day of our lives.
I returned from Ireland for the final burial of my birth mom in October 2010. The truth did set me free but the scars of the abuse will never leave me. As I believe many others out there in USA like myself shipped out for money to awaiting adopted parents have their stories too. No review or booklets given to them of the challenges awaiting them by accepting a child (me) who was suffering from Post Traumatic Disorder before it was even defined by the Medical Jounals.
I never married nor as much as I love children and would have loved to have a child of my own but because of the nightmares and damage done to me from birth till I was sent to USA at the tender age of 4 and half years old I had a lot of issues.
Sharing my story with others via internet on the adoption ireland web site has beenamazing. All of us strangers but survivors of the same orphanage have so much in common it is mind blowing. Most of us have difficulty with relationships – intimacy issues, fears of the dark, trust issues, fear of abandonment is forever present and many of us had tough childhoods.
I was not adopted as a baby and just placed in the arms of parental strangers. I wound up being the ‘seed of a sinner’ as the nuns called it and the Catholic church came up with this idea to get us out of the country and sell us out so they could make more and more and more money for their parishes.
It was all about money and secrets and lies. And over and over I was reminded ‘blood is thicker than water and you will never amount to anything’ I must tell the truth and those words came out of the mouth of my adopted father. we never were close – I was never acknowledged as his daughter for his 10 year old biological daughter was the only child he wanted and adored My adopted mom was full of love and always went the extra yard to defend me or protect me from any harm.
She loved me unconditionally. Her end came in 1992 and prior to her death she gave me my original birth certificate and my original passport which were major missing links and the beginning of my reuniting with my birth mom.
No longer did I believe I was alone and I certainly was not ‘bad’ or a ‘loser’ and many of us throughout the USA suffered as I did – being sold to USA families and ripped out of the arms of our true moms. All of us children at that time had dollar amounts on our heads for the greedy Catholic nuns and priest for their parishes’ purses and to buy more land…and believe me it cost some of us our lives but most of all it left us with deep holes in our tiny hearts.
But I am a better person today and of all the dreams I have had in my life this was the best dream come true. I had the joy of caring for both moms during their most needed times of their lives. I took care of both moms as a daughter and a nurse which is the career I chose because I am loyal, intelligent, compassionate and had the ability to medically care for them both during their dying hours.
That was a gift for me. And brought me such joy. I don’t think there are too many people out there who had two moms that I was able to be both their private nurse and give them the love just pouring out of my veins from my heart forever and ever.”
Sincerely Catherine Regina Deasy, Florida USA
Previously: The Mother Superior And Child
Thanks Sibling of Daedalus