November 21, 2014
By Catherine Walsh, Northeast Communications Specialist
Sister Assunta’s life has been shaped by loving, powerful women—her birth mother, her adoptive mother and the Sisters of Mercy who took her and her identical twin sister in as 1-year-old babies nearly 70 years ago.
The Sisters of Mercy are sharing Sister Assunta’s adoption story in order to raise awareness about adoption during November, National Adoption Month (read the first story in these series).
Sister Assunta, who was called Cindy, and her twin, Sandy, were born prematurely in March 1944. Elsie, their birth mother, had endured a difficult pregnancy. Their birth father, died a month after the twins were born. For the next year, Elsie struggled to care for her twins. She sought medical help for baby Cindy (Sister Assunta), who was eventually diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
For reasons still unclear to Sister Assunta and Sandy, Elsie brought them to an orphanage run by the Sisters of Mercy in Manchester, New Hampshire, in the spring of 1945, and put them up for adoption. The twins stayed with the sisters and were in and out of foster care until they were nearly six. Neither twin remembers much from that time. “I know the sisters were good to us because they found a couple to adopt us,” says Sister Assunta.
The couple, Joseph and Margaret, who were 57 and 50 respectively, had always wanted to be parents. “My mother used to tell me that I crawled onto Dad’s lap and he was hooked!” says Sister Assunta, who wasn’t walking then because of her cerebral palsy. Read More