adoption

In this podcast episode, you’ll hear stories about an unpleasant ear discovery in the middle of the night, an unlikely savior as our storyteller falls out of a tree, and the very first open adoption in the state of Montana.

Transcript : "Tipping Point" Part 1

00:00
welcome to tell us something
00:11
annabelle winnie who moved to montana
00:14
nine years ago
00:15
in part because allegedly she only lives
00:18
in states
00:19
that start with the letter m
00:22
previously she lived in maine
00:24
massachusetts
00:26
and new mexico she currently works as a
00:30
clinical social worker in private
00:32
practice
00:33
past jobs have included research
00:34
biologist
00:36
waitress and burrito roller please
00:39
welcome
00:39
annabel winnie
00:49
thank you okay
00:55
last august i was blissfully asleep
00:59
when i became aware of something
01:01
happening in my left
01:03
ear i rolled over
01:06
put my left ear down on the pillow and
01:09
waited for the water to drain out of my
01:11
ear
01:13
when i was growing up i spent a lot of
01:15
time in pools and the ocean and lakes
01:17
and i was always getting water in my ear
01:20
i sat up in bed when i realized that i
01:23
didn’t go to the river that day
01:25
and i don’t even think i took a shower
01:26
before i went to bed
01:28
and the sensation in my ear was
01:30
increasingly becoming
01:32
more agitating it was like i was a deep
01:36
sea
01:36
diver coming up from the bottom of the
01:39
ocean
01:40
as i became more and more awake and
01:42
realized that something really weird was
01:44
happening in my left ear
01:46
i sat up and tried to shake it out
01:51
i’m a very logical person and when the
01:54
sensations in my ear
01:56
didn’t match what i expected to happen
02:00
i got really agitated i shook again
02:03
i expected there to be water in my ear
02:05
and i thought it should
02:07
slosh up on the left side
02:11
but that didn’t happen it was
02:13
unpredictable and chaotic
02:14
and it burned a little bit and it was
02:16
really starting to freak me out
02:18
i wondered if maybe climate chaos was
02:20
affecting my left ear what if my brain
02:22
was melting and i might actually be
02:24
dying
02:26
and then it occurred to me i was alone
02:29
my family was away even the dog was gone
02:34
for the first time in almost 20 years i
02:36
was having a crisis in the middle of the
02:38
night and i was by myself
02:41
it flashed in my mind in my pajamas with
02:44
this insane chaos in my ear
02:46
i could get in my car and drive to the
02:47
emergency room no
02:49
i’m not gonna do that i got up walked
02:52
out of the bedroom to figure it out
02:55
but before i can tell you that story
02:58
i need to tell you this story
03:02
why did i do that i could have called an
03:05
ambulance i could have called 9-1-1
03:08
in moments like this when our field of
03:10
depth is so
03:11
thin we have our animal instincts
03:15
and we have those paths already laid
03:17
down in our brain
03:20
really i think i did what i did because
03:22
i’m from boston
03:23
yeah i’m from new england i’m a mass
03:25
hole oh yeah
03:27
oh yeah and you know we’re tough
03:30
you know
03:31
oh yeah that’s what i’m talking about
03:33
right we take care of
03:35
right because when i learned how to
03:38
drive
03:38
i learned how to drive in a city where
03:40
the pedestrians not only thought
03:42
they owned the sidewalk but also the
03:43
street
03:44
so i’m driving a stick shift the road’s
03:47
probably icy and somebody’s going to
03:49
step out in front of my car in any
03:50
moment
03:51
i am tough man you know the few times i
03:55
skied really i could have just brought
03:57
my ice skates
03:59
i could have gone to the top of the ski
04:01
hill laced them up and just skated down
04:03
the hill
04:04
because that was so icy you know
04:08
what you call snow out here
04:12
that’s styrofoam oh yeah
04:15
this at home right that’s like
04:18
cheesecake
04:19
because the ocean’s right there it’s
04:21
really dense right so when i was a kid
04:23
we get a big dump of snow
04:25
it’s like your car ensconced in two feet
04:28
of cheesecake
04:29
right by the time you shovel that
04:32
off your car
04:33
and you clear out the spot that is
04:35
yours
04:36
you own it for the whole winter
04:39
oh yeah god forbid you actually have to
04:42
get in your car and drive somewhere
04:44
it’s the land of the law you can put a
04:46
trash can
04:48
or a lawn chair in your spot it’s yours
04:54
i mean why else does anybody own a lawn
04:57
chair
05:00
right hey jimmy
05:03
you better go down to the hardware store
05:04
and get me a lawn chair winner’s coming
05:06
they’re going to sell out right
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yeah my neighbor man when i grew up
05:15
one day i saw her somebody took a spot
05:19
she left the can there they moved it
05:21
they took her spot
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oh she was so pissed when she got back i
05:25
watched her
05:26
she when that guy came to move his car
05:28
she stood out on the porch
05:30
she gave him the evil eye and then she
05:32
told him exactly what she
05:34
thought of him right to his face
05:35
right because that’s what happens in
05:37
boston people will tell you to your
05:39
face that they don’t like you
05:43
i’m not going to get in my car and drive
05:45
myself to the emergency room
05:47
no way the thing is though
05:50
we’re really more like m ms you know we
05:53
got this hard exterior
05:55
but inside it’s all soft chocolate
05:58
right so i’m gonna take care of this
06:01
on my own
06:02
but inside i am a mess i am so
06:05
panicked
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i leave my room and i need my phone
06:11
right because it’s got my flashlight so
06:13
i get my phone go in the bathroom turn
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on the light
06:16
flashlight nothing it’s just an ear i’m
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freaking out
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i’m really freaking out and it’s kind of
06:22
starting to hurt i take a picture
06:24
i expect to see blood or maybe like an
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alien tentacle it’s nothing it’s just my
06:30
ear
06:31
oddly i get this strange picture like
06:35
it’s like the scream what am i going to
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do jesus christ what’s going on
06:38
i got a little basket i got earplug i
06:41
don’t have earplugs i have nail clippers
06:43
and i have
06:44
tweezers and i start to go from my ear
06:46
thank god
06:48
for sanity no tweezers in eardrums not a
06:50
good idea what am i going to do what am
06:51
i going to do
06:52
and then i see the bottle thank god my
06:55
kids
06:56
had lice
06:59
thank god it was august because every
07:03
august
07:04
my kids get lice right
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so there’s this bottle of rubbing
07:10
alcohol on the counter because my kids
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have lice
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why because it makes me feel better
07:16
rubbing alcohol does nothing for lice
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nothing
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it doesn’t stop them for a
07:22
second
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so i got my paper towel but it makes me
07:27
feel better i got my paper towel i put
07:28
the rubbing alcohol and i
07:30
comb my kid’s hair for over and
07:33
then i clean it off
07:34
on the rubbing alcohol makes me feel
07:36
better and in my head i’m still like
07:37
water pool
07:38
water pool because i’m very logical
07:41
so when i was a child i always had my
07:43
little bottle half rubbing alcohol
07:46
half vinegar i put it in my ear and the
07:48
pool water would come out
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right so i like get a cotton ball and
07:52
i’m squeezing then i just got the whole
07:54
goddamn bottle like
07:55
what the and i’m show i’m
07:58
shaking my head
08:01
oh my god it stops this insanity
08:05
in my ear it
08:06
stops i’m not gonna die
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my children won’t be motherless
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oh jesus christ i look in the sink and
08:18
it’s like crawling around it’s got like
08:20
a little
08:21
segmented body parts and it’s like
08:24
brown and reddish and it’s got these
08:26
08:27
pinchers on its head
08:49
it’s an
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for christ’s sake so what do i do
09:01
booyah i kill it with my thumb
09:04
i smush it it’s dead
09:08
oh my god i do find some earplugs i’m
09:12
not playing
09:14
i get some cheap dime store earplugs and
09:16
you know like three hours later i fall
09:19
back asleep
09:24
it took that long
09:29
a couple weeks later early september i
09:30
go to two back-to-back shows
09:33
right here at the wilma so fun but you
09:36
know
09:37
i’m middle aged so i have my expensive
09:40
earplugs in my expensive rock concert
09:44
ear plugs in
09:45
so i go i have fun the day after the
09:47
second show
09:48
i take my earplugs out and i got a
09:50
little buzz in my ear you know that
09:51
happens whatever
09:54
a couple weeks later it’s still there
09:55
that’s kind of weird a month later
09:57
it’s still there and i’m like what is
10:00
going on and then it occurs to me
10:02
it’s that earwig
10:06
he up my ear damn
10:09
what am i gonna do i could go to a
10:10
specialist i could pay a lot of money
10:12
he’d look in my ear and say
10:13
yeah you had an earwig in your ear
10:18
your hearing’s damaged you know what let
10:21
that go
10:24
so i do i keep going it’s only recently
10:27
that i even
10:28
thought to stop and listen
10:31
it’s still there i have a little funk in
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my left ear
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because i had an earwig in it but i got
10:38
it out
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and now if you ever wake up in the
10:43
middle of the night
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and you think you’re going crazy
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you will know just what to do
10:57
thank you
11:12
thank you annabelle susan you’ll
11:16
appreciate this
11:17
um susan told me stop reading so much
11:21
so i tried not to and i forgot to say
11:23
something that would have made
11:24
annabelle’s story
11:26
better for you tell us something has
11:28
adult themes in adult language
11:36
forgot to say that earlier
11:40
sorry
11:45
feather sherman took art classes since
11:47
she was six years old
11:48
at maryland institute of art then
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eventually for two years at schuler
11:54
school of fine art
11:56
she earned her bachelor’s of science in
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art education from towson university in
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maryland
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and a masters of arts in fine arts from
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the university of montana
12:05
she is passionate about peace art
12:09
music rainbow gatherings her five
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awesome kids and her grandbaby ryden
12:15
blue
12:16
please welcome feather sherman
12:36
yes
12:44
from my vantage point just below the
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crown of a good-sized ponderosa
12:51
on the wild side of the clearwater river
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i looked out as beautiful dawn
12:59
amber dawn gradually lit the sky
13:04
and the landscape below it was
13:07
so beautiful
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i thank great spirit
13:14
the life-giving force of the universe
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for the miracle
13:18
of this new day i took a deep breath
13:23
butterscotch
13:26
and then my son was had gotten up and he
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was starting to fix breakfast
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so i started climbing down the tree to
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help him
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and when i got about 20 feet above the
13:38
ground
13:40
i paused ah
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that first cup of coffee is going to
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taste so good
13:48
just then an unknown force
13:52
kicked my left foot off the branch it
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was on as hard as you kick a football
13:58
and it kicked my right it jerked my
14:01
right foot off and suddenly
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i was hanging by my hands
14:06
20 feet above the ground in midair
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i was wearing my work gloves that had no
14:13
buttons on them
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and they were beginning to slip
14:18
well i knew i’d have to think of
14:20
something pretty quick so
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i decided uh i’m strongest on my right
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side so i’m gonna
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hang on with my right hand and then i’ll
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let go with my
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left and i’ll wrap my arm around the
14:31
tree and then my other arm
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and then i’ll shimmy down till i get on
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some good limbs down below
14:37
i thought yeah that’s the best that’s
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the best plan
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so i said okay here it goes and
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i let go with my left hand and as i went
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to wrap
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my arm around the tree my body swung out
14:51
just far enough i could just graze the
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side of the tree
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i could not grab the trunk
14:59
and i realized that i was going down
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in a matter of seconds
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my right arm my right hand slipped
15:12
and i began to fall i thought
15:16
wow 110 pounds falling 20 feet
15:20
i’m going to be going really fast when i
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hit the ground
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but i’m not going to know how i can lan
15:26
how how to land
15:27
until uh i discover if i’m going to get
15:29
knocked around by the limbs so
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uh i’ll just count 1 1 000
15:35
to 1 000. okay i’m
15:38
almost to the ground now how am i going
15:41
to land
15:41
let’s see um i don’t want to land on my
15:44
left side because i might burst my heart
15:46
so i’m going to roll to my right a
15:47
little bit and
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i’m going to want something to get
15:49
around on so i’m going to put my foot up
15:52
and uh something’s gonna have to hit
15:53
first i guess it’ll be the other one
15:56
and i’m gonna tuck up a little bit i’m
15:57
like okay
15:59
this is the best position and then a
16:02
millisecond above the ground i went oh
16:05
in this position i’m gonna break my
16:09
neck
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but there’s nothing i can do
16:14
i’ll just have to do my best because
16:16
here’s the ground
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and i hit my body landed on the top of
16:22
the ground
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i felt absolutely no pain but all the
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rest of me kept going in the same
16:28
trajectory
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down down down i flew
16:32
into the earth and eventually it was
16:36
like being on a trampoline and my speed
16:38
slowed
16:39
and then i hit bottom and then boom
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i was back up in my body and
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then i felt the pain i’d broken my foot
16:50
and my back and actually several other
16:52
parts but those were the main injuries
16:55
and i was laying there and i thought
16:59
this is a miracle i didn’t break my neck
17:04
this is the absolute miracle and then
17:07
i saw sparkles of silver and gold in the
17:10
air
17:11
and i felt this spiritual being behind
17:14
me
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supporting my head neck and shoulders
17:18
i felt like a baby eagle tucked in the
17:21
breast of my mother eagle
17:22
so safe and warm and then
17:26
the spiritual being very gently laid my
17:28
head on the ground
17:30
and i’d landed on dirt and bunch grass
17:33
no rocks
17:35
just then my son came running over the
17:37
tree and he says mom
17:38
are you okay and i said yes i’m alive
17:42
and i didn’t break my neck i’m great
17:44
look i can wield all this and he’s like
17:46
wow i said well we’re gonna have to call
17:49
the helicopter
17:50
and uh i did break my back i know that
17:54
for sure
17:55
so pretty soon they made it pretty quick
17:58
in about half an hour
18:00
and as the emts came running over the
18:02
tree
18:03
one of them looks over and he goes hey
18:05
we thought we’d find a 10 year old kid
18:07
under this tree not a 50 year old woman
18:12
i said thanks a lot you guys i’m 64.
18:21
and i’m i’m not in shock and my vitals
18:24
are normal
18:25
and they said wow that’s great how is
18:28
your head and neck
18:29
and i said they’re fine look and i
18:31
wiggled all over again to show them
18:34
and they said well we’re going to bundle
18:35
you up and take you into the hospital
18:38
so then we got to st pat’s hospital and
18:41
they
18:42
did a beautiful job stabilizing my leg
18:44
and
18:45
getting me ready to have a clamshell
18:46
brace and
18:48
about three days later the doctor came
18:50
into the
18:51
to my room and he says where are you
18:53
living right now
18:55
and i said well uh temporarily i’m in a
18:58
friend’s basement
18:59
17 steps down and
19:03
in actuality i was going through a very
19:05
difficult time in my life
19:08
and going through a very hard breakup
19:11
with my husband of 16 years
19:14
so that’s why i was down in the basement
19:16
and
19:18
and he says well you know you have a
19:21
broken back
19:22
you can’t use crutches you can’t you
19:24
can’t go there
19:25
and i said oh my friends will carry me
19:27
up and down and he’s like
19:29
no uh you’re gonna have to find another
19:32
place to stay
19:33
or we’re gonna put you in a nursing home
19:36
and i’m like oh please not that
19:38
so i called everybody i could think of
19:42
and
19:43
no one had room for me anywhere and
19:47
i fell asleep and when i woke up i felt
19:50
like i was in the bottom of this
19:52
deep dry well and i was all alone and
19:56
there was no light and no
19:57
sound and i had never felt so alone
20:01
and so helpless before in my whole life
20:07
but then i cheered up a little bit and i
20:09
said okay feather what do you need now
20:12
and i said i gotta talk to somebody who
20:14
understands what i’m going through
20:16
so i thought oh i’ll call david milgram
20:19
up in flagstaff
20:21
he’s a wonderful healer and we worked
20:23
together with grandfather david menonge
20:25
of the hopies for 10 years during the
20:27
80s
20:28
so i called up david and let him know
20:30
what had happened and he goes
20:32
oh feather you really did it this time
20:36
but here’s the good news you’re going to
20:38
recover completely
20:39
and i’ll help you i’m going to help you
20:41
with vitamins and minerals
20:43
and when we get off the phone i want you
20:46
to call this number it belongs
20:48
to a very powerful lakota medicine woman
20:51
named susan and she works behind the
20:54
scenes
20:55
she lives in colorado so give her a call
20:58
and so i did i thanked david very much
21:01
and i called susan up on the phone
21:04
and i explained to her that i was a
21:05
friend of davids and what had happened
21:07
and she goes oh wonderful
21:10
wonderful she goes i see you
21:13
you’re way up in the air and surrounded
21:16
by fire
21:18
well i was on the fourth floor st pat’s
21:20
hospital looking down at the helicopter
21:23
pad
21:23
and seven and a half years ago we were
21:26
having a really bad fire season with
21:28
idaho on fire in southern montana
21:30
and the valley was full of smoke so
21:33
i knew she saw me and then she said
21:37
i’m doing a ceremony for you right now
21:39
and you’re in the center
21:41
i’m calling in the four thunder beings
21:43
of the west because they’re the most
21:45
powerful protectorate spirits
21:47
and then seven male warrior spirits and
21:50
seven
21:51
female warrior spirits are around you
21:53
right now
21:54
and they’re going to protect you and
21:56
help you to heal
21:59
and i want you to give a spirit offering
22:01
for them before you have your food and i
22:03
said yes i’ll be happy to do that i’ve
22:05
been taught that
22:07
by black elk’s great-grandson
22:10
and then she says feel free to call me
22:12
anytime
22:14
and just before she hung out the phone
22:16
she goes oh by the way
22:18
do you know who saved your life and i
22:21
said
22:21
i have a hunch and she goes you’re right
22:24
it was your father and he’s here with me
22:26
right now
22:27
and he’s laughing and he is so
22:31
happy that he was able to help and he’s
22:34
calling you gidget gidget
22:38
i completely forgot that when i was a
22:41
little girl
22:42
my dad called me gidget because i loved
22:44
the gidget goes hawaiian
22:46
and kitchen goes to summer camp movies
22:49
and i thanked her so much and hung up
22:51
the phone and then
22:53
my dad’s spirit came right into the
22:55
hospital room
22:57
and i raised up and we hugged each other
22:59
in a beautiful golden ball
23:01
of light and love and i was able to
23:04
thank him with
23:05
all my heart
23:28
thanks feather
23:34
how we all doing yeah
23:41
greg monroe of missoula is the father of
23:44
two adopted daughters who are now adults
23:47
with children of their own
23:50
in a long career as a trial lawyer
23:52
lawyer
23:53
including 30 years as a law professor at
23:55
the university of montana
23:57
he has made storytelling the core of his
23:59
advocacy
24:00
and is awed by this ancient and
24:02
beautiful communication
24:03
please welcome greg monroe
24:18
1983 was a time of great anxiety for
24:22
me and my wife we couldn’t get pregnant
24:26
we had tried everything she had told me
24:28
a couple years earlier that her clock
24:30
was running and
24:31
if we wanted to have children we had to
24:32
get at it
24:35
and the months were tough
24:38
we were making love according to formula
24:40
it was governed by
24:41
temperatures and the time of the month
24:45
each month was started with hope and
24:48
ended in despair
24:49
ultimately our doctors said why don’t
24:52
you consider adopting
24:54
so we went to the oldest adoption agency
24:56
of the oldest of the five institutional
24:58
adoption agencies in montana
25:00
in helena chodera that was part of
25:03
chodera children’s hospital
25:05
and started with them we met a wonderful
25:08
social worker there named becky jones
25:11
and we knew what to expect we’d seen the
25:14
movies and heard the stories and we knew
25:16
that
25:16
in infant adoptions through uh
25:20
institutional adoption agencies were
25:22
totally secret
25:23
the mother gave up her child to the
25:25
agency the agency picked the parents
25:28
place the baby and she would never know
25:30
what happened to the child
25:31
and the child as the child grew up would
25:33
never know what happened or who
25:35
where she came from or who her natural
25:38
parents were
25:39
some of the agencies at that time were
25:41
helping adult children
25:43
find their birth parents if the birth
25:45
parents consented
25:48
so becky took us through a
25:51
course in adoption and to prepare us and
25:54
then
25:55
and confirmed that this was all to be
25:57
completely secret
25:59
and then told us that okay you’re
26:01
expecting
26:03
i got the call in the middle of the
26:05
afternoon in january
26:08
from becky she said your baby’s here
26:11
i was ecstatic and then she said
26:14
something ominous she said
26:16
but there’s problems i thought oh my god
26:20
is the baby blind does she have a cleft
26:22
palate
26:24
uh are there legal problems
26:28
and becky went on and told me what had
26:29
occurred
26:31
they had gone to she and the doctor i
26:33
think went to
26:35
corey’s room cory was the birth mother
26:38
she was 15 years old
26:41
and becky said to this 15 year old
26:45
you were released you’re discharged you
26:47
can go back to the florence crittenden
26:49
home
26:50
now the florence crittenden home was a
26:52
home for unwed mothers
26:54
in helena and that’s a place where
26:57
when a young woman or a girl
27:01
was starting to show that she was
27:02
pregnant could go there
27:04
and stay for months and then have her
27:06
baby and then go back to school
27:08
and make up a story about where she’d
27:10
been
27:11
so becky said you can go back to the
27:14
florence kitten home then back to your
27:15
hometown
27:16
and corey said and you’re going to place
27:20
the baby today right
27:21
and she said no we’re not going to do
27:23
that and she said well when will you
27:25
place her and she said well two or three
27:26
weeks from now
27:28
and corey said what and she said with
27:30
two or three weeks from now
27:32
and corey said no no you gotta place her
27:34
today and she said no we don’t do that
27:36
the agencies keep the baby for two or
27:38
three weeks
27:39
where will you keep the baby well in a
27:41
crib here or
27:42
we’ll put her in foster care for two or
27:43
three weeks why would you do that
27:46
well it’s a cooling off period in case
27:48
you change your mind
27:49
i’m not going to change my mind look
27:52
you’ve got to place this baby with a
27:53
mother today
27:55
and if you don’t i’m going to take her
27:56
out here and parent her myself and i
27:58
don’t want to do that
28:01
becky said corey there’s something i
28:03
haven’t told you my mother died in north
28:05
dakota today
28:07
and my father is elderly and needs me
28:10
how about if i go to north dakota and i
28:12
take care of things with the family
28:14
and take care of him and i’ll come back
28:15
next week and we’ll place the baby
28:18
no you have to place the baby right now
28:21
it’s got to be placed today
28:25
and she was in a jam becky was
28:29
she said listen i’m going to have to go
28:31
talk to others in the adoption agency
28:33
here we’ll decide what to do we’ve never
28:35
been faced with this before
28:37
and corey said yes do that and while
28:41
you’re at it
28:42
i want to meet the parents i want to see
28:44
this baby
28:45
into the parent’s arms and
28:48
and i want it today and she said becky
28:52
said
28:52
we don’t do that no adoption agency does
28:54
that
28:55
you can’t meet the parents and she said
28:57
listen i’m going to take the baby out of
28:59
here.
29:00
so the agency had no choice she met with
29:03
them and they decided
29:04
they’d never been faced with this before
29:07
and
29:08
they decided that the only thing to do
29:10
was call us
29:11
so on the phone becky had two questions
29:13
of me one
29:15
can you come to helena right now and get
29:17
your baby
29:18
and two will you meet the birth mother
29:23
instantly i said you bet we’ll do both
29:24
and you to talk to my wife
29:26
and i hung the phone up called frontier
29:30
airlines
29:31
and as luck would have it they had a
29:32
flight leaving immediately
29:34
i picked the phone up to call my wife
29:36
and all the power and central billings
29:38
went out
29:39
and i couldn’t call her on our set so i
29:42
jumped in the car raced to her office
29:43
she was a cpa clear across town
29:46
ran in and said our baby’s here
29:50
and we we hugged we tried and uh
29:54
they were raised up to the hospital and
29:58
saint vincent hospital gave or
30:01
lent babies infant seats to
30:04
parents who were taking children out of
30:05
the hospital because that was back in
30:07
the days when people still drove around
30:09
in cars
30:10
carrying babies in their arms
30:13
so we flew to helena and we met uh
30:16
we went to the restaurant we’d agreed to
30:17
meet up near the airport
30:19
and becky was there and the
30:22
little girl corey was there cory was
30:25
carrying a
30:27
stuffed panda bear and in his arms
30:30
with a with a baby stuffed panda bear
30:35
and she and she handed it to us
30:38
and said this is for your baby
30:41
and we had a wonderful dinner i don’t
30:44
know how i got to dinner as you might
30:46
yes i’m very emotional
30:50
but corey was very engaging
30:53
self-confident we loved her it was
30:54
really great
30:55
and we had a very good time with her and
30:58
we uh
30:59
and the funny thing we asked her about
31:00
her interest and she said
31:02
i love riding horses and we said
31:05
well do you have a horse of your own she
31:06
said no i go to fairmont all the time so
31:08
we knew she was from anaconda
31:10
and so we agreed
31:14
to go where the baby was and take
31:16
pictures all together
31:17
and then we take her back to the
31:18
florence crittenden home which we did it
31:20
was really fun taking pictures
31:22
we went back to the floor and
31:23
straightened them home had left
31:26
corey went into the home and you can
31:28
imagine what you had to say
31:30
and the word spread like wildfire what
31:33
this 15 year old had done
31:37
skipping ahead we there were there were
31:39
legal problems as a matter of fact
31:41
corey had exercised her right of privacy
31:44
and refused to identify the father
31:46
frankly she told a story that was pretty
31:48
bogus
31:50
and so
31:54
about a year less than a year
31:58
after these events
32:01
corey wrote a letter to the agency to
32:03
becky
32:04
and penciled out this letter saying i
32:07
was just wondering
32:10
i need to see the baby and the parents
32:12
one more time to make sure
32:16
that she’s safe and secure so
32:20
and she said i know this might not be
32:22
possible and it’s okay if it isn’t
32:25
but if we can i’d really like to do it
32:27
around her first birthday
32:29
and she signed it and then across the
32:30
bottom of the letter she wrote
32:32
big letters please
32:37
and i said to the agency how would we
32:40
ever say no to that
32:42
so we drove to helena on a saturday
32:45
and we had all agreed to meet at show
32:47
there and we drove up to the curb and
32:49
there was only one car parked there
32:51
and that was from anaconda of course and
32:53
we went in and we met corey she looked
32:55
wonderful
32:56
and she was just great and she had
33:00
a boyfriend with her and he was blonde
33:04
he had a broad nose just like the
33:06
adorable nose my daughter had
33:09
and frankly i took one look at him and
33:11
thought this is the father of this baby
33:14
we had a wonderful meeting with him and
33:17
i suspected that we might hear more from
33:19
corey and by the way
33:21
we were advised before dinner and before
33:24
this meeting
33:26
that we wouldn’t identify use no last
33:28
names and would not talk about where we
33:30
were from
33:31
and because we had to maintain the
33:33
secrecy
33:36
so on that saturday
33:39
we met took pictures and all that and
33:42
then we did something
33:43
that was not scripted and i don’t know
33:47
to this day how
33:48
the agency felt about it but we agreed
33:51
with corey that we wouldn’t get together
33:54
again
33:55
and have no contact until andrea was old
33:58
enough
33:59
to ask questions and that the day that
34:01
she asked to meet her birth mother we’d
34:03
get back in touch with the agency we get
34:05
together
34:06
and that’s exactly what happened and i
34:07
think it was when andrew was about five
34:09
and a half years old
34:10
and we got together with her and both of
34:13
our daughters
34:14
had grown up knowing their birth mothers
34:17
and having
34:18
whatever contact they wanted to have
34:19
with them and
34:21
uh the word spread so fast
34:25
that all of the agencies were forced to
34:28
change
34:30
and today in montana adoption within
34:33
just a couple of years
34:34
it became policy that if you wouldn’t
34:36
meet the birth parents you went to the
34:38
bottom of the priority pile
34:39
or you didn’t get a baby at all and i
34:42
think that we’ve all learned
34:44
in the meantime that it is so much more
34:47
human
34:48
to have open adoptions and for all the
34:50
ups and downs it’s better to see the
34:52
road map
34:53
and better for children’s identity thank
35:00
you
35:17
thank you john
35:21
thank you to all of our storytellers so
35:22
far tonight
35:24
uh thank you to our american sign
35:26
language interpreters as well bonnie
35:27
curian and denise may
35:35
thank you to our title sponsor the good
35:37
food store and thank you to
35:38
all of our sponsors logjam presents the
35:41
wilma
35:42
cabinetparts.com missoula broadcasting
35:45
company
35:46
axis physical therapy clearwater credit
35:49
union
35:50
gecko designs enlightened labs
35:54
filthy design and missoula bone and
35:56
joint when you frequent these businesses
35:58
please thank them for their support of
36:00
tell us something and of live
36:02
storytelling in missoula and thank you
36:04
for being here tonight without you
36:07
tell us something can’t happen without
36:09
your loves
36:10
your open hearts and your open ears if
36:13
you are interested in potentially
36:14
joining tell us something
36:16
as a board member be in touch you can
36:18
contact us
36:19
via the website at telesumming.org
36:22
finally
36:25
the next tell us something event is
36:26
march 25th
36:28
the theme is lost and found we are to
36:32
yeah
36:34
we are taking story pitches for that
36:35
right now to pick your story go to tell
36:38
us something.org and click tell a story
36:40
you’ll get all the information you need
36:42
right now right there
36:44
we’re going to take a 10-minute
36:45
intermission grab a drink stretch your
36:46
legs
36:47
come back in 10 minutes for audience
36:49
participation thank you so much
36:58
welcome back
37:04
i would like to introduce you to my two
37:06
friends
37:08
lauren and ryder who are going to walk
37:09
us through the audience participation
37:11
portion of the evening
37:13
does one of you want to step over here
37:14
so i can get the mic
37:17
down right
37:20
got it angle you
37:24
all right so this is the first audience
37:26
participation story
37:29
tipping point or tipping over i woke up
37:31
in shivers after a night of drinking
37:33
tequila and eating masculine
37:36
i shook off a layer of frost and found
37:38
that i was chained to my motorcycle
37:40
what the i walked to the bar and
37:43
grill in
37:43
alberton and ordered breakfast the guy
37:46
behind the bar slid
37:47
slid my coffee down the bar soon
37:49
followed by eggs and bacon
37:53
how rude i thought i tossed in my money
37:56
and walked out
37:57
the ride home was freezing so when i got
37:59
home i curled up in bed until late
38:00
afternoon
38:02
upon rising i went to the bathroom after
38:04
peeing
38:05
i looked in the mirror it was shocked to
38:06
see that i had burrito puke in my bushy
38:08
beard
38:10
i no longer drink tequila
38:18
one day my husband said to me if you
38:20
can’t be passionate about me
38:22
and this life then you should leave
38:25
today
38:26
that was 20 years ago and i’ve never
38:28
seen him since
38:38
all right it was mid-august i was in a
38:40
large faded orange
38:42
orange colored raft from the 1970s named
38:44
marge
38:45
about to voyage down tumbleweed a rapid
38:48
in the alberton gorge
38:49
i forgot to mention it was my first time
38:51
rowing ever
38:53
i will let the pictures say the rest
38:59
i spent three years living in
39:00
minneapolis where it’s so cold in the
39:02
winter it hurts your face
39:04
my commute to work was about 45 minutes
39:07
in start and stop traffic
39:09
it was my third winter there and i was
39:11
driving home in the freezing snow
39:13
i called my boyfriend and told him i had
39:15
to make a change
39:16
i couldn’t do another winter there he
39:18
was on board we made a list of cities we
39:20
would want to move to
39:22
and started applying for jobs we both
39:24
got jobs in missoula within a week of
39:26
each other
39:27
having have lived here together for the
39:29
past two years and we’re getting married
39:31
here this summer
39:39
well i’m not comfortable sharing this
39:41
story on social media i do think it’s a
39:43
story that needs to be told
39:48
as a wayward but well-intentioned 17
39:50
year old i brought my girlfriend
39:52
now wife of 41 years home a half hour
39:55
later than
39:56
her curfew her father put her luggage on
39:58
the front porch
40:00
even i an obtuse rider of the
40:02
testosterone tsunami
40:04
figured out the message instead of
40:06
slinking however my wife and i went
40:08
in woke up my new in-laws and had it out
40:11
with
40:12
uh headed out with them regarding my
40:13
intentions
40:16
this month our nine and five-year-old
40:18
granddaughters will
40:20
join us at my father-in-law’s house for
40:22
christmas and i am attending tonight’s
40:24
tell us something with my daughter who
40:25
remains a golden light of my life
40:28
thanks
40:35
it was the eve of my birthday as i
40:38
tipped into my 30s i found myself
40:40
14 000 feet in the air strapped to a
40:43
heavily tattooed stranger
40:46
it was then that i realized that i had
40:48
passed the point of no return
40:50
this was my tipping point
41:01
seems more like a tip than a story but
41:04
moving the decimal one place to the left
41:06
that’s ten percent
41:08
double it for nice gratuity that’s my
41:10
tipping point
41:27
november 8 2016.
41:43
in high school my daughter used to put
41:44
her clothes in the dryer to warm her
41:46
clothes up
41:47
every morning i finally snapped and
41:49
started turning off the dryer breaker
41:57
i had forty dollars in my pocket and i
41:59
had not yet made my destination
42:01
having traveled from missoula to zurich
42:04
switzerland
42:05
it was 10 pm i was 19 and still had
42:08
miles to go
42:10
would i make it where would i sleep
42:20
when i had nothing more i could give you
42:22
and you couldn’t even give me the time
42:24
that was my tipping point
42:28
thanks guys
42:56
do
43:15
you

In this week’s podcast you’ll hear about a young woman’s journey to find her birth parents and the complications that result from that discovery, you will take a drunken ride in a car on homecoming night on a fateful drive near Browning, MT, you’ll buy a car in the heat of a Tennessee summer and finally, you will learn how to cook a the signature dish of a beloved chef, veal scaloppine alla marsala.