Abandoned as baby, woman seeks birthparents
A woman abandoned as a baby three decades ago outside a Freeport hospital is seeking her biological mother and father -- hoping they want to be found.
"I would love to meet them. I would understand them not wanting to -- it's been 30 years -- but I want to know what I am," she said in an interview last week.
"I don't know if I'm Italian or Irish. I don't know my family's medical history, and I have three children of my own now."
Brown works at a doctor's office near her home, where she lives with her boyfriend of 13 years, Trevor Tunison. They have three children: Malachi, 11, Gabriel, 9 and Ayla, 7.
Adopted as a baby, Brown's interest in finding her birthparents increased after she had children of her own, said her sister, Christy Hopler, 41, of Los Gatos, Calif.
"Now, she wants to find anything she can," Hopler said.
Brown had always been curious about her birthparents, but that interest intensified four years ago when someone who learned of her search sent her a Newsday clipping from April 24, 1981, with a picture showing her as a baby, held by nurse Geraldine Moone.
Moone had gotten off work at Lydia E. Hall Hospital, since closed, in Freeport about 11 p.m. on April 22. She went to her unlocked car in the parking lot and found a tiny infant on the passenger seat, wrapped in a white blanket.
Moone said in a recent interview that she kept track of the unclaimed baby for about a year, until the baby was put up for adoption and all the records were sealed. Much later, Brown would discover Moone's whereabouts by searching the Internet.
"Last year I got a call at work and I almost fainted," said Moone, who has since remarried and has a different last name. "I always thought about her . . . I was happy to hear she has a nice family of her own and she is OK."
The morning after the baby was found, a man had called the hospital, said he was the father and asked if the infant was all right. The man said his girlfriend had given birth in his house in Long Beach that morning while his parents were away, and that he panicked and took the baby to the hospital, police said at the time.
The man said he was going to ask his parents if he could keep the child, but he gave a false name and never called back, Det. Sgt. Frank Napoli of the Nassau County Police Department told Newsday in 1981. Napoli has retired and the department has been unable to reach him, a police spokesman said.
The stumbling block in many an adoptee's search is the secrecy of the adoption process, designed to protect all the parties involved. But the object of Brown's search is not in any court or government file because her mother and father are unknown.
"I wish that they [her parents] . . . would've left a note, just to explain something, anything," Brown said.
Brown and her boyfriend often talk to people who were adopted, but those people "always know something or somebody that they can call to find out who the other person is."
After her adoption, Brown lived in Lynbrook with her adoptive parents until they moved upstate when she was 6. On trips back to Long Island to visit friends, she said, her father would point to the hospital and say: "Hey, there's the hospital they left you at."
Her mother, less open about the issue, according to Brown, would tell her father: "Why are you telling her that?"
The poet T.S. Eliot wrote that, "APRIL is the cruellest month," and for Brown, the cruelest day of that month is the 22nd, her birthday.
"I cry on my birthday every year, wanting to know if they're thinking about me. That's the one day I hope that they still remember," Brown said.