Six children were born to Roy and Patsy Davis within a five year period. First was Theresa, followed by Donna and Deborah, identical twins Richard and Roy, followed by baby brother Raymond.
By the time the twins were born, thirteen months after Deborah, the family was living in Chicago. And eleven months after that Roy was born. Five years, six children. Patsy Davis was 21 years old.
21 years old with a 10th. grade education, a low-paying job, an abusive husband and six children. Patsy decided that to save her life and to give her children a better life, she had to leave her husband and gave up the four youngest children for adoption.
Between July and October of 1961, the four little ones were parceled out to families in the Chicago area through private adoptions that had been arranged by an attorney. Frozen in her mind, the picture of 4 toddlers, in particular a little red haired girl. Patsy left Chicago in November of that year (1961) with a broken jaw, a broken heart and her two oldest girls to return to her parents home in Mississippi.
All of the children have been reunited with Patsy with the exception of the little red head, Deborah Jean. And now we know at least part of the why. For years we have searched in Illinois, where the children were relinquished.
Only in the last month have we found out that Deborah Jean was not adopted in Chicago but instead in Kings County, New York!
Only in the last week did we find out that a four year old little girl's name was changed totally! We have scoured this country searching for Deborah's born January 14, 1957 and her name is not Deborah anymore.
So-we begin the search anew!
Now we search for a 45 year old woman who was adopted in Kings County, New York sometime after October of 1961. Where is that cute little red head who surely knows she was once called Deborah or Deborah Jean?
We know that you are out there Deborah and we won't give up until we find you!
His name was Harry Cohen, his partner Bernard Brophy. Mr. Cohen was investigated in the 1950's during the Kefauver hearings over his adoption practices.
He is said to have admitted that he did not investigate prospective adoptive parents..basically, if they had the money, they got a child.
In the case of the Davis adoptions, Patsy was told by Cohen that the children were being adopted by friends or acquaintances of his and that they were either Jewish or Italian families. All of the found adoptees were placed in Italian Catholic homes.
Cohen said that all the children were being adopted out of state but only Deborah left the state of Illinois. The two families who adopted the boys were acquainted. We wonder where the New York connection comes in.
Patsy recalls being in the attorney's office about a week after the relinquishment and hearing Deborah's voice and the voices's of adults in another room. She was also told around this same time that Deborah had been diagnosed with scurvy..a vitamin deficiency. Patsy told him right then if Deborah was considered "unadoptable" she would take her right then. Cohen told her no, it was alright with the adoptive family and she was being treated for it.
Contact with the children of Cohen was met with what seemed to be cooperation at first and it seemed they wanted to help. Upon second contact with the son, he refused to help.
You are Deborah to us, you are the little red headed girl in the pictures and in the memories of your birth mother and siblings. We don't know the life you have had since you were adopted but your birth family has had a hole in their hearts from that day on. Your birthmother has searched for you for over 20 years..never giving up hope that someday she would find you and your other siblings that were also adopted.
In 1999, part of that dream came true with one phone call and the help of a lot of "angels". For Patsy, she recieved a part of her heart back again. Yet, even as there was joy, there was sorrow. As we all met for the first time, we couldn't help but realize this reunion was not complete. We vowed that the next "family reunion" would include you.
Your older sisters remember you the most and have also cried a million tears. It would give this family the ultimate joy to know that you are okay, that you have had a good life and to let you know that you were always loved..even though you were no longer there with them. You have a huge birthfamily..lots of aunts, uncles, cousins...
Do you ever wonder where your traits come from? Do you sing? Are you stubborn? Do you love to laugh? We can answer those questions for you. Please Deborah..if you read this..please let us know at the very least, that you are okay. If you don't want contact, we can understand and will respect your wishes. But I would love to be able to tell your birthmom that you have been found, that you were loved. It would set her heart at rest. No matter what you were told of the circumstances of your adoption..you were loved. Loved so much that you were relinquished to be able to have the life you deserved. Times were different then, mothers didn't have the help they needed like they can get today. She did it out of love. And we search for you out of love.