Yesterday afternoon I had the opportunity to speak to a former employee of the Kurtz agencies. The individual in question had contacted me via email and was hesitant to put anything in writing. Individual asked if we could speak on the phone.
I am still sickened by the conversation.
The individual told me stories of expectant mothers held captive by social workers in social workers home. Individual told me of Judy, an expectant mother from Wisconsin, who escaped from social workers home by climbing out a bathroom window. Individual told me of prospective adopters whose application consisted of a resume and a bank statement. Individual told me of social workers who refused to allow expectant mothers access to a phone to call boyfriends or parents. I was told of their record keeping system and of blue vanilla folders filled with letters written by mothers to their children (that were destroyed or left to rot in files).
One might have visions of BSE and think the individual worked for Kurtz during BSE.
They did not. They worked for Kurtz in Chicago in the early 90s. I dare anyone to suggestion BSE like practices stopped in 1979. Go ahead. Feel free. I will then produce any number of agency employees or victims who exercised BSE like (or worse) practices in 1986 when I surrendered my daughter due to threats of lawsuit.
I mulled the conversation over last night and had difficulty sleeping. The conversation, while insightful to my ehbabes.com efforts, triggered many memories of my own stay in the maternity home and my own thoughts of climbing out windows.
I used to sit in my room in Gehring Hall on cold January Chicago days and plan how I could climb out the window of a third floor and get away from the place.
I would sit on the old single (and very uncomfortable bed), hold my hand on my bulging stomach and talk to my daughter. I would ask her for her thoughts on how we should and could escape. I would fantasize about her and I living together, watching her grow, seeing her long pigtails bounce in the breeze as she ran towards me.
It is so crazy to think about now. To visualize that 5 month pregnant 18 yo me, one thousand miles from anyone I knew, debating how to climb out a window so she could raise her own child.
My biggest barrier (which was quite by agency design) was where I was located. Where could I go? Who would I call? I was one thousand miles from my boyfriend, from my parents. How would I get out the window? Walk away in the snow and find a phone or get a cab? Who would come and get me? How would escaping bode for me and my unborn child? Would I be apprehended and then deemed even more unfit to raise my own child?
Must stop writing.
But Judy in Wisconsin, congrats to you and your child on your escape from the Kurtz social wreckers. I wish I had possessed your strength a few years earlier.