One of my favorite shows to watch is Long Lost Family. It shares the stories of the adopted, those that gave up children and sometimes family that because of time and circumstances just got lost over the years.
Even those adoptees that have had a wonderful life can long for answers to questions like “who do I look like” and those that gave up children live with the question, “Did I do the right thing?”
Most families have a few secrets and over the years I have had a couple of adoptees from the Forks area ask for help in finding out who they really are. They have family stories but have never known what the truth is.
This past weekend a family traveled to Forks to try to get some answers to what became of one of their family members.
In 1955 Barbara Forkey Duncan and her husband Herbert Vernon Duncan were living in Forks in Steven’s Grove Mobile Home Park on Bogachiel Way. Vern, as he was known, worked as a high climber and at times drove log truck. The family transportation was a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Vern was also known to have a few run-ins with the law.
Barbara and Vern had two young daughters and Barbara found out she was expecting another baby. The marriage was not going well and divorce was looming. Barbara needed to make a decision, how was she going to support three small children? Things were different back then, there was not much support for a single mother.
So she went to the doctor in Forks he assured her he could help find the baby a good home. There were Forks couples desperate to have a family and there were others in bad situations, with unexpected pregnancies and no ability to take care of a child, at the time I am sure it seemed like the answer to two family’s heartbreak.
But it is 60-plus years later and with no real paper trail, it is heartbreaking all over again as this family tries to answer what became of this baby.
The doctor also offered Barbara the opportunity to relinquish her other two daughters for adoption if her situation became more desperate. She did not take that offer.
Barbara gave birth to a baby boy in 1955 in Forks, he was adopted by a Forks couple.
She remembers hearing a rumor that her baby was adopted by a couple that owned a store in Forks, but that is just something she heard and she has no way of knowing if that is a fact.
Barbara eventually left the community.
Since this adoption and a few others like it were facilitated locally, and not through an agency, it is doubtful that there are/were any records kept.
Since I was also born in 1955, if this family that adopted the baby boy stayed in Forks there is a good chance I went to school with him.
So the doctor and his staff are long deceased so there is no way of asking them any questions … but … I am hoping someone still living in our community knows something. It has been long enough, questions answered for this family would go a long way to heal a broken heart.
Barbara is 88 and lives in Washington state, time is running out … if you have any information please let me know, if you have information and want to remain anonymous please mail information to P.O. Box 300, Forks.
What a wonderful gift this would be for this family to have their questions answered.
Christi Baron, Editor