This is the story of my life so far: 68 years and counting.
Prequel: A Brief History of my Family in France
Roseline and Betty arrive in Brest
As soon as we agreed to adopt the two Haitian sisters that the Belgian organization has found for us, we started the paperwork.
There was of course some money involved, quite understandably, but nothing outrageous. For example, the airfare of the two girls from Port-au-Prince to Brussels. Also, there were some people in Haiti that needed to be reimbursed, we did not really know what they have done, but we were assured that their work were needed. We had no problem to pay.
We learned that the two girls were named Roseline and Betty and that they were coming from an orphanage managed by nuns.
Roseline and Betty in Haiti in 1985
In June 1985, Geneviève traveled to Belgium by train and came back with Roseline and Betty. I was on the station platform when they exited from the train.
Geneviève had been given some papers from Haiti: ID cards, birth certificates and some legal documents.
Betty was speaking almost no French, only Haitian creole (kreyòl ayisyen). But Roseline had been to school and spoke and understood French. When we had to tell something to Betty, Roseline would translate in creole.
Roseline soon told us that their birth certificates were all fake. Their last names were not the one on the certificates, their birth dates were also wrong, and probably the birth locations too, although she did not know where they were born exactly.
Only their first names were correct. But we learned later that the spelling of their first names had been altered: Roseline originally was named Roselaine and Betty was named Elisabete, shortened as Bette.
Roseline remembered with certitude that their last name was Dominique, and not Clervyl as written on their birth certificates.
From the legal documents, we understood that a woman had stated that she had two daughters and that she has failed to declare them when they were born, several years ago. All the names and dates on the birth certificates came from this woman. It was obvious to me that a lawyer had paid this woman to make such declaration, and probably the Haitian administration knew it, but they went along.
The idea was that without their real names and birth dates, they would never found their birth parents. However, as we will see later, Roseline remembered enough details of her life in Haiti and she found without too much difficulties their birth parents some 15 years later.
Both my daughters are on Steemit (I had bribed them!).
Roseline is @rosie.posie. She has not started to blog yet, but she is assuring me that she will do it soon.
Betty is @bettym3. If you are interested in the memories of Betty in Haiti and coming to Brest, you can read her posts: Haiti birthplace, Haiti early memories and Meeting our adoptive parents.
Continue to Part 76.
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Part 33 - Part 34 - Part 35 - Part 36 - Part 37 - Part 38 - Part 39 - Part 40
Part 41 - Part 42 - Part 43 - Part 44 - Part 45 - Part 46 - Part 47 - Part 48
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Part 57 - Part 58 - Part 59 - Part 60 - Part 61 - Part 62 - Part 63 - Part 64
Part 65 - Part 66 - Part 67 - Part 68 - Part 69 - Part 70 - Part 71 - Part 72
Part 73 - Part 74