This is the story of my life so far: 68 years and counting.
Prequel: A Brief History of my Family in France
After Geneviève left the house, I needed to decide what to do for the family. Roseline was officially 12 years old, but she was in reality almost 14 years old (her birth date on her birth certificate was not the actual one), Betty and Syrille were 10 and Gaëlle was 6 years old.
It was obvious to me that I was not going to separate these 4 brother and sisters and that I will take care of them.
Around this time, Madel, the biological mother of Syrille and Gaëlle decided to move to Canada and continue her education there, staying with her brother Louis, who was in Ontario at this time.
So, she wanted to make official my relation with her two children. We went to the local family judge who told us that we had two options: guardianship or simple adoption. He recommended that we chose guardianship, because it was easier and that there was no real advantage over simple adoption, as the biological parent could always take back the children in both cases. So, we ask for me to be the guardian and Geneviève to be the deputy guardian (subrogé tuteur). Madel did not trust her sister, so she did not want her to be the guardian.
Later, after we immigrated to Canada, I discovered that in fact I should have asked for simple adoption. I will explain this in due time.
After Madel left for Canada, there I was with 4 kids, from 12 to 6. Roseline then became the equivalent of a new mother for Gaëlle.
I had not realized this at the time, but I relied too much on Roseline to take care of her brother and sisters and because of this she did not have a normal adolescence.
Also, Gaëlle had been abandoned multiple times during her short life:
- Madel left her when she was 6 months old
- When she was almost 3 years old, Madel took her from her father's cousin that was taking care of her
- And at 6, both Geneviève and Madel left
It is a lot for a young child!
In 1990, we moved to our new house in Limeil-Brévannes and the children went to new schools. My parents were close by and were able to help us.
Continue to Part 93
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