Friday, September 7, 2012

Getting To Know Jane Theresa Adams

I never had the privilege of meeting my grandmother, Jane Theresa Adams...she passed away a few weeks after my older brother was born.

She was born on June 9, 1930 in San Francisco, CA. She was adopted by Miner Barnes Adams (b. 4/9/1899 in Mt. Vernon, NY / d. 5/17/1969 in Palo Alto, CA) and Honor Jane Boland Adams (b. 12/22/1900 in San Francisco,CA / d. 1/3/1988 in CA)...everyone called Honor "Ben". Yet no one can tell me why. Hmmm??

Miner and Ben had a daughter Nancy Ruth Adams (b. 12/20/1926 d. 5/24/1993). They had two other children that I have evidence of...both died at birth. Judy Adams on 11/29/1928 in Palo Alto, CA and John Adams on 2/20/1930 in Palo Alto, CA.

(left to right: Amelia Fries Beyl, Honor "Ben" Boland Adams, Ernie Beyl, Jane Adams, Jeff Beyl, Roxanne Minnigh, Joseph Beyl, Janet Burns Minnigh and Robert Minnigh)

Now what I find that Miner and Honor were preparing for a baby to be born in February of 1930 (if that was full-term) and yet my grandmother was born in early June in 1930. That's only a little over 3 months. Adoptions usually took longer than that. So either my grandmother Jane wasn't adopted immediately after birth OR Miner and Honor knew the birth mother perhaps??

Growing up there were only a few things I knew about her...
  1. She was adopted.
  2. She played the piano.
  3. She'd been married twice and divorced twice.
  4. She was beautiful.
  5. She died of cancer.
  6. I supposedly resemble her.
I don't remember seeing pictures of her growing up. I mourned her absence in my life. Maybe it was easier to idolize someone who wasn't there. But I did miss her. I use to talk to her late at night when I was trying to work out some adolescent problem...thinking she would have the answers. 

Jane Theresa Adams
(I LOVE this dress. I even have a pair of shoes just like the ones she's wearing)

Jane was always a mystery.

My mom met my dad when they were just teenagers so she has been a huge help in filling in some of the blanks. 

I may never know Jane's entire story...and that's truly a tragedy. She was given up for adoption and brought into a family who from all appearances loved her. I believe they did. But I also think, from all I've been told, that Jane also had a darkness to her....a pain that was deep. 

After pestering my dad a bit, he finally sent me some photos of Jane last March. I was coming home from a business trip in Chicago and there was a large envelope from my dad and inside were a handful of B&W photos of Jane and my Grandfather Ernie. I cried! It was the first time I'd seen a photo of her. It was such a special moment. 

Jane Adams fixing her veil on her wedding day. Ernie and her mother are standing beside her.
I love the kid in the background...was he part of the wedding or was he a creeper? 

Ernie Beyl and Jane Adams on their wedding day

Amelia Fries Beyl, Jane Adams with son Jeffrey and Joseph Beyl

Jane with her sons Jeff and Michael

This photo is my favorite...after being told I resembled her...I could finally see why. I sit just like this, with my shoulders rolled forward. Our bodies are very similar and I have her hands.

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