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Family Life

How it all got started
Corom and I knew it was meant to be when we were arrested together… It was a few days after Christmas and we were driving back to Utah from Sacramento, California. I spent the Christmas holiday at Corom’s parent’s house so I could meet most of his family for the first time (Corom and I are both from California; I am from Ventura County and Corom is from Sacramento. We met in Utah doing the whole college school thing… we were both on the 10 year plan to finish our Bachelor degrees. :)). Anyways, back to the story, at this point of the road trip I was in the driver seat. We were just west of Elko, Nevada driving around 85 mph, the speed limit being 75 mph. There is a 3 to 4 mile stretch through Elko that the speed limit drops to 65 mph. I kept going at the same speed (which was about 85 to 90) through Elko and sure enough there was a highway patroller hiding out (Pig in a Blanket). tumblr_m7dppmGWHS1rqvefao1_500I saw the flashing lights behind and pulled the car over. The officer came to the window, asked for my driver’s license, registration and blah, blah, blah and returned to his car. No big deal, right? About 10 minutes goes by and 2 more patrol cars show up. Corom and I are becoming a little nervous and wondering what was going on. A few minutes later a couple of police officers show up to the window and said, “Jennifer, please step out of the vehicle. You have a warrant out for your arrest for a driving violation.” (I forgot to pay a speeding ticket 5 years prior to this arrest). I got out of the car and one of the officers put handcuffs
handcuffson me and put me in the back of his police car. I was a little freaked out. The officer was nice though, and was reassuring me that my boyfriend would come bail me out and it would be okay. The other officer ran Corom’s license (just a standard procedure) and of course another officer shows up. Corom ended up having a warrant out for his arrest for an unpaid speeding ticket 2 years prior to this night. He was handcuffed and put into a police car next to mine. We were both rolled up and taken in. We had the token mug shot photos, I had to strip down and put on one of their orange jump suits and we had to go in seperate cells. He went into one with the bars prison_cell1and I was put in a cell where I could not see anything (at least I was in there by myself and it was padded). Between the 2 of us, we had enough money to bail Corom out. This money was all in quarters that Corom had won on the way to Sacramento at Boom town in Reno. He gave it to me as a stocking stuffer (I have a weird feddish with loose change). Corom then headed out on foot because our car was impounded (and it was about 3 a.m. by now). He walked around until he found an ATM. (We also called his cousin, Dan, as we were getting arrested and he just so happened to be on his way to Sacramento from Utah.) His cousin found him about 4 a.m. and drove him to get $. Back at the jail, the officers behind the counter told me over and over that they see this all the time. The girlfriend bails the boyfriend out and he never returns. Oh great, I thought. Do I really know Corom? Well, when I finally did get bailed out and I saw that it was Corom, I knew that he was a keeper!!! Amongst all of this chaos the deputies gave me some free time out of my cell and in the process I was able to talk the deputies into letting me keep the beautiful mug shots. So we figured we would make the best out of the situation and the $1,000 loss and use the mug shots for our wedding invitation (which was unknown until 5 days after the fiasco when Corom proposed. He must have thought I was a keeper too!).

My mom’s story of being adopted from Greece… it made me cry, understand and appreciate my mother so much more:

My Life

I better write some of my life story down so my children will have something to read when I am gone to the other side. I haven’t been very diligent in keeping a journal. I have always felt that my life has not been that exciting so it is much easier to not write anything down. But I owe it to my children and they can choose to say whether my life was boring or exciting.

I have been told by my sister Georgia, my brother Michael, and my sister Koula that I was adopted at the age of nine years old. I was also told by mother Fairbanks that I was eleven years old when I was adopted. I guess it doesn’t really matter whether I was nine or eleven. My passport says that I came across the ocean in 1959, which would make me eleven years old.

I was born in 1948, January 25. I was born in a little town called Yaraki (Ge-ra-ki). It is outside of Sparta 20-30 miles. I was born in a house that my father and mother were renting near the Greek Orthodox Church in Yaraki. At 9 mo. old I was Christen in the Greek Orthodox Church by Uncle Stratos. At that time Stratos knew my dad before he got married. He used to come and visit and mom gave him clothes. In 1947-50 during the Civil war he was in the army looking-out for the Garrulous and thats how he knew my family. He remembers Mike, Koula. Mom was kind and gave blankets for the soldiers and Stratos would stay at our house. When I was 9 mo. old Stratos was on leave he saw my mother shopping in Skoura ( 2hrs. from Yaraki) She asked him when we could have the Christening in Skala St. Sofia Church because Guerrillas were in Yaraki (Geraki) and Stratos was afraid. When he did the Christening he came in uniform, the shoes were given to him by my dad and told him to take his gun off cause its sacred ceremony. He put lots of oil and “Blessed me to have lots of Children.” He came to see me when we was released in 1950. I was told by Stratos that, he would come to visit me and bring me chocolates. And told me that my dad was short, hard working, good person. He wouldn’t let anything go by. Stratos would give my dad things to sew. My dad sewed well, he was a great dancer, played the mandeling, and sang beautifully. (Strato married My mothers sister Pota (cousin Marias parents)

We moved to Grandmothers and Grandfathers house when I was three or four years old. I was told we moved in the house in 1952. Father build the outside and started the wall in 1954 and he never finished it. He died before than. Grandmother Angeliki and Grandfather MiKali Giannes lived with my Aunt and Uncle (Aunt Kyria Koula, called Pota, and Uncle Parayioti). They had three children Angeliki, lives now in Australia, Kateriana, in Sparta, and Yeorgia(Georgia) lives in Yaraki. Now the house was split in half. So one side my family lived on and on the other side my uncles family. It was a room built on top of another room (it looked like a block on top of another block). My uncle got the better half of the house I was told.

Grandmother and Grandfather Giannes had five sons and three daughters. George, John (my father), Petros, Thanasi, Panayoti, Panayota (Pota), Maryori, and Ellini. I was told that Grandfather died in 1952. My father was 39 years old when he married mother. She was 25 or 26 years old.

I need to tell you first little bit about my father. Everyone liked him. He was honest, loyal and very hard worker.

He and mother worked in the fields and worked long hours. It was hard times for my family. Lots of poverty. Both mother and father had to go into other fields to work to supplement the income.

My father and his brothers had a farm up in the mountains (KAKAVOURI,and it took a while to get there. Each brother was incharge of a day to go up and take care of the farm. My father had a vineyard and sheep. I can remember having to take care of the farm and watch the sheep. I used to be very afraid going to the farm. You would have to pass other peoples lands and they would have sheep dogs and I was so scarred of them. I would tip-toe through their property and feel very scarred as I did it. I was incharge of the animals, dog, donkey and a goat around the house. I was told that I was very obedient, and very compassionate, and very close to my father, I was told by Aunt Pota, that when my father was building the outside steps, he gave me little stones and I would be right by his side trying to help him build the steps, and he would say to me “Bless you my child, Bless you.”

I can remember making bread, in the outside oven. You would have to make a fire inside and wait until the wood turns into coals before cooking it. I remember Doing the wash, by hand and hanging them up to dry. And I can remember working in the farm and when it was time to harvest the wheat, grapes ect. I would help. I was the errant child and I was told that I was an obedient messenger. I always wanted to please my parents. I helped mother with cooking and cleaning at a very young age.

I don’t remember my best friends name but my cousin who lived across the street from our house came over to see me (April 4,1990) while Brent and I went to visit my hometime and family. I wished that I could have understood the language cause everyone had so much to say to me. In fact they were little disappointed in me not remembering the language. Anyway, I was told that my best friend was Eleni, We would play with our rag dolls and little stones. We would make little houses of the little stones. I was very good child and my Fathers Favorite. Another Aunt and her husband came and they told me they remember the day I was born. January 20, because that was the day they exchanged their vowels. Thats why they say I was born on the 20th and not on the 25th. So I don’t know. I have always celebrated and my papers say I was born on the 25th.

School was very stricted. I can remember one day I didn’t do my homework and I had to stand in front of the class and get my hands whipped. The teacher was very mean. During recess I can remember watching the gypsies who were outside of the school grounds over the fence camping in their tents (that was educational for us elementary children).

It was a lengthy walk to school everyday one or two miles. Sometimes we didn’t have the warm clothing or shoes to keep us comfortable. Especially after fathers death. Father either was going to work or coming home from work when he fell off his horse. He neglected to go to the doctors and have it checked. He had many dizzy spells, head-aches,and throwing up. Finally he was taken to Athens clinic called OMONOIA. He then was taken to the General Hospital, LAKEO. He was operated got better came home. I was told he was going up a hill when he collapsed and Koula shouting “Father, Father, Father Collapsed. My mother was pregnant with Ephthemia( Aunt Julie) her last baby. Mom picked Dad up and put him on the bed. The doctor came and took care of his needs and Dad lived. But his head-aches kept coming and getting worse. Five, six month went by and got so bad that he was taken back to Athens to the hospital. Us children were left alone to watch each other. One of my Aunts came to watch us. I was told that fathers 3rd vertebrate, a growth appeared. He was operated on it and it was successful but the growth appeared again. It collected poss and the blood circulation stopped. He should have been operated years earlier and maybe his life would have been saved. He had no indication of any heart problems, but head-aches and dizziness came and thats when he was sent to Athens. It was in the Hospital that father died. They couldn’t help him. His body was sent home.

Now according to Uncle Stratos (My Godfather) he said that there was Many argument because of the land. Panayota, hit my father on the head (my parents had 4 children at the time) with a frying pan. My mom sent message to Stratos to come quickly. He arrived at dusk. Father was bandaged up on the bottom floor. Stratos screamed and Grandma went to worn Panayota to hide. Panayota left. The doctor came from Gramousa miles away from Yaraki. My dad stayed in bed couple of days. Uncle Stratos believes thats when the dizzy spells started and he fell off a mule not a horse. And in 1952 there was a huge argument again between my dad and my next door Uncle. They didn’t speak for two years. As he remembers they weren’t speaking in 1956. My father used to get inductions because of the pain. Doctor wrote to Stratos for help (at that time Stratos was living in Australia), but didn’t have money. But he gathered some money and had the series of injections started. Uncle Stratos wrote back to the Doctor and asked what else he could do. The Doctor wrote back and said he would die in two weeks (Died of a Tumor)

I do remember been in the up-stairs room with the family around fathers body and everyone crying including myself. He was buried in the towns cemetery.

I used to be very afraid of cemeteries also. We had to pass the cemetery to go to the vineyard to work. And again I would tip-toe pass the scimitar. I was afraid that ghosts would come and get me. It took me years to not be afraid, in fact, I remember when I was attending Snow College one evening on Halloween some of my friends wanted to go to the cemetery there and I still had that fear. I am o.k with it now, but I don’t think I would ever go at night by myself or maybe another person. There would have to be a bunch of people before I would do that.

When I was in Greece in 1990 and went through the house which I lived. I remembered the steps that my dad built and the upstairs where we slept in. It was the same. The bed that my parents slept in is still there. A chest down stairs is moms and in the upstairs closet their are more chests of mothers. Down stairs by the oven(outside) across still stands the storage room where olives were kept in their barrels. The garden was gone and instead of the garden my aunt and uncle have their animals.

In the side of my Aunts house, upstairs she had a picture hanging on the wall of my Great-Grandfather, my Great Grandmother, Grandfather and grandmother. And another picture in the room was of my father and his family( father, mother and brothers).

The village its self is pretty much the same doesn’t have to many new buildings. the original still stand in most places. we passed the church I was baptized in and attended services in. We walked down to the square where many of the dances and activities were held. That still goes on today.

After fathers death mother was left with many hospital bills and funeral expenses and five children to feed. She was working in the fields doing mans work and was only earning 50c a day. The government only gave her $11.00 a month. It didn’t make any difference how many children you had thats what you go. It was very hard on mother. Mother had to pull Michael and Koula out of school so they can go out in the fields and work. Things got worse, couldn’t offered anything. The Church Priest heard that Avard Fairbanks, the American Sculptor was in Sparta and was acquiring orphan girls to be adopted. The Priest encouraged mother to have the youngest children there at the appointed date. Mother said,” No, I can’t give up my children.” The Priest told her if she didn’t we would never have a life, or maybe we would die of mel-nutrition or other conditions. Finally mother agreed to do so. Next things we know Georgias and Euphthemias (Julie) were papers were completed and on the way to the United States.

My Uncle Stratos told me that I said to him “Don’t let them take me away, I’ll take care of your horse.”

He told me my mother was a great housekeeper, good wife, she kept by herself, didn’t gossip, she was a hard worker, she was a thinker, kept everything in, and did everything for her children and husband. She sewed well, did beautiful quilts and rag-rugs, weaved, and spinned and I think she would Nit.

Mother regretted putting us for adoption and was very hard on herself and would say “Which Mother Would Give Her Children?” She never was happy after that and never lived it down by the towns people and her family. The Village Gossip went like this, “Her children were sold, She Sold Her Daughters”” How could she give up her daughters, what kind of women is she?”

Mother did everything she could to keep all her children. No one in the family, uncles, aunts, cousin, NO ONE could afford to keep us or help Mother with expenses. Mother had no other choice but to let the three younger daughter to be adopted. Uncle Pedros was the one who organized all our adoption papers. He worked very hard to help mother with the legal papers, and was a great support to her at that time.

Family turned against her and all the village people. She had no one really to talk to and load her problems on to. She was a strong and courageous women and worked hard for her children.

Georgia was adopted by the Fairbanks and Julie by Maude Fairbanks best friend. I came much later, Nine months later. I was told that Mother Fairbanks wrote again to my mother and asked if I could be adopted. Georgia is lonely and they would love to have me come.

I can remember saying ” OH-HEE meaning NO” “Don’t sent me away, I’ll be good” Papers started and then I was sent to Athens where I stayed with the Papothoupoulas family. They just moved to Athens themselves so circumstances weren’t the best. But I tried to please them. I remember saying good-bye to my Mother. I held on to her skirt and I was screaming “Please don’t leave me.” OH-HEE OH-HEE..And I cried and cried. From then on I don’t remember much more. My papers were processed and I was put on the plane by myself with only a little stuffed- monkey around my arms. I held that monkey so hard. I landed in New York where I stayed with Annett Faux( daughter of the Bishop of my adopted parents). I stayed in her apartment. She took me out to dinner, offered me all kinds of foods that she had in her refrigerator and didn’t want to eat anything. Her roommate took me to the airport the next day and saw that I was on the flight to Salt Lake City where Georgia and my adopted Parents were going to meet me.

I cried when I saw Georgia. I was so happy to see her. I started talking to her in Greek and she didn’t want anything to do with the language or she forgot most of it. I really don’t know. It was very frustrating for me. I had many blue days ahead. Strange land, strange language and strange suroundings. It took many many years to get used to been gone, and I guess I don’t know if one can really forget or get used to been gone away from their blood family.

I wasn’t very good in school. I struggle alot. I had to work for my grades. In the other hand..Georgia learned fast and was a good student. I felt stupid many of times, and very frustrated with the language. Some words are double meaning and that still is hard for me.

I was adopted in a family of eight sons. Most of them were married and out of the house. Grant was the only one home for just a while. He was a return Missionary, but it wasn’t too long that he was gone and married. I didn’t really get close to any of them. I did babysit for Justin, David, and Grants family.

My teen years were frustrating. I did have nice friends and I guess I was well liked–but I always felt that no one really liked me. I had a terrible self-esteem. I know mother and I had hard times too. She was very strict and she was always right. I can remember wanting to take Drivers Ed at school and she wouldn’t let me. But I paved the way so Georgia could take it and she did. I sometimes felt Mother, not unpurpose, showed more favore toward Georgia..Maybe because she had a much easier time at school. And she picked up things so much faster than I. If it wasn’t for Father Fairbanks, I don’t know if I would have made it through the rough times. Father would come into my room and talk to me and listen. Although Father always supported mother in her disciplining. Mother had a hard time relating to me and I to her. She was a wonderful lady and she did a lot for us and I will always be grateful to her and Father, but she had a very strong personality and she always was right. I did pave the way for Georgia though. Even some of the family member have said that when we have gotten together.

I didn’t learn to drive until I was married. Brent would take me out and practice with me. The day I was driving down to get my license I turn to close to the stop sign poll and hit it.

I still went ahead—Yes, I was nervous, but I had to take that

test and I did ok…I past and I made it through.

In High School I was in the orchestra. Played the viola, I participated in couple of clubs but nothing too great. I had the fear of failing so I didn’t try out for more things. Fear is a horrible upstical. I have tried to teach my children to try and not to worry when they don’t make something. And to do their best. I can’t say enough about my children.. They have succeeded in so many things that I didn’t have the courage to do and nevercould do because of my fears…but they went ahead and did it. I have been proud of each one of them. They are all leaders and they are very humble about their accomplishment, which I love. I want them to always do their best and aim to achieve whatever they want to pursue…not to be afraid of failing, for when you fall, you succeed, if only, you have done your best. It took me years to learn this lesson and I am still learning.

I graduated from High School in 1968. I received a scholarship to Snow College in Ephraim, Utah. I went with hesitation, but there I learned about myself. I had 9 roommates. I found many neat friends and many wonderful experiences. I still found school hard. I would watch my roommates play and play, and I would be up at 3:00am down in the dorms basement studying for my classes. I would turn down some dates so I could study. Still not A ‘s . It was so frustrating to me…but I kept trying and kept working. I was the badger for the school, I belonged to the Alpha Beta Gamma sorority for girls. I took institute which I loved. Brother Modson was one of my favorite teachers and brother Hatch. There I dated Glen Larson, The student Body President, the most preferred Man, Most Valuable Player in football, Most Outstanding Student ect…” He was big stuff.” I dated him until he left for his mission to Finland. Then Craig came into the picture and your dad, Brent. I dated Craig Nelson for just a while and he left for his mission. Brent was a return missionary and he was persistent in what he wanted. We dated for two years before I could say yes to him in marriage. After Snow College, I got another small scholarship to Weber College. Brent enrolled at BYU at that time. On the week-ends he would drive up to Ogden Utah to Weber College to see me. After one semester. I got engaged to Brent, moved into Orem area and started working as a secretary/bookkeeper at Allens Super Market. I found a place renting a room from the Delynn and Elaine Herchis family, they were awesome family, they had 4 small children at that time. It was few blocks away from my work. We found an basement apartment. We waited until it was ready and we were ready, after our Marriage On July 9, 1971. I continued to work and went to the Trade- Tech in Orem. Brent was going to BYU and working part-time. I just went one semester at the Tech and worked full time at the Super Market. We had fun together but we seem to always struggle. We still struggle.. We had Mike July 2, 1972. My last day of work was suppose to be on July 1, which was on a Saturday, but my boss asked me if I could come in On Monday and work one more week. I agreed that I’d do that but Michael decided on Saturday night when Brent and I were at the movies that it was time for him to come to earth. So I came home from the movies feeling pretty bad. My mother called and after I finished talking to her I took her suggestion and went to the Provo Hospital to be checked. Yes, I was in labor. Mike came at 9:30am. Hard labor but we made it through and of course Brent had a very comfortable reclining chair where he could sleep while I was in labor. I stayed at the Hospital for three days and than home to start my journey as a Mother. And what a journey… I had no clue what I had to do with this” bundle of joy”..

Michael was always Mammas boy, I couldn’t even leave the room without him crying. Grandpa and Grandma Hansen loved to play pinochle (a card game) and we would go at least once a week while we were living in Orem, to play a game with them, but Mike wanted all the attention and Grandma would get real mad with him. She would tell him to be quite all the time. Like Mike would listen to her.

We moved to California when Mike was 5 mo. old. Brent got a job passed Westlake, California. He commuted to work every day for two-three years from Ventura. When we moved down to California, we didn’t have much money to get into our own place so Uncle Mark and Aunt Karen let us move in with them for a month.

It was difficult for all of us. Mike would cry alot at nights and Karen would get frustrated and so would we.

We slept on a single bed for that Month. It was hard all around for everyone–but that too passed. We found an apartment

in Ventura off Seaword Parkhurst apt. lived their for a year-half or so. Benjamin was born there. He was born in the Ventura Hospital. His birth was very interesting one. Dr Richard Ashby was his Doctor, Mormon Dr. His office was across the street from the Hospital. He came to check me and said I had a while to go yet. He broke my water and he went off to his office to take care of his patience. Ben decited enough of this…He started to come when the nurse came in to check me, It was pretty funny actually, the nurse kept calling out I see the head, don’t push, don’t push, and then she’d yell out at the front desk call Dr. Ashby now! Well by the time Dr. Ashby got to the delivery room, Ben wasn’t going to wait any longer and neither was I. Dr. Ashby didn’t even have time to wash up, he rolled his sleeves up and stretched his hands out and caught Ben as he came out. He sure was cute! And what a relief for me to finally have him out.

Uncle Michael’s Story

My uncles side to my mom’s adoption:


Our mother’s life began with promise and hope. Her father was a successful business man and was great provider. She was the eldest child and a big sister to Betty who she adored. Very soon there would be a new addition to the family. Unfortunately her mother died shortly after giving birth to her brother Theodore.

As the depression had started in Greece, with it came fear, uncertainty, poverty and famine. The years that followed were very difficult for all Greeks. Her father lost all his money like many others at the time. He was suddenly a widow, with three hungry children. Without any food to feed his newborn son he asked a lady in the village to breastfeed Theodore to save him. The lady had just lost her baby but had a plentiful supply of milk. Theodore survived but life was difficult for her father and within a short period of time her father remarried.

In 1943, our Mother got married when she was 17 years old. Married life was extremely difficult at first as she was forced to move in with her in-laws and the entire family. Despite, their various financial challenges, they moved out and rented a small house nearby. They were a very loving couple during this time and Mum was very happy. At the age of 18, my sister Koula was born. During the war, our family had very little. Moreover, the Germans had invaded with such authority and strength, that they left the people of our village with almost nothing. The family home was very small. It contained one bedroom and we never had heating or hot water. Soon after I was born (1946), my mothers life began to spiral out of control. Her father and her brother (19) were both assassinated during the Greek civil war. This had a profound affect on our mother. She used all her energy raising her family. She loved cooking and enjoyed gardening. she took a lot of pride in her home and her family. This kept her busy and her mind off all the pain and loss she had experienced in her life.

Soon our family continued to get bigger. Maria, Georgia and Julie were born within a couple of years of each other. Unfortunately before Julie was born, dad had a stroke so life changed again. Dads condition was serious and treatment was only available in Athens. Uncle Petro took our father to the hospital after his initial stroke while our mum stayed home with the children. Mum found this extremely difficult as she had four young children, was pregnant with Julie, and was alone with no financial support. She struggled but kept strong for us. She always believed he would be ok.

Six weeks after Julie was born, our father passed away. I was eleven years old at the time and could not comprehend how our life was about to change. To Mum, life was unbearable. She was simply unable to raise five children on her own. Physically, and financially, it was impossible. At one point at this time, mum was so depressed that she had suicidal thoughts. Contemplating her death, she went to the nearest cliff and considered taking her own life by jumping off. For a very long time, her depression and anxiety overwhelmed her and she spent hours of the day crying. Koula and I were forced to stop school and work in order to help the family financially. Unlike, many other families, we had no other properties, no assets and nothing which enabled us to produce our own crops in order to survive. Working on the fields for other families, Koula and I were able only to make a small portion of money to allow us to survive. Out of all our extended family, Uncle George was the only person who helped the family the most. He had no children, and for this reason, offered to adopt me. Mum would not allow it under any circumstances.

Apart from her children, her faith in God was the only way she managed to keep living day by day. As she was struggling greatly, the village priest spoke to Mum regularly and always comforted her when she struggled. One day, he discussed the subject of adoption with her. Initially, Mum refused and could not even imagine giving her children away. However, as times got more and more tougher financially, the priest continued to remind her that times would only continue to become more difficult. To make matters worse we experienced many health problems, often getting sick, due to lack of medical care and money. At one point Georgia got so sick she almost died. Eventually, the priest managed to convince mum to give up some of her children. At first, the adoption agency, asked to take Koula and Michael. Upon learning of this, Koula ran away from home. Mum did not want to give me up either as I was the only male in the family and my financial contribution was vital to our family’s survival. It then left my mother in the very difficult situation of having to give up the three youngest children of the family. This was a very hard decision to make however, there was no other option and she did this because she wanted my sisters to have a better life, with greater opportunities. In a period of ten years, Mum lost her brother, her father, her husband, and her three daughters. She was a broken woman with broken dreams. The families that took our sisters promised to keep us updated with their lives. They honoured this promise by sending letters and photos regularly.

After her three children were adopted to American families, life continued to be difficult for both Mum and us. Financially, we continued to struggle. We missed our sisters and a day didn’t go by without thinking of them. All around us, the village was changing too. Many locals were leaving and migrating overseas in the hope of better life. Our uncle Strato and Auntie Betty, had already migrated to Australia. In 1963, they sponsored Koula and she came to Australia by ship. Shortly after, Koula started working in a factory and managed to save some money. She then sponsored Mum and I and we arrived in Australia, Melbourne in 1965. I too began working in a factory but shortly after decided to open my own business, a fish and chips shop. In 1972, I married Voula and a year later we had our first child John ( named after Dad ) and in 1976 we had George (named after our uncle to helped our family after dad died). By this stage I sold the first business and moved to Parkdale and opened up a fish and chips store opposite the beach. While this was great for the family financially it was incredibly difficult being away from family. In 1980 we sold the business and moved to Brunswick to be closer to Voula’s family and many of my cousins. We focused on building a new home and then got new jobs. Voula got a job at a local factory and I worked in pub as a cook. A few years later I started working at the Royal Women’s hospital in Carlton as a chef and later transferred to the Royal Children’s Hospital. In 1987, Voula and I had our third child. We decided to name him Theodore after mums brother.

Throughout the years, after the adoption, Mum always talked about the girls. She proudly showed people photos of her daughters and their achievements. Her dreams of reuniting with her daughters were realised when in 1974, she travelled to America to see her girls. This trip to America changed her forever.


  1. I’ve been telling my husband about your blog for weeks. Last night I showed him this page and we were laughing so hard. We love your wedding invitation! He of course followed you right away 🙂

    • Thank you… I don’t know if this would be allowed or not but I thought about sending him on a Scavengar Hunt (for our 15th anniversary since I thought of this right after our 10 year or maybe I can do it sooner…) and having the hunt end in Elko, Nevada at the jail with something in the cell he was locked up in and something in the cell I was locked up in… Just something I have been thinking of… 🙂

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