From the moment I could understand words, maybe even before, she told me the story of my becoming. She told me that on a Thursday, several years into the journey of trying to start a family, she got a call. “You can pick up your baby girl on Tuesday,” she was told. On Friday her doctor told her she was expecting a baby. On Saturday my father returned from out of town business. She told him he was going to be a father. Twice. She told me he sat down in disbelief. She told me they’d dreamed for so long of having a family. That suddenly they might actually become a family of four. Or a childless couple. She told me they held their breath and prayed like hell. She told me all about that Tuesday. That the nuns placed four week old me in her arms and told my parents they had named me Mary Ellen. That I had round cheeks and soft curls of hair. That she and my father had no idea what to do with a baby. They’d had no time to prepare. That they stopped at the grocery store on the way home for provisions and that she waited in the car with me while my father went inside, hopelessly confused until a neighbor spotted him and helped him gather what he needed. That when they arrived home she called her mother, with whom her relationship was strained, to share the news, and her mother who had not been speaking to her declared, “Your father and I will be right over.” She told me my grandmother marched into the house, took me from her arms and told my mother she wasn’t holding me properly. She told me that from that day on, her mother was again speaking to her. She told me what she knew of my biological parents, which wasn’t much. She told me that she and my father chose Lisa for my first name and Siobhan to honor my Irish Catholic heritage. She told me I could ask questions though she might not have answers. She told me, over and over, how much she loved me from the moment she saw me. She tells me that still.