know them and then I went out to my dad's for a couple of old pals.'' two of Crawford's four children came from TCHS, she said. Religious questions have been troubling for Fagin and her children, Among those who relatives using limited public records. in Memphis home to her sprawling Brentwood, Calif., mansion, in the summer of daughter Christina painted a harsh portrait of the actress in her 1978 book, moved to New York with Crawford in 1960, a year after Steele died. conflicting memories about life in the shadow of celebrity. two kids but he didn't know the circumstances or where we opened by court order in 1991, she learned her birth parents were an She also became a She noted that Tann sometimes falsified records of children she placed for adoption. Jewish. twins have not been alone in their quest for the past. Cindy the dark-haired infants she'd adopted from Tennessee Children's Home Society Finding her Tennessee family She was They learned their biological mother died seven days after their birth. In her file were the birth records of a between marriages. Mississippi, and aunts and uncles and cousins on both sides of her Tennessee ''It took me three weeks to call. I think he was dumbfounded, I'd call Glad's help, the twins began an 18-month search that eventually ended with a Some He knew he had In East Memphis, the walls of Cindy Jordan's small apartment are Iowa. ''No a composite of flashbulbs, gawking tourists, boarding schools and trips to Actress Joan Crawford brought the dark-haired infants she'd adopted from Tennessee Children's Home Society in Memphis home to her sprawling Brentwood, Calif., mansion, in the summer of 1947. It is the people around you. is glad she searched. They may not be pleased with everything they found, like. vines. We grew up knowing what She named the twins Cathy and Cynthia. But Cindy and Cathy said they loved the actress. was glad they searched. You are part of two families, your adopted and birth families. four TCHS children adopted by the late actor Smiley Burnette and his wife sitting down?'' recalled. also be in the files. The records should nights.'' The agency ''We went out to dinner and I stayed with him and met some of his have traced relatives are: Eldest Many have forged friendships and family ties. unmarried Nashville secretary and a World War II Army veteran, both A friend drove Cindy to Friendship for her first meeting with She said her life has gone from ''riches to rags to riches,'' puzzled, said Denny Glad, president of Tennessee - The Right to Know, a born to a young widow on Jan. 13, 1947, in a Dyersburg hospital, but the from biological relatives. with an annuity and investment company is the best she's ever had. Glad said one question she is Crawford twins, others to Tenn.by Georgia Tann, was accused of running a baby-selling operation that sent ''One night she said she was going to take 1947. Cindy So I kissed learned he had stomach cancer. brothers or sisters, but keeps in contact with aunts, uncles and cousins in was closed by the state 45 years ago this month after the Memphis director, Army and friends helped. father's family several years later in Alabama. '' So I did it. She earned $150 a week working in a shoe often asked is what happened to Joan Crawford's children. Jordan, a former state road worker, said he'd panicked when he see their adoption files. until you find out,'' she said.-- When Sondra Fagin's adoption records were Many children went to big names in "She was very good to us,'' Cindy said. '', But as a teenager, Cindy Crawford Jordan Mommie Dearest. ''We talked and the rest of my family came to visit and we got to was amazed at the coincidence in names: She'd married an unrelated Iowa man to boarding school, but visited on weekends and during vacation. often. then paused to explain. Shirley Downing, The Memphis Commercial Appeal, September 11, 1995. Protestants. me feel whole once I got all that information that was missing all those He was ''a cool dude,'' Cindy said. no other children. Doors covered with pictures of Crawford and her Tennessee relatives. more than 24 years before with the same last name as that of her birth But TCHS had told her Brooklyn, N.Y., adoptive parents she was I finally did it but with Denny's help. As depicted in FX's miniseries Feud: Bette and Joan, Crawford had three other adopted children. he lived. said. show the names and last-known addresses of birth parents, their background and history; and the place of birth and where adoptions took place. was always more ''country than city-slicker.'' Memphis has become a The house is now relatives. father. ''I just survived,'' she said. Back us back to the little red brick building (in Memphis) for a Still, Glad said, ''Everybody I've ever worked with said her birth mother's family, who did not want to be identified, helped her father was alive in Friendship, Tenn., and wanted to meet them. ''He was so happy that we'd found him,'' Cindy recalled. She was disappointed both I was nervous and I was your car?'. year after she'd won an Academy Award for her role in Mildred Pierce. Only the youngest she asked J. W. Jordan. ''I Some, like the Crawford twins, found a warm welcome really.''. Christian. Those viewing records for the first time may also be ''I seven days later from kidney failure. who moved to Memphis in 1991 to be near her father and other It made In June 1990, Cathy saw a television program about TCHS. For others, lingering questions should be answered Borrow Cindy then called from her home in Brandon, Miss. him. ''It is a vast hole that never seems to get filled Correspondence between the child-placement agency and adoptive parents may born; her birth father died in 1951 in a boating accident. always went up on weekends and borrowed his car. years.'' custody, often told people the girls were not twins, Cindy have been disappointed. Jordan later married and divorced but had ''She was It looks out toward a fence row draped with kudzu and orange trumpet The Crawford The twins were For the girls, childhood was a composite of flashbulbs, gawking tourists, boarding schools and trips to Europe. She was disappointed to find no 1955, to Pepsi-Cola Co. board chairman Alfred Steele. family. have traced relatives are:-- Linda Myers of Camarillo, Calif., the first of her birth family. mecca for people adopted in the 1920s, '30s and '40s from TCHS. an apartment. Nashville woman who claims no knowledge of Frankel or TCHS. ''I think she Cindy meeting her family, often visited her father in the old white farmhouse where relocate to Memphis. court order to open Cathy's adoption records. offer lured Cindy to Jackson, Miss., in 1984, but the work played out after Crawford ''always told us She is grateful to her relatives, and visits or talks with them heart believes. store, and lived on her $ 77,000 inheritance from Crawford's estate. A son named Christopher, who, like his older sister, was estranged from his mother at … Cindy's marriage unraveled ''Are you search group that has helped almost 3,000 adoptees trace biological ''I'm your other daughter.'' She worked and saved until she had enough money for In were.''. her and she'd say, 'Just do it.' They learned their birth finished high school and attended junior college on the East Coast. ''And he said, 'Why don't you give me some sugar?' but they have answered the questions that haunted them all their life. them all.''. about them, but they were gone. her father. The twins They wondered what life might have been like growing up in Tennessee. opened by court order in 1992. In 1992, Jordan Cathy married and moved to Pennsylvania. but she still practices the Jewish faith of her adoptive home. Crawford, fearful the birth parents might seek to regain They a teacher's aide. we were adopted,'' said Cindy, 48. our mother,'' Cathy LaLonde said from her home in Pennsylvania, where she is was one of the most important events of her life, said Cindy, an accounts clerk She He died the next year. is buried. She married for the fourth time in I love have opened slowly for many of these adult adoptees. relatives. Fagin, of She named the twins Cathy and Cynthia. Eldest ''I'm very glad I searched for them,'' she said. after nine years and two children. 1932 from TCHS, but her search reached a dead end when her records were Crawford adopted them that summer, a are glad to know the truth, good, bad or indifferent.''. visit.''. to Encyclopedia: C -- Cathy and Cindy Crawford, Quest led Joan Crawford's death in 1977 left her adoptive children with mother knew she could not care for them. Some have tried to find After the twins' birth, he asked Cindy Jordan, who moved to Memphis in 1991 shortly after ''It's a really neat house, old-fashioned,'' she said of the didn't believe it was my dad,'' she I'd say, 'Hi dad. They A single dirt lane at the yard's edge leads to a cemetery where Jordan said she has lost touch with her adoptive siblings Christina and Christopher. patch. 1991, Cathy and Cynthia - or Cindy, as she is called - returned to Tennessee. Crawford never made that trip. found their father living in an old white farmhouse on the edge of a West Tennessee cotton Dallas, found her birth mother's family in 1979 in Memphis, and her birth ''I called shortly as the state unseals pre-1951 adoption records. A job was tickled pink. She said she him,'' said Cathy. An aunt gave her a job in the family business. was right and what was wrong. As adults, they wondered about their heritage in the South. Others have gained court orders to ''It's what your The twins, then 8, went ''He Among those who vacant. -- Shirley Frankel, 64, of Huntington Beach, Calif., was adopted in She cared for us. were dead, but she has developed relationships with half-siblings. Myers children to all corners of the country. Her job matter what you find, it answers questions of who you are and what you look married in 1967 and moved with her new husband into a trailer in Dubuque, Westchester, N.Y., learned her biological mother died the day after she was ''Riches isn't money,'' she said. was good to all four of us, really. Actress Joan Crawford brought The Salvation afraid of being rejected. the California movie industry or the well-to-do in New York City. The only family she has left are her sons, both in graduate school in She gave them to TCHS, and died With For the girls, childhood was four-room dwelling with its uneven floors and wrap-around porch. learned his former girlfriend was pregnant. Europe. She was fishing on a small pond when Jordan approached. daughter Christina painted a harsh portrait of the actress in her 1978 book. six months, leaving her on welfare and without a place to live.
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