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An Unnatural Choice by Mary Hodder Ross "Adoption is two sides of a single coin. One side is the gift. The other is sacrifice."  -- from An Unnatural Choice by Mary Hodder Ross
What we believe we are meant to be is not always what we become. Some lives turn course on a dime  into a defining story that begins with a single, heartrending decision. For Mary Hodder Ross that turn was an unplanned pregnancy at the age of 21. 
Born and raised in a small town in Newfoundland, Ross was "child number five" of six. She would be the first in her family to go to university. 
It was in her final semester before graduating as an English honours student from Memorial University that Ross learned she was pregnant. She crossed the stage at convocation without the sense of elation and possibility of those around her, but silently grateful for the gown that hid her growing secret.

For the first 22 weeks of her pregnancy, Ross "...led a double-life, that of a scholar and that of …

"The Game of Life" by Rosalys Buckles Thorndike Wilson

“The game of life has been enjoyable and rewarding, and I have competed to the best of my ability.”—from The Game of Life by Rosalys Buckles Thorndyke Wilson
A long life, as Rosalys “Rosie” Buckles Thorndike Wilson looks back upon it, is like a basketball game. It’s played in four quarters (a sport she learned growing up in rural Indiana, where all you needed was a was a hoop on a wall and a ball that had some bounce) with a little time-out in between.

Rosie’s first quarter started out on a small, 20-acre farm near Etna, Indiana. Baths were taken once-a-week in a galvanized tub in front of the kitchen wood stove. There were the requisite chores including chasing down dinner (which, on a fried chicken night, involved catching and decapitating a hen before dipping it quickly in boiling water and then plucking off all its feathers). There was a pony named “Beauty”; “Fluffy” the long-haired cat; “Spot” the rat terrier; “Fuzzy” the baby raccoon and “Duke” a horse retired by the U.S. Caval…