Leslie Mackinnon’s grief over relinquishing her sons for adoption inspires her passion to change the process.
"The gray porcelain floor tiles of the upstairs bathroom felt cool against her hot skin. Leslie Carroll Pate had left her job at the family’s appliance business before lunch because she didn’t feel well and was stretched out on the bathroom floor near the tub. As the blares and whistles of the college football game Granny watched downstairs filtered up through the floorboards, she swallowed her own screams. It was Oct. 28, 1967, three days after her 20th birthday.
"Another wave of pain squeezed down her body. She grabbed the side of the tub until the pain passed. For a brief second, she wondered if she were having a miscarriage. If she were, no one would discover the shame she had been hiding for months under loose tent dresses and 50 extra pounds. Only a year after giving up her first-born son in an Alabama maternity home, she was once again giving birth, this time at her family’s home in Florida, unmedicated, untended and unseen.
In the months leading up to this moment, Leslie had been running escape scenarios through her mind.