MURFREESBORO, TN (KTVI) - Marnita McGill feels like her life has been split in two, Marnita before 1992 and the Marnita after. It was that year 23 years ago when she found out she was stolen at birth and that someone forged an adoption document.
Marnita laughed when she said, 'I still don`t know all of the truth. I don`t know what happened. What I learned was in the courts.'
It was in a 1992 civil lawsuit about an inheritance. Marnita said, 'The one thing that was most shocking to me is my Aunt had a letter that said that Lorice, my birth mom, gave me away. (Lorice) was totally blind so she couldn`t sign and the courts deemed it inadmissible, because they, in other words they said it was a forgery.'
The court record contains a 'stipulation of uncontested facts,' including this line, 'Marnita was born to Lorice Jackson who never gave her up for adoption.'
After that whirlwind 1992 court case, Marnita had to get out of St. Louis. She moved down to Murfreesboro, Tennessee to clear her head and start over. She never knew anyone with a similar story and after two decades, she assumed she`d never meet anyone. Then last month, the stories poured out after 76-year-old Zella Jackson Price reunited with her daughter Melanie Dianne Gilmore. Just like their story, Marnita`s birth mom went home from Homer G. Phillips Hospital, believing her newborn died.
Marnita shook her head saying, 'All these stories. It`s amazing.'
No one else appears to have the court evidence of a conspiracy like Marnita. James Jones is searching for that documentation as he looks for his birth mom. He said, 'So many doors closed, trying to find answers. I was told lies throughout my whole life.'
Everyone but his beloved uncle, William Moore, who used to live across the street from his old house on Caroline. Moore said, 'I remember my sister coming in with a baby on a pillow. She passed right by me.' Moore said Jones was about two and a half months old. It was 1966. Years later, Jones said his mom banished him from his uncle`s house. Moore didn`t know that at the time, but today he says it could`ve been because his sister talked about a secret.
Moore said, 'She said it was a secret she was going to keep and she was going to carry it to the grave. What that secret was? I don`t know.'
I shared the story with Marnita, who shook her head when she said, 'I`ve heard that so many times, that the secret is going to be taken to the grave. I didn`t know what the secret was until that time when it all started coming out (in court).'
She still doesn`t know everything, like who was involved at Homer G. Phillips Hospital? Who stole Marnita and gave her to a new Mom. Marnita smiled, 'It`s a secret that, she took it to her grave!'
Marnita also mentioned Jones` story about how he suddenly appeared. She said it sounds hauntingly similar to a story she heard from her uncle. She said, 'My mom was at his house and he said when he came home, she had had a baby and it was me and he tried to figure out, how did she have a baby when he left this morning? She wasn`t pregnant, but that`s the secret that they kept.'
Yet Marnita finds the good in what she`s discovered, sister`s in St. Louis. It`s like they`ve been together forever. Though her childhood memories are now twisted by the truth, Marnita says those memories continue to bring her warm feelings. She explained, 'That bond with my father and my mom is just unbreakable. I was loved. I was cared for. I don`t think anybody else could`ve treated me any better than they did and they treated me as their own. So I have to respect that.'