Katie Morien of Lakeside, CA

My mother, Patricia Ann, was born in Merrill, Wisconsin on January 5, 1945 (for which I chose #3331, "Birthstone, January") to Arthura and Emil Krembs.  The fourth of five children, she grew up on the picturesque Lake Pesobic in a home that had once been the family's vacation cabin.  She may have spent her entire childhood in Merrill, if not for the sudden death of her father in 1951.  Faced with supporting five children on her own, her Mother moved the family to Albuquerque (for which I chose #1585, "Bird, Road Runner", which is New Mexico's state bird) while she received a degree from the University of New Mexico so she could pursue a career in teaching.

The family returned to Merrill, where my mother decided to pursue her own career in nursing.  She attended St. Mary's College in Milwaukee, and became a Registered Nurse in 1966 (for which I chose #0543, "Registered Nurse").  She went on to attend Marquette University in Milwaukee the following year, where she also met my father, Jack.  She graduated with her BS in Nursing from Marquette in 1968 (for which I chose #0178, "Graduation"), and married my father that same year (for which I chose #0293, "Rings").

My father joined the Navy, and my parents moved to Rhode Island, Georgia and Virginia before settling in San Diego, California in 1971 (for which I chose #6195, "San Diego, California").  She left her nursing career, and my parents adopted three children; (for which I chose #0548, "Baby Shoes") myself in 1974, followed by my brother Christopher in 1977, and my youngest brother Anthony in 1989.

Fueled by their love of children, and to show their support of the adoption process, my parents began providing foster care for a Catholic adoption agency in 1984.  For the next six years, my parents cared for forty-four newborn infants while the children awaited permanent placement with adoptive families.  Although misunderstood by some, adoption to my Mother was easily summarized by the plaque in her living room which read:  "Not flesh of my flesh, nor bone of my bone, you grew not under my heart, but in it." (for which I chose #6049, "Heart").

My father retired in 2004, and after thirty-three years in San Diego, they decided to return to Wisconsin (for which I chose #3541, "Bird, Cardinal", which is Wisconsin's state bird, and a favorite of my Mother's), where the majority of her family still resides.  As always, she remains a "Super Mom" to me, and now a "Super Grandma" to my three-year-old son Murphy, (for which I chose #3346, "Grandma").

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