Mary Anna King is a woman born into poverty in Camden, N.J. to parents who were “great at making babies, but not so great at holding on to them,” as she writes in her upcoming book Bastards, to be released on June 22 (currently available for pre-sale on Amazon). As such, her mother and father gave birth to an astounding seven children, most of whom were adopted out to families as soon as they were born. The seven children lived with five different families in total, but most never met until they were adults.
Mary lived with their birth parents, along with her older brother and younger sister only briefly until she was sent to live with her maternal grandparents in Oklahoma City. Over the past 15 years, the “Bananas Siblings,” as they call themselves, due to the incredible nature of their story, have struggled to reconnect with one another, despite being displaced all throughout the county.
So, while the Bananas Siblings have all reunited individually, all seven have never all been in the same place at the same time. They’re hoping to rectify this, however, in Los Angeles for the launch of King’s memoir with a GoFundMe campaign to help offset costs of air travel and lodging. Jacob, the eldest and only male sibling, writes on the campaign page:
I can say that I’m from New Jersey, born and mostly raised, but also a suburban nomad. I never set family roots growing up because we were always moving every two years or so. I actually felt bad for kids who stayed in place, because they didn’t get to have the grandiose adventures I did every couple of years.
I grew up with Mary for the first 10 years of my life and Becca from ages 7 to 10. After that, we would only see each other sporadically. Never really in, but never really out of each other’s lives.
I don’t remember what age I was when I realized my parents were finding other living arrangements for the rest of the sisters who would come and go so quickly. I don’t think any of them ever came home with us before they were put up for adoption, even for a day.
I do remember standing with my father in the hospital, staring through the wire mesh windows of the nursery to catch a glimpse of one of my sisters, though I wouldn’t see her for many years after that day. It wasn’t until I turned 20 years old that I would get the chance to meet a sister I had never known for the first time: Lisa.
Their story is truly inspirational, and we can only hope that they reach their goal and finally get to be together as a family for the first time. If you’d like to help contribute, click here to donate.