I didn’t forget the promise I made to my sons: trying to find my origins which were also theirs. Finding our roots in order to spread out our wings. All the spiritual counselors, the therapists I consulted pushed me in that way. I will allow me to move more calmly in life and heal a lot of scars which spoiled my daily life. I wanted to erase my boys’ fears, all these hereditary obsessions which distressed them too. Did Raphael’s will of becoming a therapist come from here? As soon as I could move by myself and drive safely, I got in touch with the Social Services in order to finally have access to my file. I followed a procedure without telling a word to my parents because I didn’t want to worry them or give them the impression to betray them.
I was very well-received at Chaumont Social Services even though I felt my application bothered a lot of people. After several mails, I got a notification. When I arrived, I was “expected” by a bunch of people. I was very surprised and I asked them if it was usual. I quickly understood it was not and they feared my reactions. Specialists in psychological care had been hired on purpose for me by the director.
I was led in his office where he began to tell me I was gonna be disappointed by my file because it was almost empty.
“Would you like to consult it anyway?”
“Yes! I wouldn’t have come here for nothing. And I owe the truth to my children.”
He brought me apart with one or two people beside me to help me just in case. I saw on the table a red file above which was written with a black pencil : “number 220666”. It got a card with these words: “Young Ward Eric Rivière, born on 04/28/1966 in Chaumont” crossed out and replaced by “Langres”. Tears went up in my eyes when I finally discovered the confirmation of my true name. The one I would have liked to be named after I was adopted. As I spoke very badly, I told “Fréric” and everybody thought I was talking about someone called Frederic. I found out my “Baptism Certificate” in the Sainte Madeleine Chapel of Chaumont, one and only black and white picture of me as a baby (the one I talked about which was bluer and I couldn’t draw something from), several mails concerning the investigations and the follow-ups of my adoption, exchanges with my soon-to-be mom Denise Hilger, some pictures of our first holidays in Cabris near Grasse. But no trace of either my family name or my years of wandering. Anyway, there was nothing I was expecting for.
The director placed one of his hands on my shoulder.
“You find what you were looking for? It is very curious your file. Everything was manipulated!” He confessed. “And by very influent people. Even your date of birth has been striken out, look! I have been told you were born in Chaumont whereas your official birth certificate indicates you were born in Langres. It’s unclear how and who declared you a “young ward” what means in our service “Orphan”, after you have been baptized in a military enclosure what had been asked by someone called “Maryse Rivière”. Who should be your mother! But we have no information about your father. Unlikely to our practice, we’ve got nothing precise, only very not convincing pieces of information about your mother. We have been told you were very shocked since you were born and you must have very grave after-effects.”
He called the psychologists. One of them asked me:
“Do you have any addiction, a problem with alcohol? Are you sleeping well? Do you dream?”
The director continued:
“At the time, we were asked to introduced you to your future foster parents as an orphan. There was not many babies aged of a few months who were baptized in the chapel of the hospital belonging to the “Fort de Chaumont” which was very well-guarded in 1966! There are a lot of contradictions in your files. Someone wanted to put up a smokescreen! Mystery is still on for you and I’m so sorry.”
He agreed I took the picture of baby Eric and a letter of my future foster mom.
“Generally, the files are very thick.” He added. “There’s everything to find your parents. You had been taken care of by the French Army before you arrived to the orphanage in 1968. Where were you before? Your foster parents had been selected very meticulously and looked after for a long time. It’s very unusual. Your case is out of ordinary. I have never seen that in my whole career and I’m feeling so sorry for you!”
He stood up and kept on talking before leaving the room:
“Above all, keep looking for. Get some help and follow a therapy. Tehre are reflexology, dream analysis, hypnosis. Don’t lose hope!”
And he gave me his phone number before he told me:
“I can’t tell another word today but I’ll call you later.”
Some months later, I followed his advice and those from my spiritual counselors, I met Beatrice Bobay and Ginette Delorme, relaxation therapists who confirmed my flashbacks and the revelations of the healing mediums Danya and Veronique.
Six months after my appointment to the Social Services from Chaumont, the former director was retired and free to speak, got in touch with me. He wanted to bring me other clarifications and to know where my investigations were going on.
Here was the synthesis regarding my origins and the ones of my boys. It was realized thanks to my flashbacks, all my precise memories and all the revelations I got and which were supported by the old director of the Social Services.
My mother’s name was “Maria”. She came from Russia aristocracy bound to the Romanov family, and Polish Jews. She was born in April 1946. She could perfectly speak French – which was the language of the nobility and diplomacy – she was just nineteen, a minor and a refugee, and was hiding in France, in the Ardennes. After many abominations were made to hers by the communist government, she escaped from the dangerous Soviet area and change her identity. She was traumatized and terrorized, she knew she was wanted by the KGB, she made her call “Maryse Rivière” in order to go unnoticed because it was a common name in France at that time. She was very smart and a musician. She wrote poems.
She worked as a translator for editors and printers in Hate Marne. It was the “Red Time” and the Bolshevik militia bullied nobles, intellectuals, artists, Russian and Polish, Orthodox, Catholic and Jewish believers because they were considered as the friends of the Americans. The Secret Services were very active and particularly zealous to purchase them. They didn’t hesitate to throw after them KGB commandos even beyond borders. This inspired to Ian Fleming the James Bond novels. It was the era of the Bulgarian Umbrella. There was a lot of executions over the USSR borders, covered up as suicides or accidents.
In 1964-1965, my mother was noticed because she good at languages. The Genral Staff in Chaumont and Langres started to use her skills as a translator. It was how she met my soon-to-be father, an aristocrat who had become a diplomat. He was older than she, pretty rich, Franch from Jewish origins, passionate with arts and he was a painter himself. From 1964, he “served France” but was also – probably – a “double agent”. He was about to be called for a very official – or not – mission (bound to the French Army, which would explain I was a “yard”) in the Embassy of France in Israel. He met my mother at that time. It was love at first sight but he was older and his family took a very dim view of this affair with a young, still minor, probably poor – they believed it because Maria was very scared and didn’t tell a word about her origins.
My father was very close of the influent authorities. He should have been part of the development of international strategies. He discussed confidentially and dangerously with the belligerent countries of the time: USA, Israel State and USSR. The two lovers tried to meet secretly. As a diplomat, my father asked for taking my mother in Israel as a translator. As Palestine was at war with Israel, my mother got pregnant. Some times later, “the war of six days” began.
I would be born on April 28th, 1966. But I was premature. The atmosphere was tense and frightening. It was probably the time which still traumatized me with the shootings, the screams of the convicted people, the pictures of hanging, the blood all around me. The always at night runaways. Where was I? Did my parents get arrested, sentenced and killed? I still didn’t know by now. Was I an “orphan”, a “ward” as it was told to my foster parents? Was I born in France or beyond borders? In Haute Marne? In Chaumont? In Langres? In Israel? In Poland? In Russia?
The only thing I knew was at one moment, I was retrieved by the army and I was back on the French soil in Haute Marne. When and how? I was only taken care of by the Social Services on December 14th, 1967 after I was named Eric in June 1966 in Sainte Madeleine Chapel in Chaumont military hospital as it had been “asked by Maryse Rivière”. But where was I in between?
My mother was completely ruined, alone and could not support me financially. She would have let a written letter which explained everything. It was given to me. But was it the true reason? She explained with her beautiful, thin, constant hand-writing she was now major and pregnant again. She wanted to get married with her new fiancée, a rich man who could bring her happiness but who refused to raise a child from another man. Should I believe her?
The director of the Social Services assured me this kind of certification was required at this time when you “gave up” a child but it didn’t explain I was declared as a “young ward”.
That was why a person in charge in the Public Assistance told me later:
“Ward of the nation or of the state ha a very precise meaning for our institution? When one of the parents has financial troubles, some kinds of help were planned at this time. So it’s not a sufficient argument to abandon a child. Giving you up in order to get married while the mother is an adult was not a convenient argument. It’s very unlikely in your case? Especially because you had been repatriated and taken in charge by the army. Generally, giving anonymously up a child happen a few moments after birth. It’s not your case . If it is decided months or years after birth – like for you – there is an investigation or a decision of a court in your file. The mother has to trace the life of her child and the adoptive parents are informed of. Truly nothing went through legal channels and there’s a lot of contradictions!”
Thanks to a social security number written in my file I was given by the person in charge and which would be the number of “Maryse Rivière” (but was it “Maria” ‘s number?), a friend – an officer of the “Garde Republicaine” – made some researches or investigations. She would have got married in 1969.
“When a mother decides to let her social security number in the file, she looks for being identified and wants her child to have the possibility to find her if he/she likes.”
One thing leading to another, my friend – the military policeman – found a matching address in Dommartin-lès-Toul, in Meurthe et Moselle and gave me a phone number. In order to protect me and to support me in my process, my wife called. Florence bumped into an old-voiced woman (my mother is just twenty years older than I). The woman told her she lived there like forever and she never knew a Maryse who could have lived there. A new lie? Of course, the woman was but didn’t seem to be deaf or insane.
We stopped here. I couldn’t stop thinking about Danya’s visions which were borne out by the reflexology. When she was asked “Who is his mother?”, she answered:
“Maria, Russian princess, she’s coming from East. Her family was exterminated because they were realted with the Czar.”
“Who is his father?”
“Prince, important name coming from East too, Ashkenazi but treason! Violence!”
Which treson? Will I know one day? Danya added:
“The father feels bitterly guilty. He’s also a Jewish artist, a painter. The parents are inconsolable.”
“Eric is saved! He is the elder child of a family of three other children: two brothers and a sister.”
“Father and mother were hurt badly, declared dead. They had to change their names.”
“His parents are forced to hide. One in Scandinavia. They know too many complicated secrets.”
“They settled the abandonment with highly placed accomplice people.”
“We waited a long time to make Eric adoptable.”
“Thanks to their relations, they managed to remain untraceable and to assure Eric’s survival and ours.”
“Maria loved her little Eric so much.”
“Saved Eric has to live and continue his art!”
The mysteries surrounding me cause my torments for the most part. My traumas, my troubles keep spoiling my life with the high blood pressure and my insomnia, the one of my boys. But I have to with waiting for the light be shed on if God wants. Will I ask for the help of an hypnotherapist as I was advised? I have been assured that deep inside me, I know everything! And if this book can make people talk… Sending out an SOS.
Today I managed to realize all my child dreams and of an artist. I have a lovely wife, four handsome boys who have a lot of plans and even a first grandson, Gabriel. I have a dad Claude, a mom Denise, a godmother Michelle, a wonderful brother Benoit, a nephew and godchild Paul. Once again, adversity has been fought. May I be Eric, Michel or Vincent, never mind! I’ve got MY WHOLE LIFE ahead of me!