Mend­ing bro­ken hearts

Dildo woman looks for­ward to re­union with birth son


When she was 18, Louise Nip­pard made a gut-wrench­ing de­ci­sion: she gave up her child for adop­tion at birth.

Now, the 53-year-old Dildo res­i­dent is mak­ing plans to meet her son face to face for the first time in 35 years.

That meet­ing is go­ing to be raw with emo­tion. Last week, Nip­pard told The Com­pass amid a flood of tears, “I’m go­ing to tell him how much I love him and hug him and not let him go.”

Nip­pard’s bit­ter­sweet story be­gan one day in 1976 while she was liv­ing in neigh­bour­ing New Har­bour. She al­ready had two chil­dren, Robert and Ja­son, but on May 31 of that year she gave birth to an­other child. She named him Billy Jack.

For per­sonal rea­sons, Nip­pard did what she thought was best for her new­born son by giv­ing him up for adop­tion, but not be­fore she went to the nurs­ery and cra­dled


• Age — 53 • Birth­place — Fogo Is­land • Home­town — Dildo • Fam­ily — Mar­ried Wil­lis Nip­pard; had three mis­car­riages; has six chil­dren and nine grand­chil­dren

• Hob­bies/in­ter­ests — Quilt­ing, cook­ing, bot­tling pre­serves him in her arms for a few fleeting mo­ments.

Think­ing about Billy Jack

Through the years, Nip­pard of­ten thought about Billy Jack. In 1986, while liv­ing in Main Point, Gan­der Bay, she gave birth to an­other son, Pre­ston, who was also born May 31. She won­dered if Billy Jack was ever adopted.

A so­cial worker went to bat for Nip­pard and, on June 9, 1987, gave the mother some valu­able in­for­ma­tion.

Billy Jack, now re­named Christo­pher W. Horndt, was legally adopted in June 1980. He was a lit­tle per­son, for­merly known as a dwarf. His adop­tive par­ents were also lit­tle peo­ple who lived in Pasadena, Texas. Be­cause he had sev­eral health prob­lems, Christo­pher re­ceived ex­ten­sive med­i­cal treat­ment.

Nip­pard was told his adop­tive par­ents “ were ex­tremely de­lighted to be able to adopt him.”

How­ever, be­cause Christo­pher was un­der the age of 18, noth­ing fur­ther was re­vealed.

“It made me think more about him,” Nip­pard re­called.

In 1995, Nip­pard, now liv­ing in New Har­bour, phoned the pro­vin­cial De­part­ment of So­cial Ser­vices and ex­pressed her de­sire to contact Christo­pher. She also wrote him.

Nip­pard was at­tempt­ing to contact her son, un­aware of the fact that he was also try­ing to con­nect with his mother.

‘Dear Mom’

On Jan. 22, 1996, Nip­pard re­ceived a let­ter from Christo­pher ad­dressed to his mother.

He was a 1994 grad­u­ate of Agape Chris­tian Academy and a sopho­more at San Jac­into Col­lege in Pasadena, Texas.

“I am a Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion ma­jor and have a ‘B’ av­er­age. I am look­ing for a girl­friend but have not been able to find one,” he re­vealed.

“I apol­o­gize for not writ­ing ear­lier ... The let­ter I re­ceived from you re­ally touched me.” He en­closed his pho­to­graph. Two months later, mother and son heard each oth­ers voices on the phone for the very first time.

“ It’s un­ex­plain­able re­ally be­cause we were both very emo­tional,” Nip­pard said. “ We were both cry­ing that much, we ... hung up, and we had to call again.”

Nip­pard also spoke with Christo­pher’s adop­tive mom, who has since passed away, and “thanked her for do­ing such a good job with him.”

Vow­ing to stay in touch

Mother and son promised to stay in touch, but after Christo­pher re­lo­cated from Texas to Wash­ing­ton, and Louise from New Har­bour to Main Point, they lost contact for 15 years.

Re­cently Christo­pher had been try­ing to re­con­nect with Nip­pard through Face­book.

She doesn’t own a com­puter, but her niece saw Christo­pher’s photo and ex­claimed, “He looks so much like Aunt Louise.”

Nip­pard phoned Christo­pher again.

“It was emo­tional ... be­cause I still hadn’t seen him and I re­gret­ted do­ing what I did, but I did it for him,” she said.

Christo­pher has been mar­ried for five years to a lit­tle per­son, Christina Louise.

Now, Christo­pher and and his birth mother chat two or three times a week.

— Louise Nip­pard, Dildo

“He never wants to lose touch any­more,” she said. “He wants to come home, to see where he was born, to see what kind of place it is.”

Nip­pard knows ex­actly what she’s go­ing to say to Christo­pher when she sees him; she’s go­ing to read a poem she wrote for him, “Life’s Most Pre­cious Dream” (see side­bar).

Nip­pard her­self isn’t in a fi­nan­cial po­si­tion to fly her son home. How­ever, Win­ston Har­num, pres­i­dent of the Com­mu­nity 5 Lions Club, Dildo, said that any­one wish­ing to help Nip­pard can con­trib­ute to an ac­count that has been set up at the Whit­bourne branch of Sco­tia­bank.

“I hope there’s some­one out there that can un­der­stand where I’m com­ing from, be a guardian an­gel and help bring him home, so I can have a re­union with him,” Nip­pard pleaded.

Photo by Burton K. Janes/the Com­pass

Christo­pher Horndt sent his photo to his birth mother, Louise Nip­pard, in 1996.

Raw emo­tion is re­flected on Louise Nip­pard’s face as she holds a photo of her son, Christo­pher Horndt, close to her heart.

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