Margaret Barnott

In 1965, my 4 brothers and I were placed into a Children's Home while my parents sorted out the messy details of their divorce. I was told I'd be there just a few weeks, this evolved into over a year.

My baby brother, then 2 and I were placed in the main house, while the remaining 3 brothers were placed with the rest of the boys in a smaller house. We were only allowed to see each other at certain dinners or special occasions, even though we were a few hundred yards away.

My parents would visit us when they could, but the days seem to stretch on, and I never felt so alone. When Christmas came, I don't remember wanting anything in particular from my parents, perhaps just to be taken out of the depressing home, and be together again as a family.

Instead, I opened my present to find not a Barbie, not a doll that wets, or cries, or has cute little ringlets in her hair, but "Little Miss Noname" and all her sadness.

How ironic that looking at this doll, seemed like looking into a mirror. I had the same short blonde hair, barefoot by preference, and the achingly lost look. This doll became me, I could love and comfort her, and somehow, comfort myself. I carried her everywhere, and never tried to change her looks...she was who she was. I lost this doll during the move out of the home, but have always thought about her. I can still see her face as clear as ever and funny, I still get a little choked up when I think about this.

Years later my friends would comment that my parents were cruel in giving me such a sad doll at such a sad time in my life. Maybe, but of all the dolls I have ever had, Little Miss No Name is the only one I remember.