TAMPA, Fla. — There have been DNA tests and detectives, a lifetime of questions but few answers. At 88 years old, Tampa's Miss Yvonne is still trying to solve her life's greatest mystery.
"When I was about three months old, I was left on a doorstep in a cardboard box in Petersburg, Virginia," she said.
It was a rainy night. The man who found Yvonne on his doorstep called the police, who took this mystery baby to a hospital. If you're wondering, and Yvonne certainly wonders, the drop-off appears to be random.
Many years later, she'd visit the man who found her. His name was Andrews. He grew emotional seeing her again, but his story remained the same: He had no connection to Yvonne or her birth parents.
She became a bit of a local celebrity, the mystery baby in the cardboard box. Yvonne (her last name withheld for privacy) was eventually adopted by a loving family with four sons. They wanted a girl, and they got a feisty one.
"Oh, I was a tomboy," she said through a laugh. "I'd walk around with a pretend paper cigarette in my mouth."
Since then, there have been few leads, but few tears, too.
"I've had a wonderful life," she said. "But I still wonder. And the older I get, the more I dwell on it. In my heart, I always thought [my birth mom] was an unwed mother. Back in those days, a young girl having a baby at 14 or 15 was very scandalous."
In Yvonne's lovely home, above a piano she plays, there hangs a framed collection of baby clothes: a knit cap, a sweater, tiny booties. These are what she was wearing in that cardboard box on that rainy night.
"My husband framed that for me," she said.
She and her husband Dale had a big loving family, including twins. Maybe Yvonne was a twin? She's wondered that, too.
Yvonne would love answers. But at the same time, she feels thankful for the way life turned out.
"I have no regrets," she said. "That was God's will that I was left on that doorstep. I've been blessed."