Every year on April 6, Los Banos, Calif., couple Tina Bejarano Gardere and Eric Gardere would hide away in their bedroom. They would bring a cupcake, light a candle and sing “happy birthday” to an unnamed birthday girl.
They sang for Bejarano’s daughter, whom she gave birth to at the age of 17 in 1990. At the time, Bejarano already had a 1-year-old daughter. Feeling pressure from her mother, young Bejarano signed adoption papers.