A woman who used to work at a circus has been reunited with her long lost son, after being separated from him for thirty-three years. Richard Lornac, from Kansas, knew that he was adopted. As an adult, he suffered from back problems. This is what prompted him to try and learn more about his biological family. What he learned was rather surprising.
He spent six weeks asking authorities in Kansas about his mother. After learning that her name was Vivian Wheeler, he began using the internet to search for more information. Eventually, he discovered photos of a woman who had that same name. This woman once worked in sideshows at circuses. Now age 62, Vivian had a career as what once was called “the bearded lady” at the circuses.
Vivian was born as a hermaphrodite, which means that she was born with both female and male reproductive organs. Her mother wanted a girl, so she told the doctor’s to remove the male parts. When she was older, it became clear that Vivian had hypertrichosis, (which is sometimes referred to as werewolf syndrome). It meant that she was growing noticeable facial hair, which eventually developed into a beard. Vivian’s father felt humiliated that his daughter had a beard, and so he sent her to work in circus sideshows when she was very young. He also made her send the money she earned back to him.
Richard’s father, Richard James Chambers Sr., was a carnival ride operator that Vivian met in Nebraska. Shortly after Richard was born, his father took him. Richard spent time in an orphanage before his father was able to gain custody of him. Later, Richard was moved to a foster home, after teachers at his school saw signs of abuse. When Richard was seven, he was adopted.
Trying to contact the woman he suspected was his mother wasn’t easy. The only way to contact her was through a former coworker of hers, a man called George “The Giant” McArthur, who was a sword swallower. Then, it took a few weeks before George ended up at an event that Vivian was also attending. Eventually, Richard and his mother Vivian were able to meet in person, in California. They truly believe that they are mother and son, but are having a DNA test done when they appear on the Maury Povich show.< Return To Blog