Had you ever met Irene's children? That would be my mom and her siblings. My mother is the youngest of the 6.
My mom was still pretty young when Irene died and was raised by her eldest sister. Her other two older sisters (Liz and Sheila) have tried to piece together any information they can remember from their mom (Irene) growing up for me, as they were older when she passed.
Now my mom's sisters insist that their mother stated she took a train to the orphanage. I have looked through most of the census records for the orphanages in Buffalo during that time and have come up empty for any of the 3 kids being there. They all state their mother very clearly told them they were placed together. They assume that she stayed there until she was old enough to leave.
Thank you for replying, researching that ancestry line has proven to be frustrating. There has been very skewed info.