In The Beginning!
“And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” Psalm 9:10
What better place to start than ‘the beginning’? At least it was the beginning of a new life for me, but that beginning didn’t get underway until the fall of 1962, August 22nd to be exact, when I was 7 years old (half grown!). I have talked to my adoptive mother, who is my only living parent at the time of this writing. She told me that too many years have passed for her to recall details of the adoption. According to her, she & my dad brought me home for a weekend (or two) to see how I got along in the home with her biological daughter that lived in the home who was 10 years old. Mom told me that she would have preferred to get a baby, however they were discouraged from that by the adoption agency due to the older age of the child that was already in the home. Below is the only known picture of my early years. I am pictured in the center of this image along with my two best friends in all of the world. Over the years it has always been my desire to eventually locate them and hopefully someday meet them face to face.
I was the oldest of five children that my biological parents offered up for adoption. I really don’t know the reasoning behind their decision to give us up for adoption, although my biological dad, in a cassette tape recording that he sent to me in the 1980’s, offered a feeble attempt in explaining ‘why’. Most of the tape was rambling, on the tape I was told that after he signed the required paperwork he regretted what he had done and desperately wanted to go back and ‘undo’ it.
I have two half-sisters and four blood brothers & sisters. All seven of us were born within about 8 years. That’s a little over one year between each one of us. One sister (Elaine), who I knew as Sally, was adopted by an aunt who lived in Ottumwa, IA. Ottumwa was the city of residence of my maternal grandfather Lawrence and his 2nd wife Virginia. The other four of us were adopted through the American Home Finding Association also located in Ottumwa,IA. As you will see in future posts, Lawrence was instrumental in the initiation of our reunion and also for my being able to meet at least ONE of my siblings.
At the time of the adoption, when I was about to depart the ‘home’, my brother John gave me a toy of his which I treasured. It was a beige colored plastic horse that had one of it’s legs broken off. Every time I saw that horse it reminded me of him. One day it came up missing. As time went by that keepsake apparently made it’s way to the landfill, because I was never able to find it again. My mom told me that she had thrown it away because it was broken. She had no idea what it had to meant to me…
There were two keepsakes that I had as I left the ‘home’. One being the horse that my brother John had given to me. The other item was a small promotional brochure that the American Home Finding Association used for years. John’s picture was on the front cover (pictured below). He remained their ‘poster’ child for many years. In fact, when I went back to the AHA to celebrate their 100th Anniversary I asked about that brochure because I was unable to find the one that my parents had in the cupboard. In a matter of seconds, Tom, the director of the home, went straight to a file cabinet and retrieved another one for me which was good as new (only faded with age).
As I conclude this first page, I want to post two more pictures of my siblings, Shirley Joyce & John Harold. Shirley was 1yr younger than me and John was 2yrs younger.
And finally, a picture of the AMERICAN HOME FINDING ASSOCIATION, Ottumwa, IA.
There were some tough years to follow, but God was faithful through it all. Even as a child with no formal Christian education, I believed in God and I am so grateful that he has never forsaken me. I am also confident that He never will! It is rather interesting at this stage of my life to look back and be able to actually ‘see’ the Hand of God working in my life. He has helped me to overcome countless obstacles in life. As I read the book of The Revelation there are multiple scriptures that talk about the reward that awaits the overcomer. One of the first such scriptures that I memorized as a young Christian was Revelation 3:21 “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne”