In 1923, my grandmother, Mary, was asked to be the maid-of-honor for her best friend’s wedding. As the wedding approached in her hometown near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Mary wondered what the best man might be like. She had heard that Lou was also a recent immigrant from Czechoslovakia and also an available bachelor, but he wouldn’t be arriving until just before the wedding began. During the wedding, Lou, the best man, took a liking for Mary the maid-of-honor. The day after the wedding, when Lou arrived back home in Ohio, he wrote a letter to Mary in Pennsylvania, asking for her hand in marriage. Mary replied by mail, saying “Yes, but don’t you think we should meet to plan a wedding?” They … Continue reading →
We share the same mom, at birth anyway, but her influence was just as intentional upon my life as with yours. You experienced her influence through the awesome privilege of knowing her, loving her, holding her, building a bond with her, while I have only had gratitude for her. That gratitude is all I carried with me for 54 years before that transformed into information, people, and families. For myself, like all children given up for adoption, there is a real biological and emotional impact that psychologists have identified and often explained as “a sense of missing something” by adult adoptees. It has to do with a 9-month gestation period when a pre-born child actually bonds to its mother’s voice, … Continue reading →
I was once driving through the Smokey Mountains from North Carolina to Gatlinburg, Tennessee when I spotted a mother bear and her cubs near the side of road. I came to a quick stop and tried to wake my sleeping children in the back seat. When I finally woke them and resumed driving, I heard brakes squealing and horns blowing. As I resumed driving an ambulance with its lights on, passed me, but I didn’t think much about it until the next morning when I read in the town newspaper that a witness reported that a tourist stopped on the parkway to view some bears. … Continue reading →
When I left my pastorate with a church an Adventist church in Aiken, South Carolina in the 90’s, I was given a small gift of a marble and gold metal sailboat that read “A man that walks with God always gets to his destination.” It sat in my study on a shelf, from move to move, about 10 inches long and about 8 inches high. I’ve lost track of it in one of my last moves, but I cherished it because of those that gave it. I liked the saying, but I still remember thinking the sailboat being a bit odd. There were no sailboats in that town and there had never been any sailboats in my life. Today it … Continue reading →
Yesterday, May 23, 2017 would have been my birth mother’s 79th birthday, had she not died in 1990. I was thinking earlier today that when I get to heaven I will two mothers – the mother that adopted me and the mother that birthed me. Interestingly, the mom who raised me is named Irene and the mom who birthed me has the middle name of Irene. The mom who raised me had a brain tumor removed successfully and later in life had lung cancer, but in both cases she did not succumb to death. The mom who birthed me had brain cancer and did succumb to death on April 27, 1990.
I finally got my baby feet. What I mean is, I just received the card stock paper where the nurses at St. John’s Hospital in Fargo, North Dakota inked my feet, shortly after being born on October 1, 1962 and made an impression of my baby feet with ink. As I looked at the paper with the impression of my new born feet, the thought occurred to me that after 52 years, I now posses something tangible that most closely ties me to my birth mother in proximity and time. That piece of paper was there where she was. I know that I was too, but there is something meaningful about having something that I can touch, something outside of myself. … Continue reading →