LOST SON?
A Child's Journey of Hope, Search, Discovery and Healing


EARLY YEARS

We all have a FAMILY TREE. Just as the fruit on a tree fall to the ground, we too sometimes lose our connections. However, the TREE and ROOTS are still there. This is the story of the LOST SON-?.

Newark International Airport...the day has arrived.....36 years, 3 months and 17 days after I was born...I would meet the woman who gave me life. To say I was tense or nervous would be putting it mildly. I arrived at the airport hours before the flight was due to arrive. I brought with me 36 long stem RED ROSES one for each year of life I had been blessed with. Should I call her mother? Should I hug her? What should I do?

This is not the end of the story; it is only the end of one journey within the story. In order to get the full meaning of this day, one needs to go back 36 years, 3 months and 17 days...the day I was born: which began a childhood of no family to ever call my own...finding out I belonged to no one!



I was born on February 7, 1950, in Detroit, Michigan. I am born to a mother and father whom I would not know until the scene described above. I was born to an unwed mother at Providence Hospital. I was given the name of LAWRENCE PHILIP ADAMS. My mother was all of nineteen years old. My birth would not be greeted with great joy as so many births are. My mother had no place she could call home to take me. She had no way to support herself, yet alone a newborn. She had earlier faced the difficult decision of whether to carry a child to birth or to abort. Now she faced the gut wrenching decision to give her newborn son up for adoption. After a process only a mother can fully appreciate; she gave me up only moments after my birth.

I would remain in the nursery of Providence Hospital for the first six months of my life. Though my mother had given me up for adoption there was no family ready to do so. On June 7, 1950, four months after birth a petition was made to the court alleging that "the child's mother is unmarried and without adequate provision for care and support." I was placed in custody of the court. In August of 1950 I would be transferred to the nursery of the Sarah Fisher Home in Farmington, Michigan. This was where my mother had spent her last months of pregnancy since at that time it was officially known as a home for unwed mothers.

I would spend these first months of life without bonding to a mother but in care of others. Yes, they provided for my basic needs, though I doubt they provided what I needed most at that time...love!

Finally, just a few weeks shy of my first birthday, I was moved from institutional care to that of my first foster parents. By the time my second birthday would roll around I had been transferred three more times to different foster parents.

On August 1, 1952, I was placed in the home of what was finally to be my adoptive parents. For reasons not made available to me, four months later I was returned as a ward of the court and returned to the foster parents who cared for me just prior to my supposed adoption.

Over the next four years I would be transferred four more times to different foster parents only in the end up once again being returned to foster parents who had cared for me twice before. I would remain with these foster parents for the next four years...until age ten.

The total of fourteen moves in eleven years are listed below:





2/7/50-8/10/50 Providence Hospital Nursery

8/10/50-1/19/51 Sarah Fisher Home Nursery

1/19/51-7/11/51 Foster Home #1...Turner Home

7/11/51-9/10/51 Foster Home #2...McVicor Home

9/10/51-2/20/52 Foster Home #3...Kennedy Home

2/20/52-8/1/52 Foster Home #4...Monshor Home

8/1/52-12/11/52 Foster/Adoptive Home #5...Bellmeyer Home

12/11/52-11/26/54 Foster Home #6...Monshor Home

11/26/54/-1/26/55 Foster Home #7...Keegan Home

1/26/55-8/12/55 Foster Home #8...Wagner Home

8/12/55-5/4/56 Foster Home #9...Adelman Home

5/4/56-5/17/60 Foster Home #10...Monshor Home

5/17/60-7/22/60 Juvenile Detention Center awaitng new foster home

7/22/60-4/16/61 Foster Home #11...McCann Home

4/16/61-6/4/68 Boys Town, Nebraska


6/4/68 Adult; released as a ward of Catholic Social Services of Wayne County, Michigan...FREE AT LAST!



It was also at this time that I came to recognize that I was a "bag boy." This is the term still used by foster children today. When one goes to a foster home you always leave your bag packed, knowing you could be unexpectedly removed from the home. Back in the 1950s it was a paper grocery bag you kept packed. All your worldly possessions could usually fit in one, as you didn't have much to call your own in the first place. When a social worker came to the home to get you they always said "go get your bag." No wonder I don't want anything I buy today in a paper bag but plastic...paper bags still bring up sad memories. Foster parents were allowed to take a foster child twice a year to St. Vincent de Paul Society to obtain clothing at no expense to them. They were allowed to pick out 2 dress pants, 1 pair of jeans, 3 sets of underwear and socks, 3 shirts for school and 2 T-shirts for play each time they came. One time a year they could get 1 pair of school shoes and 1 winter jacket. These were what were kept in our "bag" at each home we went. They also provide freebies such as toothbrushes, toothpaste and combs. Sometimes, if you were lucky, a foster parent would purchase you clothes out of their own money. I usually had space to spare in "my bag."

From 1956-1960 my life had a degree of stability though I could be snapped up and removed to another home at any time. It was during these years I remember thinking for the first time; "Why was I not a member of any one family?" "Why didn't anyone want me?" "Why didn't anyone love me enough to call me their son?"

Other than my memories of the years spent with the Monshors and Foster Home #11, I have no memory of any of the other foster home. I know they provided at least the basics of life for me or I might not be here. I don't know how caring or loving they might have been. I doubt much just from the shortness of time I spent with most. I am grateful to them however, for without them providing at least a temporary home for me, even for a short period of time, who knows where I might be today.

A few words about the foster parents who cared for me three times during my first ten years of life totalling six and a half years. Their names were Ernest/Mildred Monshor. they are the only ones in my life I ever called Mom and Dad. Their story follows in the next chapter.


CLICK BELOW TO PROCEED

CHAPTER EXCERPTS:


EARLY YEARS


MOM & DAD MONSHOR


FOSTER HOME #11


BOYSTOWN GRADE SCHOOL


BOYS TOWN HIGH SCHOOL


JIM ACKLIN: DEBATE PARTNER


COLLEGE & ACCEPTANCE


MATT: LIFE PARTNER


NEW YORK, NEW YORK


SEARCH & DISCOVERY


FIRST LETTER TO BIRTH MOTHER


BIRTH MOTHER'S STORY


FINAL LETTER TO BIRTH MOTHER


BIRTH FATHER'S STORY


FIRST CHRISTMAS


A HOLIDAY SEASON TO REMEMBER


REMEMBERING 1ST COUSIN DOROTHY


REUNION WITH THE MONSHOR FAMILY AFTER 45 YEARS


WHY DID I SEARCH


RETURN HOME TO BOYS TOWN


BOYS TOWN TALES OF YESTERYEAR


MEMORIES OF A LIFETIME


FRIENDS LOST TO AIDS


A FEW LESSONS OF LIFE


EPILOGUE


A SEARCHER'S GUIDE



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