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My Two Dads, part two: a story for the generations from the Story Powerline
2/26/2020 6:00:00 AM by: Janimarie Rowe as told to Becky Cerling Powers

(Yesterday’s story: From the time I was eight years old and learned I was adopted, I dreamed about my biological dad Sam. I wondered what he was like and why he hadn’t contacted me. I felt a lot of anger toward my dad Ron, who adopted and raised me after he married my mom when I was 22 months old. A year after I married, right after our baby Josh was born, my dad Ron had a dream that my dad Sam had died. It shocked me.)

Starting the search for Dad Sam

I told my parents I wanted to find my dad Sam, and they said they’d help me any way they could. They gave me the name of my dad Sam’s father, my biological grandfather, who lived in El Paso. My biological dad’s father and mother had divorced when Sam was 13 years old. 

When I phoned, this grandfather said he hadn’t heard from my dad Sam in ten years, and he had no idea where he was. But the next day, on Christmas Eve 1993, he called to say he had found his ex-wife’s mother’s phone number in South Carolina.

Locating Dad Sam in prison

My biological great-grandmother in South Carolina put me in contact with my dad Sam’s mother, my biological grandmother. She told me that my dad Sam was in prison in California. She also said that he had been married and divorced three times altogether, so I had six younger brothers and sisters.

Writing to Dad Sam

I couldn’t call my dad Sam in prison, but I wrote, and he wrote back immediately. We bonded right away and started writing to each other three times a week. Almost every day there was a letter coming one way or the other. He said he had become a Christian in prison, and he was now teaching Bible studies there.

Answers to questions

I told him all about my life, and he told me all about his. A lot of kids who find their parents are disappointed because their parents turn them away, but he was wonderful. He said he’d been asked by a family member not to contact me until I contacted him. That’s why he hadn’t tried to get in touch with me all those years. He called me pet names like Angel and said I would now and forever be Daddy’s Girl.

Arranging a visit

We started writing in early January, 1994. We wrote for three months, and then he was finally released from prison. He flew to El Paso in early April. I went to the airport with my five-month old baby Josh and stood watching and waiting as all these men came off his plane. The only picture I had of him was from back when he was a hippie, so I didn’t know what he looked like. I felt like God was telling me to really cherish this moment.

To be continued.

What the Bible says

“God places the lonely in families, he sets prisoners free and gives them joy’’ (Psalm 68:6 NLT).

Today’s prayer

Thank You, God, that You know our deepest needs and are able to meet them. Amen.

Resource

This story is published by permission from My Roots Go Back to Loving and other stories from Year of the Family, which can be purchased from the Bookstore


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