Soldier was Adopted

Calling From Iraq

It was two years ago that my nephew called me. It was the first time he had made contact with his birth family.  He was in the U.S. Military; he was on his second tour of duty in Iraq.  He made his first contact with me, with his family while he was still in Iraq. That first phone call lasted for about one hour.

Ring, ring, r-i-n-g! I awoke, looked at the clock. It was 2:45 a.m. in the morning. It was unusual for me to receive a phone call at this time of the morning. It would ring only if there is an emergency. Well, I answered the phone, “Hello?”   He asked to speak to one of my nephews. I would soon find out my nephew was asking to speak to his brother. I told him that he was not in, not home at the time. However, I understood by his questions and tone that he was not sure who he was asking for. He did not know whether the name was his brother or his father.  I was wondering WHO it really is on the other end of the phone. Is this a crank call? Is he really my nephew?  I would soon find out.

Then he tells me his name. I recognized the name instantly. I am the one who named him when he was a newborn. I asked my sister if I could name him after he was born and she gave me permission to name her handsome son. I named him after my son, Michael. So, of course, I recognized the first name right away. But is this person on the other end of the phone my nephew? By now, I am all excited and did not know what to think. Was this really my nephew or a crank call? My next thought was to ask him his birthday. He told me his birthday. I knew he was correct and I felt that he was who he said he was. Of course, his surname was different. He still had his first name that was given to him at birth.  Apparently, his adopted Mother did not change his first name.

I knew this: That I had nephews and nieces who were under the care and control of Social Services. My sister no longer had custody of her son. I don’t remember any family member being considered for custody or adoption of my nephew.  There was a  few court hearings.  My sister and family was in court  without an attorney.  Much of the legal talk was difficult to understand.  The Court told Social Services to set up a schedule for my sister and family members to visit my nephew.  We would visit my nephew for only a few months.  The next thing we would hear is  that  my nephew had a new foster Mother, out-of-town.  So there were no more visitations and we never saw my nephew again; nor did we hear anything  else about my nephew.   However, we continued visits with his siblings; they were older and remained  in foster care.  Of course, when my nephew called me, it was the first time I heard from him since he was a baby.  He would follow that call up with others while he was still in the U.S. Military in Iraq.

My nephew told me that he was seven years old when his mother passed.   He would then be raised by her family. My nephew told me that upon the passing of his adopted mother, her family informed him and showed him the adoption papers. He told me the adoption papers disclosed some information that he found useful in his search for his birth family. I told him that we, his birth family, thought about him often and that we had tried to search for him.   I told him that we had inquired about the costs involved in hiring searchers and attorneys; that our minds were of the same, that we also wanted to find him. We were short of the fees being charged. I thought about him two days before he called my home the very first time.

After graduation from high school, my nephew told me that he entered the U.S. Military and did a tour in Iraq. He was now on his second tour of duty; he would be deployed in about two months.

My nephew told me that he had gotten married; that his wife was also in the U.S. Military. In fact, she was in the Military when they first met; then they decided to get married. My nephew told me his wife was on her tour of duty in Iraq. He stated that they would both be deployed the same time. He said he expressed to his wife that he wanted to find his birth family. However, sometimes he got frustrated after he did not make a successful search. He would stop searching. Even while he was in the U.S. Military he told me he still wanted to find his birth family. The desire was still there to find his family.  His wife encouraged him to continue his search for his birth family. That’s what he did. With the information he had, including the telephone number, my nephew made that call.

Of course, we the family made plans to see them once the U.S. Military deployed he and his wife to the U.S. What a wonderful reunion! My nephew and his family visited us in December during the Christmas holidays. It was our first Christmas we shared. There were many hugs and kisses! We ate dinner and took many photos. I will always cherish the memories! We cannot make up for the lost years, but we still enjoy ourselves as a family. You know what? I also give tribute to my nephew for serving our country; I give that honor to he and his wife. What a reunion!

A Special Birthday After 36 Years!

A Special Happy Birthday
I just want to let you know that you will always hold a special place in my heart.  For I will  never  catch up with the 36 years that we were not together.  However, I  will forever be grateful  that you are part of my life  to the very end of time.  We can appreciate each other to the fullest.  I will  never run out of hugs and kisses for you.  
I don’t want to remind you but I have to say something about  the strong love and bonding  I had for you when you were  a baby until  when you were  separated from us, your birth family.  I never waivered in my love for you. Thge  bonding remained cohesive all through the years.   I was ten years old at the time you were taken from us,   never to be heard  from again until you were 39 years old!  Let’s see.  That is 36 years later.
Many times my imaginations went wild. I wondered what happened to you.  I  would visualize you maybe working hard labor  as a sharecropper on a plantatio;  you could be residing in a concentration camp.  Either of the two places were possible since  the State we were  from  had many plantations.  As for the latter,  I would hear about  the existence of concentration camps.  I was disturbed by the thought so much  that way back when,  I dreamed you were in a concentration camp.   To experience such a void  in my life from the loss of you over the years is unexplainable. It is not easier understood even now in my adult years.  It is the same effect when I was young, ten years old.  At that time,  I thought as a young child and I often wondered, “Why would anyone take my little sister away to never be seen again?  What’s more, why would they take my brautiful sister away who was just like a live baby doll?  I could never understand that.  
As I grew older, I was driven by the love that kept me  bonded to my  lil’ sister.  I would set out  to search for you while I was still in high school, right into the early ’70s to 1995.  Nothing would cause me to waiver in these  long years of searching for you.  I had nothing to identify you with, no photo, no name, no Social Security number, no birth certificate.  Despite the many challenges and set-backs,  the Most Divine and Almighty God put his blessings forth and made it possible for us to  unite once again!  That reunion was on your birthday,  the 16th of September 1995.  What a day to remember!

All For Money

I told him where I was going, and he hurried me out,  pointing  to the door with the gun, but what he didn’t know was I replaced the real money with fake bills.   Our safe has real legal tender as well as bags of fake money.  It is in there for such an occurrence as this, a robbery.  I was afraid and trembling.   However, I knew I had to keep myself together. I had to save myself and  the other hostages.

I was his choice hostage.  As his eyes focused on me,   I told him I knew the combination to the safe in the back room.  At that point, he rushed me to the safe.  He was still pointing to the door with the gun; the other hostages  dared  not to move. There were five of them frozen in their footsteps.
If there was anything I could do to stop the worst from happening, I  was all for it, ready to take my chances. So I handed him five bags of money. He turned and ran out the door.  Then I called the  police; they caught up with him and arrested him.  He may have turned  the gun on all of us had he not gotten the “money,” the fake money,  that is.

“Did it really  happen?”  Some were breaking down in tears to find out I am a survivor of such a robbery, such an ordeal.  That’s the scenario several classmates and I opted for in a high school play, “All For Money.”

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