Honoring My Father - searching for heritage interrupted by adoption

Monday, June 27, 2022

Brooke's story comes to us via Shoreline resident Pam Queen, of WARM - the Washington Adoptive Rights Movement.

Washington Adoption Reunion Movement (WARM) is a non-profit organization dedicated to reuniting families separated by adoption. We serve adoptees, birth family members, and adoptive families. Specializing in Washington state, we also have cooperation with the Superior Courts in a number of other states as well. 
We provide information, referral, support, and search services. WARM’s policies and methods utilizing the Confidential Intermediary system have served as a model for searching in other states and also Canadian provinces. Reuniting families since 1976.

Brooke Davis and her father Paul Charles Davis

Honoring my father

By Brooke Davis

When I was a little girl, I asked my parents where we came from, and my mother began with a long tale of her family which was fascinating to listen to. I then looked at my father in anticipation of a fascinating story and he started with the story of my grandparents and the life he had with them. He then shared that he was adopted and had no idea where he biologically came from. What I learned that day was that he wished he knew more about his biological parents.

As I got older and could understand the concept of adoption, I realized that my grandparents loved my father with all their hearts, but they were not willing to share his story with him, my mother or me. My grandmother asked us never to never discuss it again, for the rest of her life; we never asked.

This question has always been with me in the back of my mind. I lost my father in 2008 and I am sad that he would never know about his biology. He was the kindest, loving, and gentle man who loved his wife, children, and parents with all his heart, but I knew he wanted to know. 

Well, let’s fast forward to the pandemic and I had free time on my hands and finally my burning desire to know for myself and to honor my father’s wish finally began with a Facebook post. Like the statement, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” I began mine with a question…” Where should I start?”.

Thanks to several members of a genealogical group, I joined to begin this process with the recommendation of WARM. I reached out and now began the first steps of my journey. Along the way, I found emails with the title “nuggets”, and I could not wait to read what I would learn. Thanks to Pam, John from the DNA analyst team and the team at WARM, the constant communication and love of reuniting families meant over the course of a few months, I had my biological grandmother’s name and from there, my junior detective skills kicked into gear.

I have discovered an amazing woman who at the age of 20 decided to give the most important gift to my grandparents... her baby boy. Her only condition was that he be named Paul Charles which I have come to find out was her father’s first name and her grandfather’s name. 

Paul Charles Davis as a young man
This was in the height of the depression, and I bet she knew a single woman at her age should not and could not keep this baby. She found my grandparents through church (our working theory) and made arrangements for a private adoption of her three-day-old baby. My grandparents wanted him so badly that they agreed to the name.

My biological grandmother Gertrude M. She was from a family where education was a priority; with a family who made service to the community a must. Her father was a businessman, a mayor, a state legislator, the postmaster general, a civic leader with a dedication to selfless service to his community. 

This rubbed off on Gertrude, it was the depression and still she went on to graduate from The University of Washington and became a nurse; all after giving my father to my grandparents. 

She joined the World War II effort as a member of the Nurse Cadet Corps and became an officer. She traveled the world, lived in different parts of our country wherever she was needed. She spent her life in service to others as a nurse both overseas and here in the United States.

In my research, my heart warms whenever I find a new detail that fills my void of, “who do I come from?” For those adoptees out there or people like me who are one generation away from it; I can now say I know so much more. No longer do I have to guess or say, “well, my father was adopted, so I don’t know anything about that side of the family”.

Every day is an adventure for learning! Thanks to Ms. M for what she gave me, my father, and our family. This all began with, “Where do I come from?” With the guidance and leadership of WARM, I now can’t wait to find out more. I hope everyone gets the answers they deserve.

Now, on to my biological grandfather!


Post a Comment

We encourage the thoughtful sharing of information and ideas. We expect comments to be civil and respectful, with no personal attacks or offensive language. We reserve the right to delete any comment.

Facebook: Shoreline Area News
Twitter: @ShorelineArea
Daily Email edition (don't forget to respond to the Follow.it email)

  © Blogger template The Professional Template II by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP