My maternal grandfather had little memory of his parents. When he was five years old he left a small town in Upstate New York and along with his older half-sister, they were taken to New York City by their parents. Their parents relinquished the children to the Children's Aid Society and returned home. The children were separated. A few months later, along with some other children, he boarded a train bound for the Upper Midwest and was eventually adopted. He never saw his parents or sister again.
As I understand it, there was at least one point in time when he seriously considered trying to locate his parents. He knew what his birth name was as he had taken it as his middle name. He also had the adoption paperwork as well as various correspondence with the agent who had placed him. He even wrote to CAS and got a response. They wanted some more information. I suspect they were reluctant to release that information back in the 1930's and 40's, especially if they had reason to believe that the natural parents might still living. We would later learn that they were.
My grandfather decided that maybe if would be better to let sleeping dogs lie. After all, his parents knew perfectly well where they had left him. Should they inquire of the agency, his letter expressing interest in meeting them was on file. If they truly wanted to see him, it would not be that difficult to locate him as he was actually living in the same area he had been when he was adopted. He decided to let them find him...if they wanted to do so. They never did.
I don't remember my grandfather. He died a few days before my second birthday. I love history and I love to do genealogical research so his story always intrigued me. Almost 20 years ago, I gathered up the bits of information we did have, put on my detective hat and began to search. Due to the passage of time, records that were not available to my grandfather were available to me and with the advent of genealogical information online, information was more easily accessible. When I received the fat envelope containing documents from the Children's Aid Society, the contents only confirmed what I had already discovered. My grandfather had been born in Geneva, New York several months after his parents had married. His mother was 17 years old at the time.
Nowadays, more genealogical information is accessible than ever before and as I did research further back in his family, some troubling patterns of behavior emerged. In fact, I have even seen some of those patterns present in my generation. I am reminded that not all behaviors are learned from our environment. Sometimes they really are hereditary but thankfully we can still change them...if we really want to.
When we become a child of God, we have a new Father. We are not only joint heirs with Christ, we are a new creation in Him. We are no longer slaves to the same old behavior patterns. We may be tempted to do the "same-old, same-old" but when we yield to the "old man", it is because we choose to do so rather than declare who we are in Christ and stand upon God's promises.
We must remember that we have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ and that we have not only been set free from sin; it no longer has dominion over us. We must remember that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us and that greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world. We must remember that Jesus Christ has overcome the world and therefore, we can too!
It is time to let go of our old legacy and take possession of our new legacy.