The World of Grandpa Don

Tawanda's permission to use the previous email was granted in the following email:

Dear Don,

Thank you for your flattering offer to post my email on your site. You are more than welcome to share it, as well as this one if you see it fitting to do so. This one turned out longer than I had intended, but I decided not to cut it short as I am sure it may help someone else.

Many people go seeking out children in all areas to adopt (for their own reasons), but the ones that tend to get forgotten are the ones that have been taken away from their parents and put into foster care or state ran organizations. Children over five years of age and minority children tend to get left to "the system" and it is such a shame. And many times it is their own race/culture that fights their adoptions to someone other than their own race/culture. Other times they are "left behind" due to being in sibling groups or disabilities.

My husband and I did not go out "seeking" to adopt. Our hearts have always been with children and that was multiplied (in 1995) after carrying our first child to full term (and due to be born any day) when we find that he was stillborn at my last Dr.'s appointment. That forever changed our life and we never took anything for granted after that. We had been told that they could not find a cause for the demise of our child and that there should be no reason that we could not continue to have children in the future. In 1997 our fears were re-visited when six weeks before our daughter was to be born we find that I had almost no amniotic fluid. She had to be induced. Thanking God's blessings, she was born healthy and came home right away. Again, we were told that it was a "freak" thing and that there was no reason that we could not have children in the future.

When our daughter was two I had obtained a business license to do home daycare and was looking for children to watch when a lady in our church approached us about doing foster care instead. (In the State of Alaska you cannot do foster care and daycare at the same time) She had two girls fostered in her home and they had two brothers that needed a place to go and she did not have room in her home for all of them. (They had already been shifted in and out of foster homes for over a year by this time) To make a long story short, we started out with the boys and due to one having Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and ADHD he was eventually put into a therapeutic home. (His foster mother has since adopted him and we are close friends.) We fought for a year to get the girls in our home just as foster children and at last they were able to move in with their brother. We were later told that their parents were going to sign over rights, but because they were Alaska Native that they would have to go to Native relatives or other Native families. They would all be split up because nobody was willing to take all of them. After a while, both parents requested that we should adopt the children on the grounds that they would get one visitation a month... and so began the adoption process. Along with this new beginning, we find that we are expecting another child. Four in one! We were quite surprised! 

As with my previous pregnancies, this last one did not go off without a hitch! Seven and a half weeks before our baby was due, I went into premature labor. The Dr.'s tried to stop the labor and it only made the process speed up! Our baby was born and immediately whisked off to the neo-natal unit and spent over a week in NICU. After spending about eight days in the hospital, our TINY son was able to come home. Once again thanks be to God, our son is now healthy and has caught up with his size quite well! (smile and sigh)

A few months later (summer of 2001), the adoption was finalized after the children having been in "the system" for almost four years! 

So many things have taken place in our lives that we feel like a walking ministry in ourselves. We have always believed that things happen for a reason. And to the viewers of your site that may run across someone with similar circumstances, our story may help them as well. We never know the reasons for things that happen until God shows it to us. My time came about a year after the loss of our first son when an acquaintance (I barely knew her, as she was a friend of a friend) had miscarried and I just wrote her a simple note stating that I had been there before and that if she needed a shoulder I was there for her. To my surprise I was the ONLY person she felt understood her and we have since become good friends and pen pals. I knew then that if nothing else came from the loss of our child, it gave us the experience to help others in the same place. Too many times people, and even Christians, will blame God or ask him "WHY?". We cannot live in that horrid hole forever and must come out of it and ask, "How can I use this to help others?", or "How can I use this to tell others about God and his wonderful works?".

One day I may be able to sit down and write a book about it all. Right now we have five kids between one and twelve years of age! Our cup runneth over in more ways than one I guess you could say! So thank you for the opportunity to share our story on your site.


For Tawnda's thoughts on Judging Others go to the Guest page.

2005 Note:
Unfortunately the "Guest" page has been lost.


Adoption Page

" ... as often as you have done it for one of my least brothers, 
you did it for me."

Matthew 25:40

This scripture passage has a special meaning for me and the story of my being adopted. I believe that adoption is a profound fulfillment of Matthew 25:31-40.
I started this page when I found two new cyber-friends who have views  common to mine on this subject. I found their stories to be exceptional. The page is expanding.

Grandpa Don

Graphic used with permission.
Jean Keaton

Tawnda Thomas's 2nd mail - 
Filling in the details.

The World of Grandpa Don 

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