FROM BIRTH TO THE PRESENT…

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FROM BIRTH TO THE PRESENT

 

Since the announcement of my finding my birth mother, and actually having the opportunity to speak with her on the telephone, some have suggested I provide more information since they have found the story interesting. So, here we go…

 

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. . . no, wait, that was someone else. . .

 

EARLY YEARS INFORMATION – BIRTH TO HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION

 

I have known nearly all my life of my adoption, as my adoptive parents (Bonnie, died 1984 and Willie Stapleton, died 1997) told me this early in life.  I knew I was born in Orient, Ohio in January of 1950, and somehow ended up in the Hillcrest Children's Home in Wheelersburg, Ohio. It was from there I was adopted at the age of two or three. At some point during my teenage years, I believe, I saw a copy of my Birth Certificate. Undoubtedly, I misread it, as from that point until just a few weeks ago I believed my birth name to be Robert Watt. Over the years, I had conducted a little internet research on "my name" and the city of my birth, only to find no information. Now I know why, as I was mistaken on the name. After adoption, I lived in and around the city of Portsmouth, Ohio until I graduated from Valley High School in Lucasville, Ohio in 1968. Lucasville is located about 15 miles north of the city of Portsmouth. (Keep that city in mind as you read further as it will play a more important role later.)

 

GRADUATION – FAMILY HISTORY TO 2008

 

From there I entered the Army. After my discharge, I returned to Portsmouth for a short while and then moved to Marion, Ohio where I met and married Marcia. A few weeks after our marriage, we moved to Houston, Texas where we lived for about a year. We then moved back to Portsmouth, where after a few months Marcia was baptized at the Grant and Summit Street church of Christ building. A few months after that I, too, was baptized at the same location. In May of 1972 our oldest son, Heath was born in Portsmouth. In October of 1974 our second son, Darrin was also born in Portsmouth. From the time we moved back to Ohio from Texas, we lived in and around the area until 1977.

 

In August of 1977, we moved to Elm Grove, Ohio where I served as a full time gospel preacher with the Elm Grove church of Christ. While living in the Elm Grove community I served the community in various ways such as Boy Scout Committee Chairman, PTA President, Volunteer EMS and Fire Chief, and school bus driver.

 

In June of 1979, our third son, Jason, was born in Chillicothe, Ohio. Then in November of 1980, our only daughter, Lisa, was born in Portsmouth.

 

From there we moved to Windham, Ohio in August of 1981 where I served the Wolf Road church of Christ as its preacher.

 

In October of 1984, we moved to Springtown, Texas in preparation for moving to Tanzania, East Africa, where we move in June of 1985 and served as Administrator of Chimala Mission and Hospital. In 1987, I started the Chimala School of Preaching. In 1988, we returned from Tanzania and settled in Paoli, Indiana where I preached for the Stucker Street church of Christ. We stayed there until 1994 when we, once again, moved to Tanzania. Before moving both Heath and Darrin had graduated from High School, and Heath and Becky (Stutzman) were married, with me performing the ceremony.

 

In December of 1994, Darrin and Carrie (Breeden) were married. Because of our being in Tanzania, we were unable to attend the wedding. In the summer of 1996, we returned to the US on furlough. When we returned to Tanzania, Jason stayed in the US, moving in with Darrin and Carrie, who were living in Orleans, Indiana. Shortly after our return to Tanzania, Heath and Becky joined us in the work there.

 

In April 1998, Marcia, Lisa and I returned to the US and settled in Arlington, Texas with the New York Avenue church of Christ, where I took on the Stateside Coordinator's job with the Chimala work. This left Heath and Becky by themselves in Tanzania. In late July of 1998, Marcia and I, along with Carolyn and Jerry Herring, one of the New York Avenue elders, traveled to Tanzania to introduce the work to the Herrings. We were in Dar Es Salaam the day the American Embassy was destroyed by terrorists. I had made plans to be at the Embassy that morning but was delayed in going there. Had we been there at that time, there is no doubt we would have been killed.

 

In February of 1999, Jason and Madesha (Lawyer) were married in Paoli, Indiana. I had the privilege to perform their ceremony. Later in the year, Darrin and Carrie moved to Tanzania to join in the work that Heath and Becky were doing. In October of 1999, Heath and Becky came back to the US for their first child, William, to be born. Marcia and I went to Tanzania to cover for them while they were in the US. Only a couple days before the turn of the Century, Marcia and I returned to the US once Heath, Becky and William had returned to Chimala.

 

In 2000, Jason and Madesha had their first child, Levan, who was born in Paoli. In January of 2001, they began studies at the Brown Trail School of Preaching in Bedford, Texas.

 

In May of 2003, the elders of the Brown Trail church of Christ asked me to consider becoming the next Director for the Brown Trail School of Preaching. I had been teaching there on a part time basis since October 2002. On December 1, 2003, I assumed that position. Soon after that, our son Jason and his wife Madesha graduated from BTSOP and moved to Chimala to take on the oversight of the evangelistic efforts that were being done there. This was the work that Heath and Becky had previously been involved in prior to returning to the US to take over the Coordinator's position with the Chimala work that I was vacating.

 

In 2004, both Carrie and Madesha had babies while in Tanzania. Carrie gave birth to Jacob in October and Madesha gave birth to Layla in November.

 

In 2006, Jason and his family returned to the US and moved back to Paoli where he began work with the Plainview church of Christ as their preacher. He worked with them for two years, but felt the tug of Tanzania once again. In January of 2008, their family of four moved to Tanzania.

 

In the meantime, Darrin and his family returned to the US in April 2007 with plans to attend BTSOP, which he started in July 2007. In May 2007, Becky gave birth to their second child, Elizabeth. Later in 2007, Heath and family left the Chimala work, moving to Kountze, Texas to work as preacher for the Kountze church of Christ.

 

In October 2008, Carrie gave birth to their second child Alana, who was born in Arlington. They graduated from BTSOP in June 2009 and began full time work with the Cottonwood church of Christ in Wylie, Texas.  

 

In late November 2008, Jason and his family had to return to the US due to health issues with Madesha. They located with the University church of Christ in Tyler, Texas as the Associate Minister. In October 2009, Madehsa gave birth to their twins, Canaan and Sawyer.

 

In June of 2009, Lisa and J.J. Hendrix were married. I had the privilege of performing their ceremony in Grapevine, Texas. At the present, J.J. is completing his studies at BTSOP, and will go to work for the School shortly after graduation as Field Representative. Lisa works for CBT, Accounting in Arlington, Texas as a CPA. They are expecting their first child, Adeline, in August 2010.

 

MORE SPECIFIC INFORMATION RELATIVE TO MY ADOPTION AND THE FINDING OF MY BIRTH MOTHER

 

In January 2008, I was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. A little later in the year I was diagnose with possible heart disease that could be fatal if not treated soon. In addition to this, other medical issues came to the surface in my life. Time after time, while running from one doctor's office to another, I faced questions about my medical history of which I had no information. Knowing that I have four children, I was deeply interested in knowing as much medical history as I could know to pass on to them. I figured at my age it would matter little to me, but for them and their children it could make all the difference.

 

In 2008, 2009, and early 2010 I checked from time to time on the Internet about information of a birth in Orient, Ohio for a Robert Watt, or for the existence of the Watt family. I never found any information.  Sometime in early April of this year, I "stumbled" upon something that indicated that if you were adopted in the State of Ohio prior to 1976 you could petition the State for a copy of your birth records. A few days after learning of this, we did so. On April 22, we received a copy of my Birth Certificate and Adoption Records in the mail. To my surprise, my birth name was not Robert Watt as previously believed. Rather, it was Wyatt Robert Papillion. My birth mother's name was listed as Rosemary Papillion.

With this information in hand, my wife Marcia contacted our daughter Lisa who, with her husband J.J., began a search for what information they could find on the Internet. Between Marcia, Lisa and J.J. they spent several hours searching the Internet and were passing what they found on to me. Night soon came, and I went to bed knowing that a Papillion Family Tree had been located. This "Tree" placed the Papillion family in the exact same town that I had grown up in and around, Portsmouth, Ohio. On the "Tree" were the names of what I would learn would be my Great Grandparents, my Grandparents, and my mother.

 

Early the next morning, I arose around 3:30 a.m. and prepared myself to go to school. While doing so it dawned on me the names Lisa had given me the night before, with the ages listed, would all be too old for my birth mother who gave birth to me at the age of 17, in 1950. As I was preparing to leave, Marcia woke up. I told her the information we had received from Lisa and J.J. the night before did not help as all the names were of people too old to be my mother. She said, "I know. Your mother was born in 1933, and I found her address and telephone number last night after you went to bed." Wow! Marcia then said, "All the information is on the counter in the kitchen." and then she went back to sleep and I left for work with all the information in hand.

 

After getting to work, I anxiously looked over the information, and sure enough, there was the personal information on a Rosemary Papillion who was living in Portsmouth, Ohio. She was 77, which would be the age of my birth mother if she were still alive. The name was right, and the age was right. Now what to do? I decided to write a letter, explaining who I was, and send it to the name and address we had. In the letter, I gave a brief history of how I came into possession of the information the day before and all things looked as if she may be my mother. I told her I was not trying to insert myself into any existing family that she might have. I was only looking for information. In closing the letter, I indicated I would wait to hear from her, and if I did not I would never contact her again.

 

We mailed the letter Registered Mail so someone would have to sign for it so we would know of its delivery. I was told at the Post Office that it should arrive April 26th. We anxiously waited. The 26th came and went and no word came from Ohio. A couple days later, we checked the Internet and learned that the first attempt at delivering the letter had failed. The Post Office Web Site indicated they would try again in a few days. If that failed, they would hold the letter for 15 days and then return it to me. In the mean time, Marcia said she wanted to resend the letter, but she wanted to send it regular mail and with a different return address. She spoke to her twin sister who lives in Delaware, Ohio and asked if we could use her address. She agreed, so a second letter was sent on May 6th. We anticipated it would arrive on May 10th. A second check with the Post Office Web Site indicated the second attempt to deliver the original letter had failed. By now, I had given up hope. I told Marcia not to do anything else because "we were chasing a ghost."

 

Monday the 10th came and fairly much went as normal. I decided to leave work a few minutes early since I had been there since around 4:30 a.m. and it was now approaching 3:30 p.m. Just as I hit the freeway, my cell phone rang. I checked the number and did not recognize it. Figuring it was a telemarketer, I was not paying very close attention when the lady first started talking. However, that was about to change due to the fact that she said she was calling on behalf of Rosemary Papillion, who had just received the Registered letter we had sent. Although she did not specifically confirm that Rosemary was my mother, there was no place for doubt as we spoke for several minutes. She told me that Rosemary had a doctor's appointment the next morning, but as soon as possible after that appointment, they would call me.

 

I was on "pins and needles" the rest of the night and on into the morning. Around 10:00 a.m. my cell phone rang, as I was telling others at the Brown Trail building of the recent events. I checked my phone, and it was Marcia telling me I was wanted on the office phone. I went to her office, which was much closer than mine was, and picked up the phone. It was Joy, whom I had spoken to the day before calling back. After a few seconds, Rosemary came on the phone, and our conversation began.

 

SOME THINGS I HAVE LEARNED

 

I learned that when I was born I was not breathing and the doctor, Dr. Robert Frazier, resuscitated me.

 

I learned that soon after my birth, a couple came and took me away. Rosemary said she had no idea where I went. She indicated she had made several attempts over the years to find information on me, but to no avail. I have no idea how I ended up at the children's home in Wheelersburg, or at what age. I may never know that information.

 

I learned I have two younger half brothers, one who lives near Columbus, Ohio and the location of the other is unknown.

 

I learned I have two living uncles, both of whom live in Ohio. One in Chillicothe, Ohio (you may recall this was where our son Jason was born), and one in Portsmouth, Ohio. I am scheduled to hold a Gospel Meeting for the church of Christ in Chillicothe sometime in the future.

 

I learned the world is so much smaller than we may think. Joy, the lady I mentioned above, knows my adopted brother and his wife who live in Portsmouth. She has known Rosemary for several years also. Of course, she had no way of making the connection.

 

I learned something of a mother's love. Not long into our conversation Rosemary said, "I love you, Wyatt." I looked in desperation to Marcia, seeking an answer in her eyes. I turned back to the phone and quietly said, "I love you, too."

 

I learned things take on new meaning as time passes by. Tuesday afternoon, a few hours after the phone call, the young woman who was cutting my hair, asked if I had a good weekend and if my mother was still living. My adoptive mother died in 1984. I sat silently for a few seconds and reflected on what all had happened over the past hours and quietly responded, "Yes."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Decisions of the Bible

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GREAT DECISIONS OF THE BIBLE

 

Our lives are filled with many different decisions that must be made. Some, we might say, are not all that important, while others are of utmost importance. At times, the decisions we must make may well result in life or death results, or have a major impact upon eternity. Quite often, when we are called upon to make important decisions, we do not know how to respond in order to make the proper decision. Decision-making can become very confusing at times as we try to determine what we should or should not do. A study of some of the great decisions made by men of the Bible can help us in our decision-making.

 

It does not take long, as one reads their Bible, to come to the third chapter of Genesis where we find Adam and Eve confronted with a very important decision. That decision was whether to obey God’s command concerning the tree of knowledge of good and evil. In Genesis 2:17, God had been specific in what He expected of them. However, in Genesis 3:1-5 we note Eve was confronted with the decision of whether to obey God or to follow the enticing words of Satan. Near the beginning of life on earth, we see that Eve was called upon to make an important decision that would affect mankind for eternity. By study of Genesis chapter three, we note that both Adam and Eve were given the chance to choose either right or wrong, and that both of them made the wrong choice. Eve’s wrong decision was influenced by her human desire to be wise, as is seen in Genesis 3:6. Adam, on the other hand, chose to listen to Eve rather than God. Because of their wrong decisions, Adam and Eve were to have many consequences to face as is seen in Genesis 3:16-19. The Apostle Paul shows that not only did Adam and Eve face the consequences of their actions, but so must man also, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22). God had said to Adam, that if he took of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil he would surely die. That is exactly what happened as both experienced an immediate and long range result of their transgression. Adam and Eve both experienced spiritual “death” at the precise moment of their transgression, and both later experienced physical death as a result of their error. Their actions, as such, set the stage for all humanity to experience similar results from their actions. The decisions that we make today affect us personally and may affect many generations of our families that are not even born yet. Thus, we should realize that as we make decisions, we should weigh them carefully in view of what God has said.

 

Another great decision found within the pages of the Book of Genesis was the decision made by Lot to choose the well watered plains of the Jordan. From Genesis 13:5-9 we note a problem had arisen within the ranks of the herdsmen of Abraham and Lot. The decision was made to allow Lot to choose which direction he would go with his family, his herdsmen, and his cattle. From Genesis 13:10-13 we see that Lot looked out over the well watered plains of the Jordan and chose that as the place where he would go. No doubt, as he looked over this area he thought to himself that he was making a wise decision. He may have thought that he had “pulled one over” on Abraham. However, he didn’t! As we can see later in the Book of Genesis his decision to go in the direction that he did landed him in Sodom, where his family was put in jeopardy (Genesis 19:1-26). In his seeking for the many material things that he assumed would come from his choice of directions to go, he failed to consider every aspect of his decision. He allowed his desire for material things take precedence over the more important things in his life. As we read this story, let us be cautioned to be sure that we have our priorities right when it comes to the rearing of our families.

 

Later, in the Book of Genesis, we read that Abraham was called upon to make a decision that would affect humanity forever. His decision was whether he had the faith to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice as instructed by God, as seen in Genesis 22:1-3. This decision would be a tremendous one for him since he had waited so long to have this child. As we consider these passages, we realize that there was a great test of faith for both Abraham and Isaac. From the words of the writer of the Book of Hebrews we learn that both made the right decision (Hebrews 11:17-19). In examination of their decisions, let us be careful to choose wisely so as to have the faith God would have us to have to live the lives He would have us to live.

 

By study of Moses' life, we find that he had to decide as to what to be. His decision was whether to live in luxury in Pharaoh's palace, or to follow the Hebrew lineage that was taught unto him by his mother. As we consider decisions, we should realize that this would be a great one to have to make. Choosing whether to live a life of having everything you want, or choosing to be without everything does not seem to be an easy decision to make. From the words of the inspired writer of the Book of Hebrews we are provided the answer as to which choice Moses made, "Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;" (Hebrews 11:25). There can be no doubt that Moses had much to give up, but he did so any way. Why did he make such a choice? The answer is also found in the Book of Hebrews, "By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;" (Hebrews 11:24). Moses' decision to do right came from within and not from without. From this we learn the need to make important decisions in life based upon our faith which comes from God's Word (Romans 10:17).

 

In Joshua chapter 24, we note that Joshua was faced with a great decision. That decision was related to who he would choose to follow in life, "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:15). As we consider this decision, we see that it was based upon the fact that the Lord was the True God, and had done so much for Joshua and Israel. This same fact should cause us to make the right decision when faced with such. If God is God, then this settles the matter. We should be either infidels or faithful followers of God. The very nature of this issue leaves no room for a middle position. We are either for or against the Lord (Matthew 12:30). 

 

We find, as a study of the Old Testament is made, that King Saul was faced with a great decision in 1 Samuel 15. Saul was told by the Lord to destroy all of the Amalekites, "Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass." (1 Samuel 15:3). As such, he was confronted with the decision of whether to do as God instructed, or to do, as others desired. From a further study of this chapter we see that Saul, unwisely, decided to follow the desires of others, "And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice." (1 Samuel 15:24). Considering Old Testament teachings, we realize that Saul should have feared God and not man, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." (Ecclesiastes 12:13).  From this we learn the need to make sure our decisions are determined by what God says rather than by what man says.

 

Moving on to the New Testament, we note that Jesus made numerous important decisions while living here on earth. In Matthew chapter 4, we note that He was placed in the position where He had to make some of the greatest decisions of His life. Consider Matthew 4:3, 6, 8, 9 and note that in each of these confrontations with the Devil, Jesus chose to submit to the will of God as found within Scriptures. In the Garden, prior to His betrayal, Jesus faced a great decision as He prayed, "…O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." (Matthew 26:39).

 

And, finally, Pilate had to decide an answer to his own question, "Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?…" (Matthew 27:22) "Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified." (Matthew 27:26). Each day of our lives we must answer the question of "what shall I do with Jesus which is called Christ?" Lets be sure to make the proper decision.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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