Family Non-Fiction posted August 21, 2023 Chapters:  ...24 25 -26- 27... 

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A young Texas wife moves to NY

A chapter in the book Angels Unaware

Yankee Trust and Culture Bust

by forestport12

From a broken home and at an early age Tommy wanted to discover his purpose in life and one day have a loving family to call his own. Mary, his wife taught him not to fear love, but embrace it.

One day I asked my Texas wife if she wanted to move to New York. She said, "YES." For her, it was like jumping into the deep end of a pool before learning how to swim.

It wasn't easy loading up a red Ford Escort with everything we owned, including our two children. Somehow we made it through the states without injury. I can't say the same for the Escort. It had issues the day I drove it from the lot.

Mary had a taste of upstate New York one summer on vacation. Unfortunately, it rained nearly every day. Her first perceptions were that she might have to abandon the sunshine of Texas for a depressing experience. I was famous for saying, "But we have sunshine in our hearts, we have Jesus!" And then it would rain. My other famous quote was, "Be content in whatsoever state you are in, including NY." And sometimes my father would make her laugh when he would sing his version of "I love New York."

Our plan was to settle in with a church where I could be the youth pastor or an assistant pastor and cut some spiritual teeth. I was impatient, and we often found ourselves bouncing around. I had forgotten the basic Yankee rule of northern folk, including churches. "Trust but verify." Nothing like being under a microscope every moment you live.

My wife learned the hard way about northern culture. She would often wave to strangers on the street and sometimes attempt to engage them in conversation. Not all people were distant and cold, but sometimes she would get that, "Go to hell look," when she waved.

At first we lived with my father. He treated my wife with such grace and love. They got along famously. She was a blessing above and beyond to my father. Settling into a church helped our adjustments too.

My father would often take Mary and the kids out when I had to work. I worked a couple part time jobs, one for the airlines in Syracuse, NY and the other for Airborne Freight. As providence would have it, the freight job had the benefit of a free lawyer when you needed one. We used the lawyer to start the proceedings for me to adopt Malissa.

I will never forget how happy Mary's daughter was when I told her at the age of six that she would one day stand before the judge, and he would ask her if its okay for me to be your legal father. There was a satisfied grin from ear to ear.

Mary always told Malissa everything about her past. Some of her bad dreams at night reminded us that she remembered things on her own. My wife decided early on that she would have no secrets between them. To this day, I believe it's why mother and daughter are close. There was no root of bitterness that got in the way when Malissa researched her own past as an adult and learned more details about the heroic couple who rescued them in Illinois. She knew the score. She knew then that her first father had abandoned her. We all went forward with eyes and hearts wide open!

Sometimes Malissa would remark how she had brown eyes and wished she had blue eyes like her little brother or me. Time has a way of working things out. Once again God's undercurrent and timing would put us in situations to remind us we are never drowning but carried along by his grace. Once, when she was a teenager, I took her on a carpet cleaning job to a motel. The manager in charge looked at her and remarked, "I can clearly see how much your daughter favors you."

That one experience made her day. Malissa couldn't wait to get home and brag to her mother about what happened. But without a doubt her greatest moment came when she stood before the judge at seven years of age and legally became my daughter. I hadn't known how much impact that day had on her life until her class was assigned to write a letter on a day when each student felt special. The title of her story was, "The day I felt special when I was adopted."

To be continued... Next, the Perfect Storm, and how we drove against all odds to make a little girl mine.

Romans 8:15 (NCV) The Spirit we received does not make us slaves again to fear; it makes us children of God. With that Spirit we cry out, "Father."

Mary is my wife from Texas
Malissa is the daughter I was going to adopt
Nathan is her second born and my first son. (Although he's not mentioned in chapter.)
My father who divorced and spent the rest of his days that way, living alone.

*I intentionally used this chapter as a bridge to the chapter on adoption coming up, as I felt it would make the whole lead up to it rather long.
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