I can’t really progress telling the tale of my own fairly unusual life until I explain the two people who totally changed their lives to ensure that my life would turn out well. This is, for me and most other adopted children, the most amazing thing about the human race…that someone will completely alter their own well-regulated life to care for and nurture the life of another, most often a tiny and totally dependent child. That is what Paul and Elizabeth Stutzke did for me. For their generosity and nurturing, I am eternally grateful.
Uncle Paul and Aunt Elsie obviously loved my biological mother Mary. Clearly Mary knew what she was doing when she not only asked her sister Elsie to be my godmother but also made sure she became my godmother before Mary died. I don’t know, nor does anyone of our generation know, if Mary made it to my christening. I can’t see how Mary was sufficiently well to attend my christening. I’ve known people with blood poisoning and the impact of that upon your body is devastating! Even if Mary wasn’t well enough to attend church, the thought and love that went into her decision to ask her sister to take responsibility
is remarkable in itself. For Elizabeth and her husband Paul to accept that responsibility is awe-inspiring
And even though Uncle Paul and Aunt Elsie were childless, the thought of their willingness to accept the care of a half-orphaned baby with special needs is literally mind-blowing to me. Would I do the same? Absolutely! But that’s because I had an indelible example of the meaning of unconditional love shown to me throughout my entire childhood. Those first months of my life were, of course, spent with me demanding food, comfort and love. Raising my own three children gave me a personal knowledge of how selfish and needy infants are. As a child with special needs my aunt and uncle took on an even greater responsibility. It was in those early months that Uncle Paul and Aunt Elsie became so much more than an aunt and uncle – they became my “parents” in every sense of the word.
I want to make sure that everyone understands that whenever I refer to my ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’, I mean Uncle Paul and Aunt Elsie. I never really knew my biological father because World War II and gas rationing put a kink in Paul’s promise to make sure I visited the Krause family often. And, because my biological mother died when I was a mere 10 days old, I really never knew her.
Truthfully, I never knew Paul and Elsie as anything but ‘Dad’ and ‘Mom’.
I never, ever felt I wasn’t a wonderful child who was loved unconditionally and who was surrounded by love of gargantuan proportions!
Filed under: Autobiographical