After military service in Germany (1960–1963), I traveled from New York City to California with a stop in Chicago to visit relatives. It was while in Chicago that I met Marilyn, and three years later, in 1966, we were married in California in a non-denominational church, although Marilyn was Catholic and came from a large Catholic family. We bought our house in 1967 and started trying to have children two years later. Marilyn wanted children desperately, but after many visits to doctors, we were not successful.
We did extensive research to find an adoption agency we were comfortable with, as we were fussy; we finally decided on HFS. Here’s where it gets interesting: In addition to the interviews and home visits, the adoption process took about a year and a half. It was 1970. I was not Catholic and was investigated by the Catholic Church to verify that I was baptized according to Catholic standards. Then we had to get re-married in a Catholic Church.* Meanwhile, I also wanted to get an education, and Marilyn and I agonized over whether we had to choose between the two: adoption or education.
Surprisingly, Marilyn decided I should continue my education! Going back to school required that I quit working for two years and live on money provided by the GI Bill. We took our story to the folks at HFS, anticipating and fearing that the adoption process would be forever postponed. The staff at HFS seemed understanding and requested that I provide HFS with a two-year financial plan. I did, and the folks at HFS accepted it and agreed that the adoption process could continue based on that plan. I can’t tell you how happy we were!
We adopted our son John over 50 years ago, in 1972, and our daughter Stacy in 1975. Through the years, the adoptions and resulting life experiences were successful. I completed my education and received a bachelor’s degree in1973 and a master’s degree in 1976 from Cal Poly, Pomona. In addition to being a proud grandfather of three, I had a successful career in industry and taught classes at Mt. San Antonio College and Cal Poly, Pomona.
Marilyn stayed home raising our children through high school and beyond. Unfortunately, she passed away in 2022. Our son John received a bachelor’s degree in 1997 from Cal Poly, Pomona, and a master’s degree from Cal State University, San Bernardino in 2000. He is married and has one young son. John’s wife, Carly, received a bachelor’s degree from Cal State University, San Bernardino, and stays home raising their son. Our daughter Stacy received a bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly Pomona in 1998. She is married and has two daughters, one in high school and the other in her first year of college. Stacy works part-time for the school district where her daughters attend school. Her working hours are consistent with her daughters’ schedules, so she is home for her daughters. Stacy’s husband, Mike, graduated from Cal Poly, Pomona.
This story is part of our “75 Stories for 75 Years!”
If you have an adoption story to share, please send it to HFS at email@example.com!
* HFS notes that such requirements no longer exist. HFS welcomes all adoptive parents, regardless of religious affiliation.