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By: Dr. Noah H. Kersey Ph.D.

A day never goes by that I do not think of the son that I have never met.

Although it has been 37 years, the experience of his conception is forever embedded in my memory.

His mother and I both lived in an orphanage in Tampa, Florida. She was of Yugoslavian descent and a classic beauty. As teenagers do, we "fell in love" and our passions took over. We became sexually intimate.

One night, I made the mistake of falling asleep in Ginny's bed and when the light came on and our house-father looked into the room, I panicked. At first it did not seem as if he saw me because he wore thick glasses but, in a short while it became evident that he had seen us together after all.

Later that morning I was called to the office and was informed that I would have to leave the orphanage, drop out of school, and work while going to night classes to finish high school or, join the Army as so many of the other teenagers were doing during the Vietnam era. They said Ginny would have to go to a foster home, and could not stay at the orphanage either.

The next day I had a talk with my high school band director and told him I was going to be leaving and, immediately, he talked to the Band Parents Association to see if someone would take me in. I was too embarrassed about my reason for leaving "The Home", as we called it, to tell anyone.

Within a few days, a couple came to see me and asked if I would like to come live with them so I could finish high school. I didn't have to think long about it before I answered, "yes". Now, I had a new home.

Sadly, Ginny was packed and left soon thereafter never to be seen by me again.

Later, I heard that she was pregnant and that the baby would be given up for adoption as soon as he or she was born. I also heard that Ginny would continue living in the foster home of a police officer and his wife while she was having our baby.

My heart was broken. I loved Ginny as much as any teenager could love his girlfriend and was distressed to think I would never be able to see our baby.

It was about a year later that I made contact with the nurse at The Home and she was kind enough to tell me that she had handled the adoption and the baby was a healthy boy. She said he looked a lot like me.

It made me ache. Here I was without parents and very unsure of my own future. Now I had fathered a baby and would never know him, never have the opportunity to hold him. The sadness overwhelmed me.

As the next two years passed, I graduated from high school and had been accepted at Florida State University. It was not easy financially. I struggled trying to concentrate on my grades and had to work several jobs to make ends meet. However, the thought of my son being out there somewhere never left my mind. I always wondered if I would ever see him, and even if I didn't, I knew he would always be a part of me and in some strange way, I would be a part of him.

I wondered, would he ever be curious about his birth father?

After eight years of struggling, I finally graduated from college and moved to Atlanta, Georgia to attend graduate school at Georgia State University. Again, not a day went by that my son was not a part of my consciousness. Every time I saw any little boy about his age, I looked intently to see if he had my ears or some resemblance to Ginny.

Soon, I was to meet my wife and we would have our own children.

Diana and I married in July of 1981 while I was studying at Georgia State University. By the time I graduated with my master's degree and had been accepted into a doctoral program at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, we had our first son, Steve. This occurred twenty-five months after Diana and I married, and twenty-five months after Steve, we had Scott. Twenty-five months after Scott, we had Kathryn, all occurring during my doctoral training program. It was a very stressful but, exciting time.

Nevertheless, not a day went by that I ever forgot about my son with Ginny. I continued to think about him and wondered if he was well-cared for? Was he happy? What was his adoptive family like? Would I ever get to meet my birth son?

I completed my doctoral training and settled into a professional career as a psychologist. I was thrilled that I had found a wonderful wife who gave me two handsome sons and a beautiful daughter.

As the years passed, my kids became karate champions. We traveled the country for tournaments and soon we traveled to such places as Budapest, Hungary, Valencia, Spain, and Tokyo, Japan. The gold medals were overwhelming our household and newspaper articles about the kids' accomplishments filled our walls. A number of television appearances also were made to showcase the kids' martial arts abilities.

For all those years, I was a devoted father. My passion was and still is my family.

I wanted to give to my children the love, security and attention I never experienced as a child. My prayer to God was that I never let them down. But, my thoughts always turned to my birth son. I could feel his presence somewhere out there in the world.

Now that my children are mostly grown and leaving for college, I cannot remove the question of what my first-born son must be doing now. I have thought, many times, "I could be a grandfather by now".

Before Diana and I married, I made a special point of telling her about my birth son. I was thrilled that she was so open-minded that he might look for me someday. I knew that I wanted to throw my arms around him, just as I had our three children as they were growing up, and tell him how much I loved him and thought about him all these years.

In the early 1990's The Home was preparing to celebrate their 100 year anniversary. Since I was the only kid that left the orphanage and became a doctor, they invited me to be a guest speaker, along with, then, Governor Lawton Chiles.

Unfortunately, I had to decline the honor because I was just starting a position and could not get away at the time but, a few years later, I took Diana, and the kids to tour The Children's Home so they could see my roots. While there, I asked the director if I could place a letter in Ginny's file, so that, if our son ever looked for her, he could also find me.

I am not sure if he ever has looked for her, or what has become of her. So far, I have never received that knock on the door with a young man standing there to tell me I am his birth father.

I still hope that knock will come someday.

Dr. Kersey has been providing mental health services since 1977 and provides services for individuals, couples, families as well as groups. He has a special interest in areas of co-dependent relationships, adoption issues, marital therapy, as well as stress of life issues. Dr. Kersey is a licensed psychologist and has been practicing in Indiana since 1987. You may contact him at his website:
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