Thursday, March 3, 2011
Don’t Let Anyone Tell You Differently!
My story really begins back when I was still living with my Father In Heaven in the Spirit World. Okay now before you start thinking that I’m a whacked out crazy loon….allow me to voice my disclaimer. I am a Mormon, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. So the views and beliefs periodically may or may not be the same views and beliefs as yours. However, may I just say this, let’s put our differences aside right now and allow us to take the beneficial parts of what I have to say and use them to make our lives more productive and use them to serve in a greater capacity in His Kingdom to build each other up. The world has enough people who tear each other down, let’s not nit pick at the content, if you can’t say something nice, please, just don’t bother to say it. Okay, enough said about that.
Where was I? Oh yes, the pre-existence. I believe that we lived before we came to this earth and we were for-ordained to be who we are by our Father in Heaven. D&C 138:56 we are here for a specific purpose and it is up to us to fulfill that purpose to the best of our abilities. Though, I must put in another disclaimer….some of us take the scenic route on our way to remembering our true purpose, and that’s all I’ll say about that for now.
So my mom tells me that my journey began even before I was born. She and my Dad were in attendance at a church meeting in Levan, Utah where an agent for the Indian Placement Program was speaking. He was encouraging the congregation to get more involved in the Indian Placement Program that the church used to place Indian Children so that they could further their education.
As early as 1947, American Indians in the Southwest were seeking foster families in the Church so their youth could attend high school. These individual requests led to the establishment in 1954 of the Indian Student Placement Service (ISPS), sponsored by the Church to serve members who were Native Americans. Ensign » 1990 » January
During this meeting my parents very instinctively heard this gentleman state that anyone interested in “adopting” an Indian baby should call this number and he gave a number to call.
My mother immediately called the number that Monday to which she received some disheartening news. The Church did not advocate adopting Indian Children. My mother was told that she had called the “Indian Placement” office. My mother insisted that she heard the speaker say adoption. My mother was gently informed that she must have misunderstood.
My mother hung up the phone very disappointed. For she had experienced four miscarriages by this time and was so excited at the prospect of adopting a baby and an Indian baby to boot! Though she was saddened by the news she had just received, she was convinced of what she heard in that meeting and so she proceeded to phone friends that were present at the meeting also. To which they all informed her that she had heard incorrectly. Mom knew in her heart what she had heard and refused to believe any differently. So, when Dad got home from work, she asked him what he had heard. My Dad heard the same thing that my Mom heard. They were the only one’s who heard the wording differently than the rest of the congregation.
Well, she went to bed undeterred by the news she received and knew that everything would work itself out. To her surprise, the next day she received a phone call that confirmed what she and my dad had heard. The Indian Agent asked for Sister Nielsen. My mom replied “this is she.” They proceeded to tell my mother that she wasn’t going to believe this but he went to a meeting and someone stood up and said “if you know of anyone willing to adopt and Indian baby, let them know.” This mother wanted her baby adopted into a white Mormon family. My mother was ecstatic as you can imagine!
My mom and dad were so excited about the news of adopting an Indian baby, contrary to the discouraging comments that came from friends and even some family members. Back then it was not openly acceptable to adopt out of your “race” I guess. I’m so glad that our culture has evolved into being more accepting rather than segregating. Anyway, my parents were so thrilled at the prospect of adding another child to their brood of two amazing Sons. My mom began educating my brothers about this new Indian baby that was going to be their new sibling. From what I understand they too were very excited for the new addition to the family.
Because of the discouraging comments that my parents were receiving from others out of concern for them, she had the opportunity to talk to Elder Spencer W. Kimball, then an Apostle and later became our Prophet, at Stake Conference. My mother was very shy back then and it took all the muster she could to go up and speak to Elder Kimball. She told Brother Kimball about the Indian baby for adoption. Brother Kimball misunderstood at first because he told my mother that the Church did not advocate adopting the Indian children. My mother explained more about what was happening and Brother Kimball told my mother that if an Indian mother was giving her baby up for adoption and she and my dad had the opportunity to adopt the baby, that they should do so and that great blessings would come to them for doing so. After that nothing made my question her and my dad’s decision to adopt me again.
Finally the day came when my mom received the call to come to Salt Lake and pick up their new bundle of joy at the Relief Society Headquarters on Temple Square. Just one problem….my dad, as usual, was not at home. My dad has always been a hard-worker and he was busy keeping up his reputation working up Payson Canyon for the Forest Service.
My mom loaded the boys into the car with my basinet in the back seat and proceeded the long journey north from Nephi, UT. First stop, Payson Canyon to find my Dad. So, up the canyon they went, honking the horn as they drove, hollering out the window “Brryyyyaaaannnn, Brrrryyyyannn! Finally success! Mom says it took awhile to find him but they finally found where he was washing out garbage cans. My dad had to finish washing out the cans before he could leave sooooo, my mom and my two new older brothers to be, helped my dad wash out the garbage cans before proceeding up to Salt Lake.
With great anticipation they arrived at the Relief Society Headquarters and waited for them to bring me out. They were so excited and shocked at the same time! What! This Indian Baby is WHITE! Okay, granted she has black hair and a cute little Indian flat nose and adorably fat squishy cheeks, but she’s no papoose!
My mom said that my brothers took one look at me and then looked at her with very confused looks on their faces that seemed to say “ummmm, mom…so what’s up with the white baby, I thought we were getting an Indian baby…” Well, I guess it was unanimous that they would keep me, inspite of my “pale face” skin….
And so begins, the journey of my life time…..