Powell to speak about how adoption changed life
Bob Powell (and Inez Baucom)
By Ray Westbrook | AVALANCHE-JOURNAL
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Story last updated at 8/5/2008 - 1:40 am
In its 54-year history, the Children's Home of Lubbock has finalized 750 adoptions, and will celebrate that milestone at 2 p.m. Saturday with an open invitation for adoption families to attend.
Bob Powell of Portland, Ore., who was a 2-year-old when adopted and the first to be placed for adoption through the Children's Home, plans to be present.
He and his two sisters, Mary Carter and Dona Cooper, who were 5 and 3 respectively at the adoption, had all gone simultaneously to the Jim and Irene Powell home in 1956.
Bob Powell ultimately became a minister and a licensed marriage and family therapist.
The successful career of Inez Balcolm, a social worker who placed more than 500 of the children before retiring in 1980, also will be spotlighted during the celebration.
Along with the observance, the Children's Home staff hopes to raise awareness of the need for adoption.
"There are 430 children in our region alone, and more than 4,000 in Texas who are under Children's Protective Services conservatorship and are legally adoptable today," said Lynn Harms, president.
Stacy Parker, unit director of foster care and adoption, said children from birth to age 18 are adoptable.
"Probably 20 or 30 years ago it was more private, infant adoptions," Parker said. "We still do domestic adoptions. However, we also do a lot of state-contracted adoptions. That means we work with the state of Texas with the children who are in the CPS system.
"Our children are searching for a place to belong and to fit in, to be wanted, loved and nurtured. That is what an adoptive family is. It is a family that is able to help take in a child who is in need of a family and a place to belong.
"We all want a sense of belonging."
The implications of successful adoption are immense, according to Harms.
"It changes the entire future for that child," he said.
"The real significance is what it does for the child to have an identity, a family, and security. Then what happens in generations to come is that it changes the generational pattern. For the kids who are born into abuse and neglectful families and who have horrific experiences, their kids are not going to have those experiences."
Powell said in a phone interview that he has kept in touch with the Children's Home and spoke at one of its fundraisers in 1985.
He also graduated from the Abilene Christian University graduate school in 1985.
"At that time, I got in touch with my birth family," Powell said. "It was a good meeting. My adopted parents came down for my graduation, and my sisters came. My birth father was still alive at the time, but my birth mother had died a number of years previously."
He describes the meeting this way:
"It was interesting and strange, but kind of a good closure kind of thing."
He returns to the Lubbock area from time to time to visit cousins and aunts and uncles who are relatives through adoption, and to always visit Inez Balcolm, who placed him in the Powell home.
Harms said of adoption, "It has an impact on the adopting family who is completing their family, and it affects the grandparents, the aunts, the uncles, cousins and often the older siblings who are in the family when a newly adopted child comes in.
"The adoption significance is a kind of 360-degree blessing because it blesses the family, the child and the future generations."
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