Friday, July 25, 2014

Employee Spotlight - Rebecca Steele

My name is Rebecca, and I am an adoptee. I say that proudly, because my adoptive parents have not let a day go by without showing me love and sharing with me how grateful they are to have me in their lives. I was adopted from The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh when I was only 3 months old. I grew up with an amazing family and an older brother that was also adopted through The Children’s Home. We were always open about the fact we were adopted and that our parents “choose” us. It made us feel proud! Although, as I grew older, I started forming more and more questions about my birth story and where I came from. I had a single picture of my birthparents that would always keep me wondering who I looked like, where they were now, were they still together?
In college I was pushed over the edge to finally take that first step towards my search as personal challenges came and went. I got in touch with The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh to inquire about searching for my birthparents. This was it, I was going to go through with the search. At first I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I had no clue the people I would meet or how they would affect my life.
A few short weeks later I got an email from the social worker that said she believed she found the current addresses to my birthparents and I was to write letters to them summarizing who I was and why I was searching. She sent my letter off and within days I got my first email from my birthfather. Pictures were shared and short life stories through while we got to know each other a little before meeting. I don’t think I breathed for those few days when we were emailing back and forth. My heart was constantly pounding and tears constantly flowing and we emailed several times a day. By the end of the week, we FaceTimed for the first time. I finally was looking at the only person I knew that had the same DNA as me, and I looked like him!
We met for the first time at The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh  and  I finally got to hear bits and pieces of how I came to be and how much my birthfather loved my birthmother but were not able to stay together. Since then, he has a family of his own that is so loving and supportive! Over the last year and a half we have spent a lot of hours together getting to know each other and watching his sons play sports.
Being an adoptee can have its ups and downs and emotions. It isn’t always easy to accept the fact that your birthparents weren’t able to keep you at the time of your birth, for whatever reason.  Any void I had with these emotions were filled by the love and warmth of my adoptive parents. At the end of the day, I am proud to be adopted and now knowing the story behind my adoption makes me realize I should be happy with where life has taken me and whose hands I have been placed in.

On Saturday, March 29, 2014, I had the opportunity to share my story with hundreds of people at The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh’s Shake Your Booties Annual Gala that raises money the programs they offer, including the adoption program. My very close family and friends came together to support me in the amazing night that I got to share how blessed my life is and how my life has been touched by adoption. I will never forget that amazing opportunity and how I was able to touch the lives of the people that attended.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

"Your Holy Light" - Guest Blog

The following blog was written by North Huntingdon Resident Dr. Richard L. Morgan. You can view Dr. Morgan's blog at 

“What goes around, comes around.” For years I listened to life stories of the “greatest generation,” wrote them for their families. My major guide was a book I wrote in 2002, Remembering Your Story A Guide to Spiritual Autobiography. I have been sidetracked by a combination of events, some beyond my control, like a stay in the Hospital. But two sages have led me back to this life passion. One was Bill Denny, a resident WWII veteran, who is blind, and has an amazing story. He survived four major invasions of World War II, including Omaha Beach. When I asked him how he survived, he chuckled and replied, “I ducked!” For me it was a miracle. I wrote his story, and gave it to his son,and those precious memories are now preserved. Yesterday I had the privilege of listening to Dorothy Manzlak, born in 1920, and became a poet in her 70s. I sat spellbound as she recited from memory many of her poems, written by inspiration. Her first poem, “Your Holy Light” begins this way:”Oh my God, my Heavenly King,all day will I your praises sing.” She wrote, “I must become like a blank piece of paper and let the Lord write what He will on my heart and mind. ” Listening to Dorothy quote numerous poems from memory, and reading others convinced me that the Spirit has indeed inspired her. Many of her poems have been published by the Salesian Brothers. Bill and Dorothy remind me of the classic words of Albert Einstein, “There are two ways to live your life. One is not to see your life as a miracle, and the other is as if everything is.”Dorothy and Bill have lived their lives as if they were miracles!