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A Feel Good Adoption Story

Long Ago

The year was 1948.

The war had ended.

War babies were born. Families were forming. Steps were being taken to find some semblance of normalcy.

One such family, a man, a woman, and a young daughter, moved from Charles City, Iowa, to Tacoma, Washington in search of that normalcy. By the economic standards of that day they were lower middle-class, an ex-soldier with no discernible skills, his wife, his step-daughter, looking for greener pastures in the Pacific Northwest, a new beginning of sorts, a hopeful reboot in a land of towering evergreens.

The man found work in a sand and gravel pit, part-time work, something to pay the bills for awhile, something to keep heads above water, and he worked hard at providing, keeping his young family one step ahead of the bill collectors as he carved out a toehold in a new land.

The extended family of love

The extended family of love

A Big Decision

The decision was made to adopt a child. The reasons for that decision are lost in time. Most certainly this decision involved added pressures, increased bills, and more challenges for the young family, but the decision was made and they went to Catholic Community Services, in Tacoma, and inquired about foster children.

There were many to choose from at that time, in that place, war babies unwanted, a buyers’ market if you will, so many available, large and small, male and female, black and white, a veritable abundance of riches in the flesh market, and so the young couple sifted their way through the choices, looked at photos, weighed the pros and cons, kicking tires, if you will, looking for the perfect child to compliment their existing family.

And when the decision was made, when the papers were signed, when that bundle in blue was handed to them and legally became a member of their family, they became the proud parents of a legally-blind boy who they named William.

William Dale Holland was his name, the middle name being the first name of the father, nine months old, a veteran of nine previous foster homes, blind as a bat and desperately in need of love.

That was me!

One incredibly lucky kid!


It’s been almost seventy years since that act of unrestricted love, and I still can’t wrap my brain around it. My adopted parents were not rolling in cash. They had no trust fund. They were barely scraping by. Surely they knew there would be financial obstacles facing them in adopting a blind child. Surely they understood the challenges they were about to meet, and yet they chose to ignore all of that and adopt me.

I’m not complaining, mind you, but I am incredulous.

Seeing quite well, thank you very much!

Seeing quite well, thank you very much!

The Winds of Fate

Nine months ago my wife, Bev, encouraged me to join one of those DNA testing companies, Ancestry.com. I agreed to do so, mainly out of curiosity. I thought it would be nice to know about my medical background in case there are some issues I need to know, that sort of thing. My adopted parents are dead now, so I had no concerns with hurting their feelings by seeking out my biological family.

Two months ago I finally had some answers.

There are some facts. There are also many unanswered questions which leave room for conjecture, but based on the facts, that conjecture is probably fairly accurate.

I came from a troubled family.

My biological mother died at the age of 42 from liver disease. Conjecture: severe alcoholism.

One of my biological brothers was in and out of prison, a rather unsuccessful con man.

Another biological brother died at 21 in a motorcycle accident.

Very little is known about my biological father.

More conjecture: biological mother in a disadvantaged family has a child, a blind child, is overwhelmed, realizes she is incapable of feeding another mouth, incapable of nurturing one more child, gives that baby to the adoption agency, maybe drops the kid off at the hospital, hard to say, but what isn’t hard to say is this: I am, and will be, eternally grateful that she did what she did.

It turned out all right for me!

Scratch that last statement: it turned out fantastic for me!

Legally Blind but . . .

So there they were, with a nine-month old child, papers all signed, papers declaring this child, named William, is legally blind, good luck, folks, best wishes to ya, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out of the adoption agency, tuck that little bundle in blue into his crib, look down upon him, see how he moves his head at sounds, following the noise, waving his tiny arms, crying, always crying, the big world only blackness to him, one day, five, one week, two weeks, three weeks and . . .


The legally-blind kid could suddenly see.

What must my parents have thought that morning they went into the bedroom to check on their new son? What was their reaction? Did they know instantly that the kid had sight, or did that realization arrive slowly, one suspicion at a time? I suspect my mother cried. She was always doing that. I also suspect my dad beamed that smile of his, hugged his wife, maybe even threw up his hands and whooped. For sure they scooped me up and raced to see Doc Larkin, who would have been just as dumbfounded when he confirmed that yes, in fact, little Billy Holland could see.

It’s a miracle, my mother would have said, and Dad, not the most of religious of men, would have no answer to those words.

Eternally grateful!

Eternally grateful!

Fast Forward Through Time

They are all gone now. Questions which need answers will forever remain unasked. All that’s left is that little bundle in blue, all grown up now, seeing quite well, thank you very much, seeing more than just the eyes can see, seeing a love that, to this day, is still beyond my comprehension.

I look back now, to those hard times, to that young family, and I am in awe of the decision they made, of the burden they willingly lifted, a leap of faith for sure. They are not here now. I am not able to express to them the incredible gratefulness I have for them. I am not able to express the love I still have for Dale LeRoy Holland, or Evelyn Josephine Holland, and the extended family in the background, grandmas and grandpas, uncles and aunts, sister and cousins and all, all willing to accept that blind kid as their own, all willing to bestow upon him the greatest gift known to man, the gift of unconditional love!

Would They Be Proud?

I think so! Parents are like that, you know. They somehow are able to ignore the disappointments of their children and see to the core of the matter. They brush aside the mistakes and the foibles and the stumbles. They provide that safe place, a place where love is never doubted, a place where safety is always present, and my parents did that each and every day of my life.

So here I am now, a man, a survivor, and all that is good in me can be traced back to that day, so long ago, when a young couple said “to hell with it” and did the unimaginable, opening their arms and saying “Welcome home, Billy.”

2018 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 27, 2018:

Thank you Lawrence! I appreciate your support and kind words.

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on July 27, 2018:


They always say that the truth is stranger than fiction. This story is so good, so uplifting that if we read it as fiction, we'd never believe it.

I'm glad you found some information about your biological family, if only to see what life could have been.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 26, 2018:

Thank you so much, Dee! I've led a blessed life, my friend, and it only gets better with each day.

Dianna Mendez on July 26, 2018:

What a beautiful story, Bill. God blessed you with wonderful adoptive parents who saw the best in you. I am also glad you were able to find out your family background. It helps having this information to move forward.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 14, 2018:

Genna, thank you for your kind words. I live under a blessed star.



Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 14, 2018:

Thank you Rajan! I'm living proof of your faith.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on July 14, 2018:

"Feel Good" is so apropos...we need more of this poignant beauty of the heart. This is a story of sacrifice, of miracles and of love. Thank you for my tears. Bless you, my friend.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 13, 2018:

Such a moving story, Bill. Reconfirms my faith that whatever happens, happens for the best.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 03, 2018:

Totally agree, Zulma!

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on July 03, 2018:

It doesn't matter how many times you fall as long as you keep moving forward.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 02, 2018:

Thanks so much, Zulma! I stumbled a few times while running, but I always got back up.

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on July 02, 2018:

That's an incredible story, Bill. More so because it's true. Life gave you a chance and you ran with it. Well done. :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 30, 2018:

Thank you Devika! I appreciate it.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on June 29, 2018:

An interesting story of your life. You shared a great part of your life.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 26, 2018:

Thanks so much, Sha! I've led a pretty blessed life, my friend.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on June 26, 2018:

What a beautiful story, Bill! Your parents truly were special people, passing on all the goodness in their hearts and souls to you, their special son.

And yes, they are proud!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 25, 2018:

Chris, it is my pleasure. My gratitude list is so long it's hard to read in one sitting. :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 25, 2018:

I truly am, William, and I thank God every day for my life. Thank you!

Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on June 24, 2018:

Bill, thanks for being such an open book to us here on HP. It is a good quality for other writers to emulate. This has some good points for a gratitude list.

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on June 24, 2018:

Warm and fuzzy for sure. Feel good - absolutely. It's nice to read something like as compared to some of the other junk that floats around from time to time. You are a blessed man, William D. Holland!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 24, 2018:

Thank you so much, Sean! I'm so happy to read about the reaction of your sons. Blessings to you and your family.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 24, 2018:

Thank you PS, and the pleasure is all mine. It's been a great ride so far, and I'm looking forward to more thrills the rest of the way.

Those angels are doing double duty, heading back your way.

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on June 24, 2018:

Wow! That was the sound of both my elder sons when we finished reading your incredible story! Thank you, my brother Bill, thank you for this amazing lesson of unconditional and "insane" Love you gave to my boys. Right after, they shared your story with their mother and my two younger boys, so this became a lesson for all the family. They saw the miracles, only Love can do, through a true story.

I am happy for you because I know you deserved this great and noble family!



Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on June 23, 2018:

Yes....welcome home Billy....life is an enigma for certain...unanswered questions...but look...just look how it all turned out. You have an amazing gift....a way to use words as an artist uses watercolors to create a picture on a canvas. So blessed to know you...Bill. Hoping all is well with you and yours. Angels once again are headed your way s

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 23, 2018:

Thank you for reading, Ajodo...blessings always!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 23, 2018:

I am too, Linda. Thank you very much.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 23, 2018:

MIchael my friend, it has been an incredible ride so far, and I look forward to the final chapters. I am truly blessed to have found love.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 23, 2018:

Oh, Marlene, I think you are doing pretty well in that regard, but thank you for your kind words.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 23, 2018:

Thank you Frank! I thought I'd try telling a story where no one is killed. :) Glad it worked out.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 23, 2018:

Don't be so certain of that, Dora! My dad could be a short-tempered man from time to time. :) Blessings to you for allowing that child to stay in your home.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 23, 2018:

I truly am, Nithya! Thank you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 23, 2018:

Thank you Manatita! Blessings always!

Ajodo Endurance Uneojo from Lokoja, Nigeria. on June 23, 2018:

A little tears on. A little yearning.

Thank you Bill!

You left me a refined soul.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on June 22, 2018:

I'm glad that such a wonderful couple adopted you, Bill.

Michael Milec on June 22, 2018:

In this great cosmic space The Ruler of it having perfect plan for everything what exists, have also perfect plan for every human being. Your life's story my friend from before beginning as well as after beginning has been perfectly orchestrated involving right people in an accomplished miracle. Entire your life up to now (awaiting finale) is a persuasive LOVE STORY presented in your superb article. Uplifted, encouraged and continually grateful to the One who cares.

Blessings always.

Marlene Bertrand from USA on June 22, 2018:

I don't know why I'm fighting the tears of overwhelming emotion after reading your story. Your parents were amazing people and they raised an amazing man. Thank you for sharing your story. It is a good lesson for me. Your story makes me want to stand up and be a better, more caring person.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on June 22, 2018:

an eternally profound feel good story this was.. amazing how life is.. and the wonders of good hearted people no matter the situation still want to share... I loved this feel good story.. because it just made me feel good.. bless your family

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on June 22, 2018:

Thanks for this hear warming story of the kindness of parents and the gratitude of an adopted son. It calls on me to grow up. A few night ago I allowed a neglected child to sleep in my house and I was upset that she wet the bed. I'm sure the Hollands would have overlooked that.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on June 22, 2018:

God showered his blessings in the form of a wonderful family who adopted you. You are truly blessed.

manatita44 from london on June 22, 2018:

A great lesson indeed! Praise be!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 22, 2018:

Manatita, all I've done is take what was given to me and given back...that was one of the lessons taught to me...always give back. Thank you my friend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 22, 2018:

Thanks so much, Pop.....destiny.....I think you may be correct.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 22, 2018:

I appreciate that, Gilbert. Thank you sir!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 22, 2018:

Thank you Jackie! Your guess is as good as any I can come up with....hopefully I'll find out the answer one day.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 22, 2018:

McKenna, thank you so much. You just brought tears to my eyes...and for that gift I thank you.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 22, 2018:

Thank you very much, Larry!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 22, 2018:

Shannon, just a passing thought. I've never been terribly curious about that...my parents gave me everything I needed, most importantly love.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 22, 2018:

It was my pleasure, Bill, and I thank you for riding along with me on this journey.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 22, 2018:

I love your thoughts, Peg....the mysteries of life,my friend. It is a joy ride of maximum proportions.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 22, 2018:

It surely is, Linda! Even now I have tears in my eyes thinking about the love they gave me.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 22, 2018:

Failure to thrive syndrome, Ann, that's what the doctors finally called it....now I spend all my time thriving. :) Thank you dear friend!


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 22, 2018:

Elf, your kind words about me are humbling, and I thank you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 22, 2018:

MizB, thank you so much! Most of my goo attributes can be traced to these two people, and I am forever grateful.

manatita44 from london on June 22, 2018:


I know that you are a talented and intelligent writer, but in some of your works the intensity, emotion and bringing-to-life depictions ... stories are astonishing!

I have just written a piece for Patricia Scott, extolling the virtues of sacrifice. I believe that Dale LeRoy Holland and his family, are worthy benchmarks of this unparalelled virtue.

This is a supreme victory for all concerned. Who knows the ways of the Lord? You have not done too badly, my friend. Higher blessings.

breakfastpop on June 22, 2018:

I think your adoption was meant to be, and I am very happy for you.

Gilbert Arevalo from Hacienda Heights, California on June 21, 2018:

Incredible story, Bill, thanks for sharing a deep personal story. It only took a couple of paragraphs to learn many things about you I didn't know. I think your story resonates hope to anyone willing to read or hear it.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on June 21, 2018:

It really is incredible that a struggling family would take on a child, especially one with problems and maybe more expense. I don't blame you for being amazed, but I would think maybe that mother who walked a little closer to the Lord than the father may have been led to you. Only logical answer I would have. Maybe it was a simple dream she acted upon, brought by someone who loved you before you were even born.

It is possible, and my guess is as good as yours. You will know one day, though, I am sure of that.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on June 21, 2018:

very uplifting.

McKenna Meyers on June 21, 2018:

You had me at "feel good story" because don't we all need that these days! While it certainly was that, I think it's also a profound reminder about the power of gratitude. Our lives are so much happier when we have that in our lives. I've so admired your writing, Bill, and now I realize that a deep sense of appreciation for life--things both big and small--is the cornerstone of so much of it. You make me happy when you write about the simple things that bring you joy, whether it's doing urban farming, selling at the farmer's market, or walking your dog. It makes me stop and be grateful for all I have...so thanks!

Shannon Henry from Texas on June 21, 2018:

Now look what you've gone and done - made me cry! But at least this lump in my throat is for a good reason. Yes indeed, what a lucky little infant you were. How lucky the rest of us are to know you now! It isn't the money that matters most. Your life could have been very different. Mind if I ask a personal question, though? If you do, don't answer a d I understand. Do you ever wonder what it would have been like to know at least your biological siblings?

William Leverne Smith from Hollister, MO on June 21, 2018:

You know I love feel good stories. This one is at the top of the list. Refreshed telling of the familiar, yet still amazing, story of your life. Thanks for sharing it, again, with new DNA information filling in a few details. Really neat! ;-)

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on June 21, 2018:

This truly is a feel good story, Bill. Your adoptive parents must have been thrilled to find out you were not actually blind. Truly a miracle for a fact. There must have been some foreknowledge that you would need your eyes to create and write and fulfill your destiny as a human.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on June 21, 2018:

Bill, I'm not sure what I can add to what has already been voiced in the comments. What beautiful people your parents were, and their values shine in you. You didn't need that DNA test. Who you are is nurture, not nature and that, my friend, is more than blood.

Ann Carr from SW England on June 21, 2018:

Definitely a feel-good story, bill. I've read before about sight returning in children when comfort and love comes after a trauma. A wondrous thing.

And just look at how well that baby turned out! Hats off to those lovely parents of yours.


RedElf from Canada on June 21, 2018:

Bill, what an amazing story. Thanks so much for sharing it with us all. And thanks to your adoptive parents and your family. Their love has helped to shape you into a caring, giving man, as we have experienced so may times through your writing and your desire to share and give back. Cheers!

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on June 21, 2018:

What an amazingly beautiful story, dear friend Bill. What amazing parents you had. You are such a fortunate person and I'm glad that your story turned out so well. So many adoptable children are left behind for various and sundry reasons, especially if they have special needs. You have done your parents proud. I know they are looking down on earth and saying "that's our boy!"

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 21, 2018:

Suhail, thank you my friend. I can think of no other reason to explain why they would adopt a blind child...amazing and angelic for certain.

Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent from Mississauga, ON on June 21, 2018:

Super-mega-awesome story that explains why home sapiens, as a species, can never be generalized, can never be explained. I am in awe about Hollands. I cannot think of any reason why would they have opted to add a mouth to feed under trying circumstances, except that they must have been very nice people, angelic even.

And it is even more delighting to see that you grew up into what you are. Your parents, up in the heavens, must be proud of you.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 21, 2018:

Thanks so much, Peggy! They were amazing people, and I sure hope they are proud of me.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 21, 2018:

Thank you Liz! I consider myself to be an extremely lucky human being.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 21, 2018:

Your parents were amazing people and you were one lucky little boy after reading this story of yours. The "miracle" of sight was indeed a blessing! I am sure you gave your parents much pleasure as they nurtured you and watched you grow up. They would certainly be proud of the man you have become!

Liz Westwood from UK on June 21, 2018:

This is an incredibly moving and uplifting article. Adoption agencies would do well to showcase your story to encourage other families to consider adoption.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 21, 2018:

Thank you Flourish! I appreciate that.

FlourishAnyway from USA on June 21, 2018:

So happy that you have some answers to some of your questions. What a wonderful story.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 21, 2018:

whonunu, I just wanted to prove I could still write a feel-good story. :) Thanks so much!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 21, 2018:

It was my pleasure, Shyron! Thank you....and sorry about that make-up. :)

whonunuwho from United States on June 21, 2018:

Bill, you have struck a warm note on my heart with this one. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story of love and sharing. Many blessings, my friend. whonu

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on June 21, 2018:

Bill! I cried with your mom and whooped with you dad as I read the miracle, and now I need to put on fresh make-up thank you

very much.

Blessings my dear friend

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 21, 2018:

Mary, I hope they are looking down upon me and truly do think they were lucky. Thank you so much.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 21, 2018:

Eric, I would say we both turned out all right....grateful pinky toes and all...profit? lol

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on June 21, 2018:

You are indeed lucky as they provided you with a loving home. This made me think of my friends who adopted a really disabled child, almost emaciated and when I saw the baby, I told her not to do so but her husband insisted and millions of treatment later in the U.S., the child is growing well. The child is lucky but my friends think they're the lucky ones. I am sure your adopted parents think the same.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 21, 2018:

Cha Ching!!! Put another billion in the writing cash register. I swear you are going to make a profit this fine year.

I just did a fun gig. I focused all of my attention on my pinky toes. And it was focused on my adoption.

A punk from post war adoption. And them thar pinky toes are grateful.

I am sure glad my blind buddy made it "square".

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