From Horror to Healing - Lost Son? A Bastard Child's Journey of Hope, Search, Discovery and Healing by Lawrence P. Adams is Now Available

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Lost Son? A Bastard Child's Journey of Hope, Search Discovery and Healing: Author Lawrence P. Adams shares a horrific life within our nation's foster care system. He takes one from the most painful experiences to the intimate details of a life to achieve victory.

Lost Son? A Bastard Child's Journey of Hope, Search Discovery and Healing: Author Lawrence P. Adams shares a horrific life within our nation's foster care system. He takes one from the most painful experiences to intimate details of a life to achieve victory.

This is the true story of a child born to a nineteen year old unwed mother. Placed lovingly for adoption, he is instead thrust into the quagmire of the Michigan foster care system. "Stability" would be a word found in a dictionary, not in daily life, as he is moved fourteen times in eleven years. He is finally rescued and given a "home" at Boys Town. At eighteen, cast into the world of the unknown, without anyone or anyplace to call home, he goes forth with only hope and determination. Growing into adulthood, he searches for birth parents, an unknown heritage and sexual identity. Discovery of "true self" enables him to confront and overcome brutal and emotionally damaging realities from childhood which can no longer stay buried deep within his memory. This is the story of his difficult life battle, but more importantly, his ultimate victory...healing!


It is the author's intention that ALL royalties received from his book will go to charity. It is my hope at some future date it will allow me to reach one of my dreams. The dream is to set up a foundation for children who have survived the "foster care system." It is hoped that through the foundation I will be able to help other "throw away kids" have one or more of the opportunities in life that I have been blessed with. Therefore, I will receive no financial enrichment from this book purchased. My enrichment will come from knowing, in some small way, I brightened someone else's life.


The stability of four years came to sudden end in May, 1960, when I was abruptly removed from the Monshor's home.

I would, as you see in the following chapter, be placed in yet another foster home (#11).

I remember that fateful day of May 17, 1960, like it was yesterday. We had celebrated Susan's sixteenth birthday two days previously. I scampered through the alley from school heading home.

Upon entry into the backyard, I saw Mom. She was crying. She came to me and held me. I looked up and could see inside the enclosed back porch, what had to be a social worker. Without a word being said, I knew then why Mom was crying. I was again going to be taken from the only ones I ever called Mom and Dad.

I broke down crying as Mom held me tightly. I tried as best as a ten year old could to reassure Mom. I told her, "Its okay Mom, I'll be all right. No matter where they send me, you'll always be Mom."

With that, I dried my eyes and went inside to "bag" my worldly possessions not knowing what would be in store for me. I knew I had to be brave for Mom! I packed a just a few possessions in the bag and went out to the living room. There was Mom standing by the social worker still crying. She asked where all my other things were. I told her she might care for another little boy and I would want him to have them.

I, one more time, hugged Mom and told her I loved her and to tell Dad the same. With that, before starting to cry again, I told the social worker I was ready. I ended up being the last foster child Mom and Dad would care for.

As the social worker and I made our way to the front door I could still hear Mom crying. I had to keep walking. Throughout all this the social worker said nothing. Little did I know, I would never again be returned to Mom and Dad's home?


“In Lost Son?, Adams takes you on a heart wrenching journey of loss, pain, reunion, and joy. He leaves no stone unturned when he illustrates the horrific inadequacies of the foster care system — which were plentiful. He points out the inadequacies and places blame where blame is due. He recounts his suicide attempt, sexual identity struggles, and reunion joys and nightmares. As a survivor of four institutions and eleven foster homes, Adams is without a doubt an expert to say the least. I was moved by his description of the love he felt (and received) by one foster family and his wonderful experience at the famous Boys Town.

When he later found out that this foster family tried to adopt him several times, but was denied without explanation, I was angered. His spirit always shines through regardless of the horrors and loss he has endured in his 50+ years of life. He is never the martyr.

The horror hits again when his birth mother, after a twelve-year reunion, rejects Adams for being gay and the relationship abruptly comes to an end. Again, Adams strength and courage shine through as he removes the negative forces of his life and deals with an unfaithful partner after 22 years, and the epidemic of AIDS that has touched his life immeasurably. The message that is loud and clear is that we must accept the circumstances of our childhood’s and move on while at the same time not accept abusive or toxic people in our

lives today. He shares with us his lessons in life and how he has worked through the painful parts.

Touched by foster care and adoption or not, we can all take heed of his advice. Triad members and mental health professionals need to read this book to learn about the issues that are general to adoption but specific to foster care survivors. Lawrence, your message will not soon be forgotten by this reader for sure.”



Lawrence P. Adams gives us a taste of reality so few of us ever experience. Yet, with so little in common with him, his story reached straight in and grabbed a hold of my heart. Eleven foster homes, Boys Town, college and an impressive career path are all, the backdrop to the search for family and love in this a journal of a life. His struggles and personal growth overcoming a society plagued with red tape and trite deserves more than a brief summary. It deserves to be read.


The casual book shopper may think that anyone who grew up in this country's child welfare system could write a memoir of his or her experiences. It's not that easy.

First, you've got to physically survive the system itself. With the all too common excessive numbers of foster home placements and replacements and the inconsistent quality of physical, emotional and medical care in those homes, that's not easy to do. Stability is a word such kids find in a dictionary, not in their daily lives.

Not all the kids who enter such a system do survive. Too many of those who do are so damaged in one way or another that they wind up in prison or mental hospitals. Of those who do survive their passage through the child welfare system and manage to make something of their lives, many may wish to leave those experiences buried 'way back in some distant corner of memory rather than share them with others. How many would want to recall such difficult experiences and share them with those who may find such accounts incredible and unbelievable? How many would even have the strength to try to share such experiences?

That's why Mr. Adams' willingness to share his life as a bastard child, a newborn infant consigned to the not-always-tender-mercies of Michigan's child welfare system, is so amazing.

His journey through the strange and bewildering world he had entered through no fault of his own has enormous emotional impact. The cost of surviving in such a world was high, very high!

This is a story of great pain and suffering. It's also a story of what one can accomplish when someone has great strength and, every once in a while, discovers that someone may actually care about him. Pain can't be erased, but perhaps one can move beyond it. Sometimes that hope may be enough to survive.

Mr. Adams tells his story with grace and warmth. It is highly readable and filled with a humanity which is all the more surprising in coming from one who experienced so little of it.


Lost in the foster-care-system, he was NOBODY'S CHILD. Through the turmoil and tears he survived and became strong. Now the one nobody would listen to as a child; found his voice somewhere along his journey in life, and shares his story.

He was no one's son. At birth he became a ward of the state as a foster child. Thus began his eighteen year agonizing journey. It took him to eleven foster homes, three institutions, finally a modern day orphanage...Boys Town, Nebraska.

He got use to the unfamiliar, to switching schools, leaving behind friends and struggling to make new ones. He called foster parents "mom" and "dad," as he felt it was expected of him. Most of them were nice enough. They provided the basics and did the best they could.

Arrival at Boys Town helped him to chart a new path for his young life. By then, he already realized that he had to take care of himself, because nobody else would. He was only eleven years old!

"Instead of becoming jaded and bitter," he hoped to see the world full of opportunities to make a difference.

Yet, he would always carry the burden of his past.

He shares the years after foster care. His journey goes through his accomplishments, his struggles with himself, the search for his biological family and finally the healing that was necessary for him to be made whole.

"Some wounds of the past will never completely heal," but he shows how they can be overcome.

Reading his story has truly been a journey of hope, search, discovery and healing. It is a story that should be read by all within the foster-care-system and anyone who cares about children.

Mr. Adams has a wonderful way of capturing his reader. I believe part of that charismatic catch comes from his honesty and sincerity. His emotions and feelings ring so real and true. His words have a way of gently tugging at one's heart-strings. When one begins reading this book, you won't be able to put it down.

This book will touch your every human emotion. It's impact will have a real healing effect on many. It could also bring about the beginning of change within the foster-care-system.

I highly recommend it!



Received education at Boys Town, Nebraska and Midland Lutheran College. Have had a professional career in government, nonprofit, academia and private industry.

Birth Place: Detroit, MI USA

Resides In: Dubuque, IA USA


Recipient of Presidential Volunteer Award from President Reagan in 1982. Recipient of New York's Eleanor Roosevelt Volunteer Award 1983. Recipient of numerous awards for web site presentation 1998-2003.

Founder & former Director of Helping Hands; a program providing respite to parents of children with disabilities. Former Director CityMeals-on-Wheels Program; a NYC based foundation providing meals to the elderly on weekends and holidays where federal funds did not provide. Volunteer for a variety of AIDS programs in cities I have lived from 1980-1998.

The author has written articles for magazines on the subject of the foster care system. He could be available to also speak before groups.

Visit the author's web site at or for more information.

Lost Son? A Bastard Child's Journey of Hope, Search, Discovery and Healing

By: Lawrence P. Adams

ISBN: 1-4137-1709-8, 166 pages / US $19.95

Publication: June, 2004

Pre-Release Orders accepted as of: May 1, 2004

Publisher: Publish America

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