In a story straight out of an Angelina Jolie movie, a family is reeling this week after a DNA test revealed the child they've raised since he was 2 1/2, the child they thought was their own son, is really someone else's kid! How could that even happen in America? Turns out the real Paul Fronczak was kidnapped as a baby, right at the Chicago hospital where his mother gave birth in 1964.
Two years later, police found a little boy who'd been abandoned on a street corner in New Jersey. He'd been named Scott McKinley by the orphanage where he was living. They guessed Scott was Paul because he had similar shaped ears to the missing baby, and, well, here we are some 49 years later.
Scott isn't Paul at all. Those ears? They were just a coincidence.
And Chester and Dora Fronczak are back where they started.
Their son, the boy they raised to manhood, the man who gave them grandchildren, is someone else's kid.
Their biological son has been missing for 49 years.
Paul Fronczak or Scott McKinley, or whatever you want to call him, is getting a lot of the attention right now. He's on a mad search to find his "real" parents -- even has a "Who Is Paul Fronczak" Facebook page set up, all while being very careful to point out that he loves Chester and Dora and considers them to be wonderful people who did a good job in raising him.
I feel for him. His plight isn't that much different from most adopted kids in America who want to find their birth parents -- for whatever reason. He has to juggle not hurting the people who raised him with his thirst for knowledge about who he is.
But it's Chester and Dora whose story really grabs at my heart.
Maybe it's because I'm a parent?
They've had 49 happy years with a boy (man) who they thought was their son. And that whole time, their "real" son was out there? The questions running through their mind have to be endless. Is he OK? Is he dead? Is he dead because police stopped searching? Should they have known Scott/Paul wasn't related to them? Will they lose this son too?
None of this is their fault.
That's a message I hope they get loud and clear. Yes, they took in Scott, thought he was their son. But who wouldn't? It had been two years since they saw their baby, their infant baby who they were just barely getting to know, mind you. And suddenly it was like their nightmare was over. The clouds had parted. The miracle had happened.
And now the clouds are coming back.
Haven't these people been through enough? To lose a child once is a nightmare. To lose a child again? And in this way?
We always want to see happy endings come from sad stories, but as the man living as Paul Fronczak takes his plea to the masses to find his birth parents, let's not forget the story of the little boy who was originally known as Paul Fronczak. His needs to be told too. He needs to be found too.
These parents deserve that.
What do you make of this crazy tale? Will you be sharing the Facebook page to try to reunite these folks?
Image via Who Is Paul Fronczak?