Heritage and Home

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Who is Your Father?
Do you know who your biological father is? Do you know what your heritage is? I do, but some children do not because they were left for adoption for some reason or another. Do not misunderstand me, adoption is a great thing, and there are plenty of children without parents right now waiting to be adopted. I have the distinction of knowing who my father is. He and I have the same last name. My heritage starts and ends with my father. This is where my troubles begin, my father was a war baby and the morals and values of society at that time did not allow for such transgressions. My biological grandmother on my father’s side had an affair while her husband was off fighting in World War II. My father was put up for adoption through a church and adopted by a family with the original last name of Shell. In her essay, Kadaba talks about how names were changed or Americanized so to speak. For example, she talks about how Christopher Annas changed his last name, due to embarrassing mispronunciation in English, Lini S. Kadaba, “What’s in a Name?” (pg 175). My heritage is already forever changed by my last name as Milton had changed his name from Shell to Schell. Florence and Milton Schell were the names of my father’s adopted parents. They were a deeply religious couple of the Lutheran faith. Both Milton and Florence came from a large family, as was the custom of many families from the late 19th century. Milton had eight sisters and brothers, while Florence had three brothers and sisters. Growing up my dad had lots of aunts and uncles and family reunions were very big. I never knew any of my biological grandmother’s kin. That portion of my heritage is lost forever. My father’s biological mother name was Dorothy Blanteno. She lived in a little town near Harrisburg Pennsylvania called West Fairview. I can remember some talk when I was in my early teens about Dorothy being my biological grandmother and I had heard a rumor that Dorothy had had an affair...
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