The Dress Revisited

6 05 2013

I blogged once before on this subject, but I think it’s worth revisiting. Image

This week we posted the picture you see on FB and had so many kind remarks I thought I’d write about it today.  The dress you see worn by all the girls is Cathy’s when she was three.  As time passed it became our daughter, Jamie’s and then on to our grand-daughters Hailey, Madison and Mae.  (The pic of Mae in the dress was photo shopped; she has a little ways to grow into it.)  But as each girl grows out of it, it’s returned to my Lady for safe keeping.  Yes, this dress is very special in the Miller family.  In part it’s a representation of a new life, a new beginning.  For you see it was the one and only item of clothing Cathy possessed when she went to live with her mom and dad; Cathy was adopted.

Cathy was born in Columbus, Ohio to a 14 year old mother.  Not being able to keep her new baby, Cathy was taken to an orphanage in Tiffin, Ohio where she lived for the next 3½ years.  Now I know some of you are wondering how she could end up being in the orphanage for such a long time; even back then children were placed fairly quickly with couples who had been on a waiting list to adopt.  So why this long stretch for such a little adorable cutie who just kept getting better looking as she grew older (No prejudice on my part of course!).  Well I see three reasons.  The first has to do with some, shall we say not so above the board legal matters that were happening back in the 50s.  I could elaborate on this more, but I’m not sure what I could say without consulting legal advice first.  (I know I got you brains mulling over that one and maybe someday I’ll write on this aspect; Maybe!) But as shrouded in mystery as this possible reason for Cathy’s delayed adoption, I do not see it as the main factor; two other causes play a higher role.  Mary Catherine (her birth name before it was changed to Cathy Lou) was this beautiful bundle of joy waiting for someone to love and want her, and someone did; the people who ran the orphanage.  From all the stories we’ve been able to find, these folks who were older, fell in love with Cathy and chose to make her their own.  She interacted with the other children at the orphanage, but lived mostly in the private section of the establishment with the managing couple.  So my Lady could very easily have gone a direction that would not have put her in my life as well as many others, but that wasn’t the plan.  As I said this couple was older and the husband suddenly died unexpectedly.  The wife realized she could not care for Cathy by herself and since they never legally adopted her she could be placed easily with another family; enter Clyde and Betty Lenhart.  They were a Fremont, Ohio couple who had been on the waiting list to adopt for a very long time.  When the call came they had to go to Tiffin immediately and make their decision quickly whether they wanted Cathy or not.  (Like they were going to say no once they had this girl in their arms!)  In what must have seemed like a New York minute, my Lady went from living in a very large place with many people to a two bedroom ranch style home with her new parents.  There’s a lot more I could say on how this happened so fast, but that would take us back to the things I’m not sure I can talk about. Matter of fact it was quite interesting how I acquired all this info and that I will share with you someday. (Soon as I’m positive the statue of limitation has run out!)

I’m just going to jump to my main point now before I get long winded.  Cathy’s start to life was not your typical story; there were more bends and turns in the years before she even went to kindergarten than what many will experience their entire life.  Here though, I believe, is the true reason for her early path on the Rock Road.  God knew this little one was a very special individual, anyone who knows my Lady will attest to that.  And He had a special plan for her life.  It wasn’t a calling to fame which anyone who ever heard her sing could have easily happened.  It wasn’t to wow the world with her intelligence (another area she is highly adept to).  It was for the calling to be a daughter, wife, mother, grandmother and friend to many whose lives would not been the same without her; or even would have existed for that matter.  You see Cathy had another special gift and that was recognizing who her Lord and Savior was from a very young age and never looking back. He saw, before any of us did how much love she had to share with others while still keeping her first love for Him at the center of her heart.

When Cathy left the orphanage that day she took with her a baby ring and necklace that was a gift from here birth mother, 3 stuffed animals, and the dress.  She continues to have all these possessions still today, but it is the dress that seems to have the most meaning.  It almost seems God was saying, “I know times have been a bit confusing, but you need to know I’ve always been here for you with a plan for your life, and here’s a beautiful dress for you to remember when it all started.”  Now this in my own theory on the dress, for you see, for whatever reason, Cathy has no memory of anything before living with her new parents, only the gifts she brought with her.  As for the rest, well same place I get all my vital information.  Here are a couple of vital tidbits I’ve picked up there; “God Has a Plan for your Life.  “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, they are plans for good, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 also, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

God had a special plan for my Lady (and do I ever thank Him for that!) just like He has one for me, and for you also.  Cathy’s starting point for the plan in her life is marked by a little blue and white dress that is handed down from generation to generation for others in our family to realize its importance, and their importance to God.

What marks your starting point on the Rock Road our Lord has for you?  If nothing, then why not start today; you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.  Don’t believe me?  Then ask the smiley cuties here in the half century dress, they’ll tell ya.  They have a God given example!!! 🙂




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