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  • Coming Home

  • When Cheryl McKenzie received a phone call five years ago from "Bill Marone's best friend," it was a late evening surprise at the end of a long and tiring week.
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  • When Cheryl McKenzie received a phone call five years ago from "Bill Marone's best friend," it was a late evening surprise at the end of a long and tiring week.
    "The caller I.D. showed it was from out of state, in Vancouver, Washington, so I came really close to not even picking up the phone," says the 52-year-old Medford grandma.
    At first, she insisted she knew no one by the name of Bill Marone — no one who'd be calling from Vancouver, Washington for that matter. Finally, the caller on the other end of the line sent her back more than 30 years.
    "He said, "Ma'am, I'm so sorry to do it this way, but he's your son!"
    Flashback: The year was 1971 and the Klamath Falls sophomore had moved from California a year earlier to live with her father. Midway though her sophomore year, a late-night party resulted in an unexpected pregnancy that would turn her life upside down.
    After struggling to finish the school year despite morning sickness and taunts from classmates, Cheryl, 15 at the time, realized she could give a child little more than love.
    Near her final trimester, the young girl made the difficult decision to place her child for adoption, requesting she not receive any information about the baby, including gender, or see it following the birth.
    "I realized that if I saw his face I would never be able to go through with it," Cheryl recalls.
    When signing away her rights following the birth, a caseworker slipped, telling Cheryl how happy the adoptive parents were "about the birth of their son."
    Fast forward 30 years: A marketing consultant living in Medford, Cheryl McKenzie was a mother and grandmother married for three decades.
    "Thirty years had gone by and it was so buried in my system that I had almost forgotten that pain" ... I always told Blake (her husband) that some day the Lord would let me know that he got a good home," she says.
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