In the mid-1970s, Dennis and Nancy Paquette were like many young people in their early twenties who were trying to find spiritual meaning in their lives. As a result they found themselves involved in one of the various religious groups that existed during that time.
When their first son Reuben was one year old, Dennis, Nancy and Reuben were traveling to a permanent camp in Oregon with two groups of individuals. The group decided to split up to make better time north. Nancy and Reuben went with one group of women, Dennis travelled with some men. The women made it to the camp several days before the men.
During this time at camp Nancy had a medical emergency and for reasons still unknown, four members of the group took it upon themselves to take her child out of the camp, where he was taken to a distant place of business and given away to a woman who called the authorities immediately. The child was put in a foster home. The child’s identity was unknown at the time. By the time the couple had reunited there was no trace of the baby. Deception and lies from the group members, along with misinformation to law enforcement by other members at the camp erased any chance of finding their son.
Dennis and Nancy traveled thousands of miles trying to find leads about their child’s whereabouts. It was a fruitless search. They finally left this group and began the process of rebuilding their lives. They settled down in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and raised three more sons who are all now adults with children of their own. While active in their local church, Dennis and Nancy still silently bore the pain and guilt of their loss which constantly weighed on them.
In the spring of 2017 Dennis and Nancy each sent a DNA sample to a popular ancestry lab in hopes of finding their son. Meanwhile, on the other side of the country a young man named Kevin Hackett was looking for some answers of his own. He along with his brother, Brian, had been adopted into a loving Christian family. They both took the DNA test kit from the ancestry site.
Kevin and Brian both received their test results and chose to wait until Christmas morning to open the envelopes. Surrounding Kevin and Brian were his wife, Lisa and their two children, and Kevin and Lisa’s parents. Both Kevin and Brian had found their birth parents. On December 29 Dennis and Nancy got an email from Kevin Hackett with whom they had found a perfect DNA match, parents and child! On December 30 they talked on the phone for the first time. The joy was indescribable.
Dennis and Nancy have expressed to me (his minister) that he would love to have the whole family go out west to visit his son, but realizes that finances would keep this from happening without help. So with the blessing of both sides of the family, we are setting up this fund in hopes of raising enough money so that the entire family (10 in all) can fly or drive to the west coast and have a true family reunion.
God has truly been at the center of both of these families’ lives, and they both wish that any publicity which this story is bound to create would be to God’s glory and not for the personal benefit of anyone financially beyond this trip. I hope you’ll consider helping continue what has already been a wonderful blessing for these two families! Please share this story with others, and a sincere thanks to those of you who contribute!
(Submitted by Leland King, minister for the Conway, NH Church of Christ)
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