First birthdays are an important milestone. For Steve Scheil, imagining a tiny, smiling, frosting-covered face, it was all the more special. At the age of one, Steve Scheil was adopted and found the warmth of a loving "forever" home.
Steve doesn't necessarily recall his one-year-old memories, but he will tell you that as a whole, his childhood was wonderful and he owes much of that to his parents. Steve found his parents because of Children's Service Society of Wisconsin, now part of Children's Wisconsin Community Services.
Looking back, Steve will tell you his upbringing was no different than any other child in the neighborhood. Steve and his sister grew up in the Milwaukee area with a loving mother and father and lived a happy-golucky childhood.
When Steve joined the Army, meeting troopmates from across the country, he realized just how fortunate he was and the tremendous role his parents played in his life.
Later, spurred by his battle with prostate cancer, Steve searched for his birth mother because at that time, medical records were not kept for adopted children. Through the search, Steve found that his birth mother had passed but that he had a sibling. Steve contemplated connecting with his birth family, but decided not to, as he did not want to place any unnecessary burden on them. After all, he couldn't conceive of a better family than his adopted family.
In Steve's words, "I never felt as though I was different from any other child. My mother and father never made me feel different; I was loved like one of their own."
Steve expressed his gratitude for Children's Wisconsin Community Services and their adoption services by naming them as beneficiaries of a bequest in his will five years ago. His hope is that others may feel moved to consider opening their home to a child through adoption. As Steve knows firsthand, the feeling of coming home is priceless.