Dear Rhonda, I am your husbands Uncle Larry Koen.You have no idea how excited I am to find your posting.I have been looking for him for the last 31 years.Robert was never put up for adoption.I was a close friend of Dave and Carolyn Grace.Dave had a tune-up shop in either Montclair, CA or Pomona, I don't exactly recall. When we first met I was a young Christian and had a been home from Vietnam for a few years, I had been married just under two years.I was attending Central Baptist Church in Pomona, While Dave, Carolyn and their son and daughter attended the Grace Brethren Church.I loved their family very much . Prior to meeting your Mother and father in law back in 1973 I had just returned home from Vietnam.My Brother Danny (Roberts Father) also a Vietnam Veteran offered to let me share he and his pregnant wife Debbie had.Being a Christian I shared Christ with Debbie (Maiden name Lawless) and she became a Christian.About a month after Roberts Birth she abandoned Danny and Robert with only a note.She claimed now that she was a Christian she had to tell the truth.Her confession was that she was still married to another man (un-named) who she had abandoned with a child.She informed Danny that their marriage was not legitimate and that she had to go back to her husband and child.She told Danny she still loved him and Robert but she had to do the right thing.She didn't feel it would be fair to Danny to take away his son.She finished the letter with a goodbye I love you.Danny was crushed.He took Robbie (as we called him) and moved to El Cajon, CA in San Diego County where he and I were raised.My mother lived there. Danny's life was in a tailspin.He was having horrible flashbacks from a horrible battle in Vietnam.He was struggling with what is now known as PTSD (post traumatic stress syndrome). In the mean time I also had been married to Patricia who had a 3 year old son and we also had a son about the same age as Robbie.We lived in Pomona in a small two bedroom Duplex.While we lived there we met Dave and Carolyn and the kids.We became very close. About that time Danny was coming to visit us from San Diego.He traveled north on 395, when tragedy struck.An older drunken couple had been wine-tasting at a winery and had become intoxicated, they pulled out of the winery into the path of Danny's car without headlights on.Danny barely had time to push Robbie down in the front seat saving his life.Robbie rolled flat into floorboard while Danny took the full impact of the steering wheel in his chest.The broken metal horn on the wheel pierced his chest and almost cut his aorta artery.While Danny was hospitalized he asked us to watch Robbie.My wife Patricia and I were only to glad to watch him.At the time I was holding down two fulltime jobs while attending Bible College and was barely ever home except to sleep.After Danny recovered from the hospital he had no job or home or way to take care of Robbie.Danny asked us to keep Robbie until he could get a job, home and a way to take care of Robbie.So Robbie stayed with us.Robbie was the sweetest little boy!He just loved us and his two cousins Jason and Gene. Several months later the doctor put my wife on 6 months bed rest, she had deep vein thrombo-phlebitas in both legs.She was put on strong blood thinners to save her life.At that point we had no choice but to ask friends to help us to watch the children.Steve and Lorreta Harris watched Jason and sometimes Gene.About that time Carolyn who had been carrying twins lost them at birth and went in to a deep depression.I had gone to Dave at his Tune-up station to ask him to pray that the Lord would help us to find a Christian family to help watch Robbie for the 6 months.Dave said he would pray about it.Dave called me and said with Carolyn having lost the babies it would be good for her to have a baby to care for.Patricia didn't know Dave or Carolyn very well as they were my friends and she had only met them once.Patricia insisted on going with me to their house with Robbie.After meeting them she felt comfortable that Robbie would have loving care while she got better.I of course advised my brother of what I was doing, and that this was only until Patricia could resume a normal life.Between me, my mother in law, sister in law and Dave and Carolyn the kids were well cared for.I kept in regular contact with Dave as time allowed but not much.I loved him and the family and trusted them completely.One day realizing it had been some time since I had visited I called Dave but the phone was disconnected Being as busy as I was I am not sure how Dave sold his business and home without me knowing it.However he moved with no forwarding address.I began searching for him right away but couldn't find him.I was tempted to contact the FBI, but didn't because I really loved Dave and his family.I was sure he would contact me but he never did.6 months turned into a year and before I knew it two years had gone by with no word from Dave.During all of this my brother Danny was gone for 6 years.When we meet I will explain. I kept looking for Dave and family with no success.I had moved to Marysville Ca.I was pasturing my own church starting in 1980.All those years and I didn’t have a clue as to why Robbie had been taken.In 1992-1994 I found Dave and Carolyn while searching information in the Pomona area, I got the number of a Grace that was related to Dave, perhaps his dad, I identified myself as an old friend and now I had their phone number!When I called it Carolyn answered.I told her who I was and that I wanted to talk to them about Robbie.She did tell me that Robert had a falling out with Dave and left home, she said she would have Dave call me.I was very excited.But he never called back.So I called them. The phone wouldn’t answer.Within a few days the number was disconnected. The Grace I received the number from wouldn’t take my calls. I have never until now been close to finding Robbie. Rhonda I don’t have anger or hate for Dave or his family, as a Christian I must forgive and I do.Please contact me right away.We want to get to know you and Robbie and your children.I am not going to tell this story to members of your family, how you handle this information is up to you both. You cannot know the guilt I have felt for my brother not being able to know his only son.Danny had to miss every birthday, Christmas and Fathers Day.I have felt responsible for losing his son.I have Grandkids who love Danny, but he has never been able to meet his grandkids.As of this moment I have not called him yet.Danny married many years ago but has never had any more children.Danny lives in San Diego with his wife Adeline.I am going to wait to hear from you before I call my brother,I don’t want to hurt him more.
Anxiously awaiting your reply, In Christ,Larry Koen Cell Phone 530-329-5067 Home530-671-9889