AIKEN—When Donna Pierce brought her adopted son home at just two days old in 1993, she said she remembers how thankful she was.
“Not knowing if I’d ever find a baby to adopt, I was filled with such gratitude to God. All children are a gift,” she said.
Samuel Pierce is the first of four children that Donna and Bob Pierce adopted. Their two daughters are from Russia and their other son was adopted in the United States.
Bob Pierce is a deacon at St. Mary Help of Christians in Aiken and the couple raised their children immersed in the Catholic faith.
Samuel said he always wanted to find his birth mother and it was his faith that kept him believing that one day he would.
“I like to think of this picture of Jesus with his arms open wide. It is the Divine Mercy telling him that everything will be OK,” Samuel said.
Samuel’s girlfriend, Suzanne Hodges, who is also adopted, messaged a woman she found on Facebook that she believed was Samuel’s birth mother.
“She is really good at finding people,” Samuel explained. “She found her own family in Russia all on her own.”
The message was received by Mylinda Blackwell on April 25. Blackwell said she was in shock because the message asked if she gave birth to a son on August 31, 1993, and if his name was Samuel. Blackwell replied, “Yes. I delivered an almost 10-pound boy that day and his adopted parents named him Samuel.”
The very next day, Samuel met his birth mother and her husband in Williamston, just 30 minutes away from where Samuel is currently living in Simpsonville.
“I had hoped he would reach out to me someday. It means so much to me to have him in my life now. The Lord answered my prayers,” she said,
She also has a 15-year-old son and had a daughter who died in a car accident.
Blackwell said she did not have a relationship with Samuel’s birth father, but she learned he passed away from leukemia seven years ago.
Mrs. Pierce said she is grateful to Mylinda for choosing life even though the pregnancy was difficult for her. The Pierce’s have a picture of Mylinda holding Samuel after she gave birth and that was the only picture Samuel had of her.
“God has always provided for Samuel. Whenever he was at a crossroads or needed help with a decision, God was there,” Deacon Bob said.
Since that first meeting on April 26, the pair have seen each other often.
“It has been quite natural. We immediately hit it off,” Samuel said.
Donna and Deacon Bob traveled to Williamston on Mother’s Day weekend for a get-together with Mylinda and Samuel.
“I am so happy for Samuel,” Donna said. “I know this is what he has wanted for so long and it is great that she is close to him in distance too.”
Providentially, the morning Blackwell received the Facebook message, her husband was chopping wood in the yard when he noticed one of the pieces bore an image of the Virgin Mary.
“It’s a metaphor,” Blackwell said. “I knew that was special, but now I realize it was a sign for how my life was about to change for the better.”