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Sheila McCall Keith
Another Lost Family United By Family Roots

by Gary Telford


Sheila McCall Keith

Saturday, April 5, 2003, was quite an exciting and enjoyable event for 22 year old Sheila Joy McCall Keith of Bald Knob, White County, Arkansas who was re-united with her father, Clifford McCall, and sister, 24 year old, Christie Lee McCall Hill, and grandmother Christine Hill, of Mountain View, Stone County, Arkansas.

On April 23, 1980 Sheila Louise McCall was born in an ambulance on the way to a Little Rock hospital, to Clifford and Dorothy Evelyn Wilson McCall. A few days later Sheila was placed in a children's home until she could be placed in a foster home. Twelve days later she was then placed in the home of Glen and Leola Brasuell Keith, until she could be adopted. Glen and Leola decided to adopt her themselves rather than see her go to someone who might not love and care for her as they did. Glen and Leola filled out the adoption papers, however it was several years before the adoption was final due to circumstances beyond their control. When the adoption was final Glen and Leola dropped the name Louise and added the name "Joy", because they were so happy with their new baby and knew that she would bring "Joy" to the both of them.

Christie Lee McCall had been living in the home of her grandparents, Verner R. and Christine Hill who later adopted her. They also wanted to keep Sheila but due to Verner having gone through two wars with post war syndrome and Clifford with polio, they felt it would not be fair to Sheila as they wanted her to have a good home and special love also. In December of 1986 Verner passed away. This left Christie, who was only six years of age, to be raised by Clifford and his mother Christine Hill. After Christie was older they told her about her little sister, Sheila. They tried on many occasions to find out where Sheila was but had no luck. Christine Hill even contacted the children's home where Sheila had been placed, but due to the Privacy Act they could not find out anything.

Sheila had also been told that she had a sister and had made many efforts to locate her, she too had no luck. Sheila even payed a company, whom she found on the internet, a large amount of money to find out what they could about her mother, father and sister. They found nothing for her but kept her money.

About March 1, 2003, Sheila contacted Gary Telford of Family Roots Genealogy Research in Bald Knob, White County, Arkansas. That's when things began to happen for her. Gary, who has over 17 years of experience in genealogy research and had been successful in finding other foster and adopted adults' birth parents, was able to advise Sheila on just what to do and where to start. Sheila could call him anytime day or night and they would discuss what to do next.

They finally got a lead on the internet from the Social Security Death Index and found that her mother Dorothy McCall had been born on March 11, 1954 and had died April 3, 1991. Then they found one of her mother's sisters, Kathy Kesterson of Dierks, Howard County, Arkansas. Sheila called her to see if she could tell her anything about her sister, father or grandmother. Kathy didn't have the phone number because they had lost contact with each other, but she did give her the number of another sister. So Sheila called the other sister, Virgie Hefner, of Little, Rock, Arkansas. Virgie called another sister, Hazel Wakefield of Heavener, Oklahoma. She had the phone number of Christie and Christine Hill. Hazel called them to let them know that Sheila was looking for her sister and that she could contact Sheila at this phone number in Bald Knob, Arkansas. Christine said she called the number and Sheila answered the phone. Christine said, "Sheila?"and Sheila answered "Yes Grandma." Sheila then asked if her sister was there. By that time Christie came to the phone. They had a lot to talk about and a lot of catching up to do. This was a wonderful and joyous occasion for the both of them after all these years. Both girls were crying with so much joy and happiness,and before they hung up, Sheila wanted to know if we would come get her that night. We told her, "Yes M'am." Jana Rentz "Mama Jana", as she is called, who is Christine's best friend was there, and she said "Let's Go." So Mama Jana, her daughter-in-law, Yvonne, Christie and her boyfriend, Jeremie Browder, went to pick Sheila up. Sheila lives in Bald Knob with her mother, Leola Keith.

Mama Jana said when they arrived at the home of Sheila, and Christie saw her for the first time, Christie just froze. They all got out of the van and went in the house hugging and crying with happiness. They looked so much alike it is obvious that they are sisters Shelie is now 22 years old and her sister Christie is 24.

When they got back home to Mountain View and the excitement settled down, Sheila saw a picture on the wall. She said "Grandma you did remember me didn't you?" Christine told her "Yes honey, we never forgot you." God has been good in helping these girls find each other. Without his help this would not have been possible. Christie and Sheila sat up all night and day looking at pictures and talking. Sheila saw pictures of her mother holding her when she was an infant and pictures of her mother and father together which meant so much to her.

Christine said, believe me the girls will not lose contact again. It has filled an empty place in our hearts and the girls are so happy.

The family said that Mrs. Leola Keith has really done a great job raising Sheila. She is so precious and we love her dearly.