"Thank You, Mr. Adamson"

Christine Haven




I’m a firm believer that your course in life can change instantaneously depending upon which decisions you're making, good or bad.  When I sought the quiet time to reflect on what would I thank Mr. Adamson for the most, I came to the realization that I wanted to thank him for the decisions he made solely for me.  I know he made more monumental decisions in his lifetime but these are what sent my life down it's path...

Before I ever knew or heard his name he was making a decision for me that impacted the rest of my life.  When Vine Street Children's Home contacted Mr. Adamson about taking the four Haven children (asking if he had enough room), his first decision affecting my life was to answer, “Yes”.  We four Haven children arrived at Bonny Oaks in August 1959, I was 8 years old.  I remember sitting on the couch in his office with my two brothers (7 and 10) and one sister (13), in awe, almost scared, of such a strict looking man who was sitting behind that big desk and talking so fast.

Throughout the next seven years, Mr. Adamson made lots of decision too - enough to substantiate books on all of us I'm sure.  But, the ones that I feel impacted me most were church, school, friends, sponsors.  He decided I would still attend church at Brainerd Baptist, where I had just been baptized when at Vine Street.  He chose my schools where I learned, played, studied hard.  He even “campused” me when a grade fell too low - yes, grounded until that grade came back up.  It made me learn I had to work hard to do well, there were no shortcuts in making educated decisions whether that "education" came from life experiences or the classroom.  He chose my sponsors - and I always felt I got the best ones, they gave me exposure to family life in their homes.  He chose my "friends" which were the other Bonny Oaks kids and I looked at every one of them as such.  Peer pressure is strong in children and if there was a really bad apple amongst his crop they were quickly rooted out by Mr. Adamson - he knew we weren't delinquents or criminals, just children that needed the right environment for a chance to grow up to be well-adjusted adults.  When I was 16 he chose my sister as my guardian and that's when I had to leave Bonny Oaks and Chattanooga for Florida. 

But that was Mr. Adamson’s calling from God and that was his job – to make decisions for us.  It is no wonder that some look to Mr. Adamson as the only Father figure they ever had - just as others from previous and future generations hopefully felt the same about their Superintendents.

Today, for Mr. Adamson’s birthday, I want to say “Thank You!” for making the decisions that my parents weren’t around nor capable enough to make.  Those decisions made me the person I am today.  Those decisions guided me in raising my own family and taught me how to make my kids decisions for them when they needed me to make them.

I am glad God made the decision to set Mr. Adamson's course down a path that would prepare him to be the Superintendent of Bonny Oaks.  There's no doubt that God knew we (me, my brothers, sister and all the other hundreds of Bonny Oaks children) were going to be coming into this world and we were going to need someone to make those early foundation  decisions for us.    

Thank You, Mr. Adamson, Happy Birthday!


Christine Haven
and my ninth granny-baby, Adeline (Addie) Hale
Bonny Oaks 1959 - 1966

12 years old

Christine Haven(9 years old)
and Roland Rich in front
 of Bonny Oaks Chapel