This story begins in 1972 when a young woman gave birth to a baby boy who she named, Jon. The young woman, whose name is Carol Briggs, wanted the brightest future possible for her newborn son, a future that she felt that she could not provide and so she had to make a hard decision. Jon was adopted by a family that renamed him, Deland. Deland’s story really begins when he is all grown up and decides to search for his biological mother. Throughout his life, Deland did not know what it was like to have a father figure, yet it was his biological mother he went searching for first. When his research came up fruitful, Deland was also given the information about his biological father – information that threw him and his family into a total spin.
When Deland was six weeks old, he met his parents who were from Youngstown, Ohio, a short drive from where he was born. At just two years old, Deland’s adopted parents decided to divorce and so he stayed with his mother and was effectively raised by her, with the help of some of her family and close friends.
Both Deland and his mother had a wonderful relationship growing up, and his life was full of love, although sometimes he faced struggles.