Miracles come in all shapes and sizes and for one Montpelier family it’s an 11-year-old boy who is now part of their lives.
Paul Frisby is an active youth who loves the outdoors, not bad for someone who as a baby was never supposed to walk. Paul suffered greatly from his biological mother’s drug habit and when she was carrying Paul and his twin sister, Paulina, his body took all the narcotics in her system.
As a result, he spent the first 14 months of his life in the hospital and only went home for one week.
That’s when Mike and Gloria Frisby came into his life and made him a part of their family. The couple had three biological children and had adopted five of the more than 100 kids they have sheltered over 17 years.
“We call it our ministry,” Gloria said. “We picked him up at the hospital and took him home.”
But Paul was in bad shape. He had a feeding tube that he had for several years, Gloria said,
“Now he points to it (scar) and tells everybody Jesus healed him,” Gloria said.
After two years, Mike and Gloria was able to adopt Paul (in 2008).
“He’s a walking miracle,” Gloria said of her son.
Paulina and another sister, Angelina, went to live with an aunt, who moved from Louisiana to Cleveland to adopt her nieces. The aunt had children of her own, but had to move north to get the rights to the girls.
The split made sense at the time due Paul’s medical condition and that he had been with the Frisbys for a year by then, Gloria said.
Eventually, the aunt moved back to Louisiana, but after the recent rains, her house flooded and she was once again in Cleveland. This was about the time for Paulina’s 11th birthday and she said all she wanted was to see her brother again.
At the same time, and unbeknownst to the aunt and Paulina, Gloria Frisby was looking for Paul’s long-lost sister. Initially as he was growing up, Paul did not know he had a twin sister, Gloria said.
Then one day when he was about 4, Paul began to talk about having a sister. His parents were shocked to say the least because, as far they could tell, no one had told Paul anything, she said.
Finding Paulina was not as hard as Gloria thought it would be. The Frisbys believed it was the right time to start looking.
“We felt led to find them,” Gloria said. “It only took one hour.”
Gloria called the adoption agency in Toledo and learned the aunt and the two girls (Paulina and Angelina) had moved back to Ohio. She got the aunt’s number and everybody loved the idea.
“We met two Saturdays ago,” Gloria said. “They came here.”
“I liked it a lot,” Paul said.
Gloria said the twins connected and it was like they have never been apart. The pair had similar mannerisms and interests. Their bond was strong.
And that bond will be renewed on a more regular basis, Gloria said. The two families have agreed to get together again before Thanksgiving.
“They call each other two to three times a week,” Gloria said.
“We sound the same,” Paul said.
For a boy who doctors thought would never walk, Paul is a bundle of energy. The fifth-grader said his favorite class is gym. His mom said he loves hunting and the outdoors. Dad Mike said once he gets old enough Paul will take the hunting safety courses offered for youth.
Paul has grown up to be a special child. His smile is contagious and he has big dreams, both now and when he grows up, Dad Mike said.
“He wants to be on the archery team and the marching band,” Mike said. “He wants to be a sheriff someday.”
Paul developed a special bond with his oldest brother, Mike Jr., who became a second father to him growing up, Gloria said.
Mike shares that Paul’s best friend at their church in Ft. Wayne is a World War II vet. The man is in his 90s but he is always bringing ribbons and other artifacts for Paul.
Paul goes with the family to help out at a homeless shelter in Lima once a year, Gloria said.
“He loves helping out,” she said. “He has a heart for people.”
James Pruitt may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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