Search to Belong
post written by Emma Filbrun
Title: Search to Belong
Author: Christmas Carol Kauffman
Major Themes: Foster Children
Synopsis: All David knows of his origin is that he was left at a mission in Philadelphia as a newborn—will he ever locate his mother?
I first read Search to Belong some 20 or 25 years ago, when I first got it for my bookstore. I found it as engrossing this time as it was that time. I remembered the ending scene—but couldn’t remember until I reached that last chapter how it came to be! Christmas Carol Kauffman keeps you reading, as David’s story slowly unfolds.
Based on a true story (the back cover calls this a biographical narrative), Search to Belong tells the story of David Grant. When he was three years old a family took him into their home from the children’s home he had lived in until then. The workers at the children’s home knew no more about his origin than the note handwritten on a scrap of paper tucked into the baby’s sock, with his name and date of birth, and his mother’s name. We, however, know the story of how David came to be born, and how he was left at a Christian mission in Philadelphia as a newborn; the author switches back and forth between David’s story and his mother’s tragic story.
Some difficult themes are explored in this captivating tale. Bigamy, illegitimacy, and the effect on a child when he/she does not know his/her origin are all part of the story. Overall, however, it is a happy story, as David’s foster parents love him and do their best to help him through the issues he faces. Anyone interested in foster children, as well as anyone who simply enjoys a good Christian story, will like this book.