In July 2018, Deland, Sherman, Carol and Adelle all gathered for an extended family reunion, marveling over the twist of fate that had brought them all together at last. “She did what I couldn’t do,” Carol said gratefully when asked about Adelle’s role in raising her son. “She gave him all the tools that he needed in growing up to be the successful man that he is right now.”
In July, a huge family reunion in Youngstown brought McCullough, Briggs, Smith and Comer together for the first time.
All of McCullough's parents in one place, reflecting on nurture versus nature, what is inherited versus what is taught and the many different forms of parenthood. It was both the culmination of a journey and the start of something new for the families that the journey had introduced. A man found his parents, a mother found her child, and a father discovered a son he never knew he was missing. There is no jealousy, no resentment and no regret. There is just gratitude for the winding paths that brought them all together.
"She did what I couldn't do," Briggs says of Comer. "She was an adult, she was married at the time, so you know she brought him into a family structure. That was what I wanted for him. I wanted him to have what I had, and she gave him that. She gave him all the tools that he needed in growing up to be the successful man that he is right now."