Ninepipes hosts author with personal story of WWII adoption
CHARLO – Ronan author, Linda Angle, is featured at the Aug. 3 “First Saturday” event at Ninepipes Museum of Early Montana. Linda will hold a book signing between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. of her book sharing her poignant story of a post-World War II adoptive child born to an unwed German mother. As Linda relates, laws were “very strict in 1949, thus I became a ward of the state of Germany with weekend visitation rights.” At two years of age, Gabriele Heinen was adopted by an American father and a French mother and given a new name, Linda Jean Willms. Linda’s book shares some background of her father’s military intelligence work and of the family’s travels throughout much of Europe. She grew up learning to speak three languages by the time she was four years old.
On the day Linda learned she was adopted, she ran home crying to her parents. They briefly told her that she was indeed adopted, but that “we’ll never speak of this again.” From that time on, Linda always wondered who her birth mother was and about the huge secret behind her adoption. She says, “I grew up, had a great life with my beloved father and mother and was granted a lifestyle I never could have had with my birth mother. However, I did not know this. I thought everyone lived the same lifestyle since we lived on a base in a military-style world.”
Linda married an American GI after she graduated from high school and relocated to Florida. It was while living in California in her 30s with two children of her own, that Linda’s husband, Carl, presented her with documents mailed to him by Linda’s adoptive father that would change her life forever. She now knew her original name and place of birth.
“Worthy, How Unconditional Love Brought My Life Full Circle” tells of the many years of research, dead ends and frustration before modern technology led her to the moment of contact with her birth family and, ultimately, a reunion. Linda's decades-long search would bring her to Frankfurt, Germany, and a tearful gathering with her birth mother and three half-brothers.
Linda will be at the Ninepipes Museum Gift Shop to sign her book and share her gratitude that “my adoptive parents took me in and even more grateful that my birth mother chose to give me life! Without these two huge moments in time I would not be here relaying my life to whoever chooses to listen and rejoice with me. One mother gave me life, the other taught me how to live it!” Come visit with Linda and enjoy some light refreshments. Call 406-644-3435 for further details.