As many families gathered during the Thanksgiving season, one woman who heads a major prison ministry got to meet the son she put up for adoption decades ago for the first time.
Annie Goebel, president and co-founder of the women’s prison ministry Daughters of Destiny, met the son she gave birth to as a teen in 1973 earlier this month.
“It was an incredibly blessed meeting. He is a beautiful man with a sensitive spirit,” said Goebel in an interview with The Christian Post.
According to Goebel, the day she met her adult son began when she was sharing her testimony before a group of women. Like the women she ministers to, Goebel had come from a broken home and had served time behind bars.
“I told them of how records had been sealed and I would probably never get to see him. One of them stated that she had worked in the Department of Social Services in San Antonio where he was born. She offered to do some research for me,” said Goebel.
“A couple weeks later she called me with a name and number of a lady who had worked with the unwed mothers home I was in. I called her and she happened to be the person who carried my son from the hospital to his new parents.”
Goebel was told her son’s first name and that he had been adopted by a loving Christian family.
Even after giving his adoptive mother’s contact information and receiving a handwritten letter from him, no further contact took place.
She then decided to find him online, locating him on Facebook. Goebel hesitated to friend him because she believed “he had chosen to not know me.”
However, Goebel’s daughter Cathe learned of her long lost brother and friended him. In online correspondence, she learned that he had lost the contact information years earlier and was excited at the prospect of meeting his biological mother.
“We made plans to meet. I was coming to Texas for another Daughters of Destiny event at the women's prison in Lockhart. He currently lives in Austin,” said Goebel.
On Nov. 13, Goebel had lunch with Kendrick Walton, her son. This was the first time the two had been together since January 1973.
“He thanked me for placing him into a family who loves Jesus. He assured me that he knew it must have been a difficult decision and that I had made the right one.”
Daughters of Destiny is a nationwide prison ministry that focuses on reaching out to women who are behind bars.
“Our mission is to equip, train, and empower volunteers to reach incarcerated women for Christ and to disciple them while in prison and after release,” reads the group’s website.
At present, Daughters of Destiny has over 800 trained volunteers in 26 states ministering to both incarcerated women and those recently released from prison.