Your class will be writing one or two paragraph(s) as a class group for the story (not one paragraph per student). The first class will write the intro paragraph(s). Then the next class will read the paragraph(s) and decide how they want to continue the story. This will continue until the last class on the list writes the ending and gives the story a title. Your paragraph(s) will be typed onto this Wiki page. You will add the 3 pictures to the wiki after your class writes your paragraph(s). You can pass the writing on to the next teacher before you post your pictures. The pictures should illustrate events in the section that your class wrote.

Paragraph Start Date
Paragraph Completion Date
Mrs. Amanda Baier
St. Leo's School
Elmwood Park (Bergen)
Jeff Moeller
St. Joseph Academy
Bogota (Bergen)
Ms. Tami Fazio
St. Michael School
Newark (Essex)
Kat Barrett
Ironbound Catholic Academy
Newark (Essex)
Mrs. Sharon Osnato
Saint John the Apostle School
Clark (Union)

The Eyes Have It

This is not easy.I have adjusted to a life of independence, but I am still feel lonely most of the time. I have felt a sense of being loved and a sense of being accepted. Yet, I still don't truly know who I am. There have been times when I have felt comfortable and secure, but then I have been moved to another family. It just does seem to end. One day, I hope to feel a true sense of worth and independence.

I have enjoyed some of my stops along the way. There were the O'Brien's in Chicago, who were a traditional Irish- Catholic family with traditional values and practices. They all truly respected each other and honored the hallmark of family. Being with them showed me how to appreciate another person's points of views and perspectives along with defending and protecting my inner circle of family and friends. It also provided me with the insight and discernment on how to see life through another person's peaks and valleys in his or her life. I know it has been difficult for me, but I also realize how other persons are dealing with their own crosses to bear.

The other families, notably the Greenspans and the Fiores have helped introduce me to ways and celebrations of other cultures. Those experiences have really deepened my respect for people of all backgrounds. Through it all, I have managed to keep my faith. I know God has a course out there for me, and I surely have followed a number of different paths. As a result, my faith has been strengthened.

Calm and tranquil. Loud and troubled. These two different sides keep wrestling themselves like predator and prey. From the outside, it’s like my blue eye wants me to stay calm, but my green eye fights it and tells me to shout with rage. I have to keep it together; stay in control, stay in control. What an easy concept.

I guess we should start from the beginning. My name is Andrew Lutz, but most people just call me Drew. All I know about myself is that I was born on August 17, 1944 in Chicago, Illinois. I don’t know much about my parents, but I have been told that: they didn’t have enough money for me, I wasn’t wanted, and they died in an accident. I don’t know which one to believe or if any of them are true. After a while, I became numb to the pain of not knowing.

Not having a home of my own makes me a nomad. When you’re stuck with a different family every month, you start to feel discarded like wilting roses. However, I am hopeful and would like to believe that there is someone out there who is missing me.

2017RCAN-Stories-SMS-IMG_2220.JPG“WELCOME TO DALLAS” The sign greeted us as we pulled off the interstate highway. It was 8 days into our cross-country adventure and Johnny O’Brien had wanted to stop to see where it was that President Kennedy was assassinated. We had made plans to drive across the country last year when we caught up with each other at a music festival in Chicago. We weren’t planning a stop in Texas, but Mrs. O’Brien had insisted we make this part of our journey and I obliged happily. Anything for Mrs. O’Brien. It was three months since that horrible November day and she was still at home wearing a black veil and mourning for “poor little John-John and Caroline”.

2017RCAN-Stories-SMS-IMG_2219.JPGAs we pulled up to Parkland Memorial Hospital, the place where our 35th President had died, I got a sudden sense of déjà vu. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t shake the odd sense I was feeling. I had never been to Dallas, or even this hospital, before today. Or had I? There was something very familiar about this place. Sure, it had been all over the news back in November, but that wasn’t it. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks- the letter I had found when I was seven. Dallas! Parkland Memorial Hospital! Accident! Could it be? Could I be at the very place where my own parents had died? Could there be information here that could help me uncover who I really was? I HAD TO FIND OUT!

I started breathing heavily and couldn't move. Finding out about my parents was what I lived for as long as I remembered. But now I was afraid to go to my destiny. Maybe I will come back tomorrow. Let me think about this first! But then my feet started walking on their own even though I didn't want them to! Suddenly I was at the door, I was at the front desk, I was staring at a kind-looking grey-haired nurse, and she was asking me, "May I help you young man?" I couldn't move my mouth because I didn't know what I would say. I guess I didn't exactly practice for this!! I frantically tried to think up a story that was believable, I think I was just staring at her and she was staring back at me with dark brown kind eyes. Then I heard, "DON'T BE AFRAID PLEASE, LET ME HELP YOU!"

I heard her ask twice, but I couldn’t comprehend much that was happening due to my excitement. Once I got a hold of my emotions I said “I’m Andrew, Andrew Lutz. My stomach hurts a lot and I can’t seem to do anything to calm the pain.” I lied straight to her face. I needed an excuse to walk through those doors and find out all about who I was and who I truly am. “Okay, Andrew. Please fill out this form to complete all of the information needed, then follow me.” the nurse at the front desk, whose name was Nurse Sanchez said. When she got up from her seat, she looked at me. It definitely wasn’t any regular look, but I tried to dismiss it. I followed her, deep down inside feeling very anxious, yet joyful. She was leading me to a room in which I would wait to see a doctor, she explained while we walked… before everything went dark. I fainted. I woke up and I was surrounded by doctors already in a hospital bed. I grasped the realization that I fainted sufficiently quickly. It must’ve been all of my mixed emotions and it overwhelmed me. The doctors hadn’t known I was awake yet, so they continued to speak about me as if I was still asleep. “He’s going to need an appendectomy today. Schedule an OR as soon as possible so he can go home and recover quickly. No time wasted.” What? There’s something actually wrong with me? I faked it! The same nurse from the front desk told all of the doctors to leave the room so he could rest, until she saw he was awake. “Andrew! You’re awake! Since you fainted, we figured it was time to do some tests such as CAT scans and such. Turns out your appendix will need to be removed. It will be a quick surgery and everything will turn out okay.” Everything the nurse said went through one ear and out the other. This is crazy. But why is she being so nice to me?

I came out of surgery. I was still a little loopy from the anesthesia they gave me. The lady at the front desk was in my room, making sure I was alright. Nurse Sanchez sat at my bed side and took my hands in hers. I was confused and scared. I didn't know what to think.I looked at her eyes, and her eyes looked exactly like mine. And then she began with "Mijo...." No one EVER called me that. But for some reason, it reminded me of something from my earlier years. Something from when I was a child. "...When I first saw you, you reminded me of someone. Someone dear to me. I looked in the hospital's records and I checked your birth date. It was the same birth date of my grandson, named Andres, and your name is Andrew. Not only do the birth dates match, but...." She lifted my arm and pointed to my birthmark shaped like a heart. "....My grandson had a birth mark just like yours..." She began to cry. "My daughter put him in a foster home many years ago and I haven't seen him ever since.." My eyes widen. I gasped.

“You look so much like him,” she said. “You have one green eye and one blue eye too.” I couldn’t believe it. I had a grandma. She suddenly fell to the floor sobbing. “So…I’m your…” she stopped me… “grandson?” Then, the curiosity became too much. “Are they alive?” The tears suddenly subsided. “Your father” she began , “worked hard to provide for you.” “You see…we were all poor. We didn’t have anything saved for your future. He was a good man. The one thing that your parents insisted on was celebrating the beginning of the Lenten season. Every year, the town celebrates this with a festival with rides, food, and music to commemorate Fat Tuesday, the day before lent begins. As your favorite treat was churros, your dad made you sit on the bench while he maneuvered his way to the stand in line for your sugary delight. Within five minutes, you were gone. Your parents looked everywhere alerting the authorities, not sleeping, and praying for your return. After many months they stopped searching. They were never the same, but nonetheless…never gave up hope.” At that precise moment, my foster dad walked in. He was wondering about my appendix and how I ended up in the hospital. He asked why I was crying. “I want you to meet someone…this is my grandma, my Abuela.” My real parents never dropped me off in a foster home…it was my kidnapper who took me there. With that…every few years I was placed in different homes throughout the country and ended up here in Dallas. It wasn’t until my strange desire to visit the hospital where JFK was treated, that I started feeling queasy. Whatever this strange force was that was “calling me” to this location, I will never know, but I had to go anyway. It must have been God’s plan to bring me to this location at this moment in time. For once I felt complete.