Smyer woman left at Andrews church at birth has message for her parents

Smyer teacher's adoption mystery

SMYER, TX (KCBD) - For many years of her life, Belinda Maye had no idea the events that surrounded the beginning of it. She says after learning of those events, she didn’t become angry. In fact, she wants everyone to know, including her biological parents, she feels the opposite.

“I was wanted from the very beginning,” Maye said. “I don’t think it was that I wasn’t ever wanted. I think there were circumstances that they couldn’t keep me. I don’t know if it was money. I don’t know the circumstances but they had a great heart.”

At the age of eight Maye found out she and her brother, Dennis who is just four months younger, were adopted. However, it was later when her adoptive mother was near the end of her life that Belinda learned of what happened on July 2, 1961 when she was just 20 hours old.

“I was left in a church parking lot in Andrews, Texas,” Maye told KCBD. “It was the First Baptist Church. It was an evening service. They put me in the fanciest car in the parking lot, Ruth Davidson’s car. Her and her husband owned an automobile dealership so she really had a nice car. I was wrapped in a tea cloth and placed in the driver’s seat.”

Maye said at that time her parents, Lester and Frances Ball, didn’t have any children and had two adoption attempts fail. A woman in the congregation that night knew this and called her sister in Spur, who was a teacher at the school where Belinda’s adoptive father was the principal.

“My mom and dad got up the next morning, left Spur and was at the sheriff’s office at 8 o’clock wanting to take me home,” Maye said. “They couldn’t allow it.”

Maye tells KCBD her parents visited her every weekend until they were able to foster her from a Midland orphanage on December 18. In the meantime, her brother was adopted in November. She was officially adopted in August of 1962.

“People would ask me, ‘Aren’t you mad? No. I’ll tell you why',” Maye said. “It was a Sunday night, a church parking lot, the fanciest car in the parking lot. My biological mom and dad, whoever was there, wanted the best for me. They wanted a good, Christian upbringing and they wanted me to have everything that I needed and I did. I got that. I got a great, Christian home. I was adopted by great, Christian parents and had everything that I needed.”

Maye says the knowledge of what happened to her has made her more caring and conscious of people’s feelings. She wants to make sure everyone feels wanted. She also wants to make sure her biological parents know she’s doing well.

“I know that they have a good heart. I know they do,” Maye said. “If it were me that had done that, I would worry about it every single day. If I could let them know, ‘Hey, you did a good job, You did just the best thing out there for me,’ that’s what I would want.”

Belinda is now a teacher, wife and mother of two and soon to be a grandmother to six grandchildren.

Maye joined her cousin to travel to Andrews in hopes of finding more information. One of the things they learned is that Belinda’s mother sent a school picture every year to the woman who called the night she was left at the church.

The Andrews County News covered the story at the time of her abandonment and produced an update to her story around 2005.

She has been unable to find anything that could lead her to her parents. She’s done ancestry and DNA programs in hopes of finding a relative.

While she remains curious about her biological family, she wants them to know she’s had a wonderful life.

“There’s not an absolute desire that I have to find them,” Maye said. “I’m just curious. The only thing I want them to know is that I’m great. They did a great job.”

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