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Michael Reagan Transformed by God's Love

Michael Reagan is the adopted son of the late former president, Ronald Reagan. Born to an unwed mother, Michael was adopted at birth by Reagan and his first wife, Jane Wyman. According to Michael, his sister Maureen paid 97 cents to the nurse that brought him home to the Reagan family. Her desire for a little brother was so great that she broke her piggy bank and gave up all its proceeds to buy one. Michael felt special growing up with the Reagans, because he was the one chosen to be a part of the family.

Shortly after Michael's adoption, the Reagans divorced. At age five, Michael was sent away to boarding school, remaining there until he graduated at age 19. Michael was sexually abused when he was seven-years-old. Michael spent much of his young life living under the cloud of that year-long exploitation at the hands of an older man. He felt shame and believed God hated him.

Children at school made fun of him because of his illegitimate birth. Looking in the Bible, Michael found a passage in Deuteronomy that haunted him; he understood it to mean that God cursed illegitimate children.

The turning point in Michael's life came when he met his wife, Colleen, in 1973. Together they discovered the saving message of Jesus Christ. They were baptized in 1979. For the first time, Michael was able to release the shame he had carried throughout his life. He bared his secrets to God and to his wife. As he found acceptance and healing, he gathered courage and confided in his father.

It troubled Michael that his father never hugged him or said that he loved him. "Then one day," said Michael, "I was praying, and it was almost as though God was sitting there with me, asking me when was the last time I told my dad I loved him or had given him a hug. I realized it was a two-way street." After Michael told his father that he loved him, then for the first time he heard from his father's lips that he was loved.

After being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, Michael's dad sometimes didn't recognize him or know his name but would give Michael a hug when he arrived or left. Once, Michael had forgotten to give his dad their usual good-bye hug. As Michael walked down the driveway with his little daughter, she told him to turn around and look at Grandpa. Michael said he turned and there was his father, standing in the driveway with his arms wide open waiting for that hug.

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