Confirmed by bishop, young adoptee celebrates faith, family

July 29, 2019 at 12:37 p.m.
Confirmed by bishop, young adoptee celebrates faith, family
Confirmed by bishop, young adoptee celebrates faith, family


By Dorothy K. LaMantia
Correspondent

Pentecost Sunday 2013 was a special day for one young man, his family, and their faith community of St. David the King Parish, West Windsor. Koran, 15-year old son of David and Diana Goldstein, was confirmed by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., at the 10 a.m.  Mass.

While the reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation is a commonplace occurrence for students in the middle to high school years, Koran’s was the culmination not only of three years in the RCIA program,  but also a journey of the spirit that began when, as a battered two-and-a-half-year old,  he was removed from his home and brought to Angel’s Wings, an emergency  respite center in Trenton for abused and neglected children ranging in age from birth to age 12.

Staffed by paid professionals, Angel’s Wings also depends on a volunteer staff to provide care and support for the children as they await placement in foster homes, or reunification with their families.  When Koran was brought to the shelter, then located at St. Francis Hospital, Diana Goldstein was among the parishioners from St. David the King Parish who donated their time as a social ministry.

Koran remained at the shelter for 30 days and was placed temporarily in a foster home.  When that placement ended, Diana and David Goldstein decided to make him part of their family.  The little boy acquired an older sister and brother, Nicole and Billy, both adoptees from Korea, who were being brought up in David’s faith, reformed Judaism.

“When we were going to be married, David and I made deal,” said Diana, who is Catholic. “It was important to David that his children would be raised Jewish.  I agreed, as long as the children were allowed to make their own choice once they were 18.”

Although Koran was being raised with a knowledge of both Judaism and Catholicism, one thing he received from his former foster father, Ray, was the knowledge and love of Jesus.   As he grew into boyhood and approached the age of bar mitzvah preparation, Koran explored Catholicism and other forms of Christianity.

“The decision had to be his and no one else’s,” said David. “Diana and I married 30 years ago. From day one there were no expectations that the other would convert.  We honored each other’s beliefs.”

“We gave him a choice,” said Diana. “He explained that Catholicism saved him and let him forgive his past.” 

Five years ago he was baptized and received his first holy Communion.

“He remembered that the women from the Catholic Church took care of him back when he was little,” said Nanci Bachman, who served as a volunteer for Angel’s Wings, where she first met the Goldsteins and Koran. Bachman, who serves as pastoral associate in St. David the King Parish  and director of adult faith formation, trained Koran in the RCIA program and served as his Confirmation sponsor.

“It is nice to finally be an adult member of the Church,” said Koran, who took the Confirmation name of Raymond in honor of his foster father.   “It is important. Without my faith, I would be nothing. When times are rough, I think about God, why things are happening, what they are leading to.  The negatives make me stronger in the way of faith.  If I didn’t have my faith, I wouldn’t be the same person I am today. I see myself helping people with faith, maybe going on a mission trip in different parts of the world.”

He takes joy in knowing that parishioners who cared for him at Angel’s Wings witnessed his spiritual coming of age.  “I am happy to see they helped me.  Their help made me rise from the dirt.  It is great to let them know I’m living a great life, in a great home.”

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By Dorothy K. LaMantia
Correspondent

Pentecost Sunday 2013 was a special day for one young man, his family, and their faith community of St. David the King Parish, West Windsor. Koran, 15-year old son of David and Diana Goldstein, was confirmed by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., at the 10 a.m.  Mass.

While the reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation is a commonplace occurrence for students in the middle to high school years, Koran’s was the culmination not only of three years in the RCIA program,  but also a journey of the spirit that began when, as a battered two-and-a-half-year old,  he was removed from his home and brought to Angel’s Wings, an emergency  respite center in Trenton for abused and neglected children ranging in age from birth to age 12.

Staffed by paid professionals, Angel’s Wings also depends on a volunteer staff to provide care and support for the children as they await placement in foster homes, or reunification with their families.  When Koran was brought to the shelter, then located at St. Francis Hospital, Diana Goldstein was among the parishioners from St. David the King Parish who donated their time as a social ministry.

Koran remained at the shelter for 30 days and was placed temporarily in a foster home.  When that placement ended, Diana and David Goldstein decided to make him part of their family.  The little boy acquired an older sister and brother, Nicole and Billy, both adoptees from Korea, who were being brought up in David’s faith, reformed Judaism.

“When we were going to be married, David and I made deal,” said Diana, who is Catholic. “It was important to David that his children would be raised Jewish.  I agreed, as long as the children were allowed to make their own choice once they were 18.”

Although Koran was being raised with a knowledge of both Judaism and Catholicism, one thing he received from his former foster father, Ray, was the knowledge and love of Jesus.   As he grew into boyhood and approached the age of bar mitzvah preparation, Koran explored Catholicism and other forms of Christianity.

“The decision had to be his and no one else’s,” said David. “Diana and I married 30 years ago. From day one there were no expectations that the other would convert.  We honored each other’s beliefs.”

“We gave him a choice,” said Diana. “He explained that Catholicism saved him and let him forgive his past.” 

Five years ago he was baptized and received his first holy Communion.

“He remembered that the women from the Catholic Church took care of him back when he was little,” said Nanci Bachman, who served as a volunteer for Angel’s Wings, where she first met the Goldsteins and Koran. Bachman, who serves as pastoral associate in St. David the King Parish  and director of adult faith formation, trained Koran in the RCIA program and served as his Confirmation sponsor.

“It is nice to finally be an adult member of the Church,” said Koran, who took the Confirmation name of Raymond in honor of his foster father.   “It is important. Without my faith, I would be nothing. When times are rough, I think about God, why things are happening, what they are leading to.  The negatives make me stronger in the way of faith.  If I didn’t have my faith, I wouldn’t be the same person I am today. I see myself helping people with faith, maybe going on a mission trip in different parts of the world.”

He takes joy in knowing that parishioners who cared for him at Angel’s Wings witnessed his spiritual coming of age.  “I am happy to see they helped me.  Their help made me rise from the dirt.  It is great to let them know I’m living a great life, in a great home.”

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