Author Pearl S. Buck, left, reads to Leon and David Yoder, two children who became part of her Welcome House adoption program.
, far right, was the first child to be taken in by the Welcome House.
, the first child helped by Pearl S. Buck's Welcome House adoption program, talks with friends during a fundraising breakfast held at Pearl S. Buck International
in Hilltown Township.
was the first child helped by the Welcome House, and the sisters were adopted through the Welcome House adoption program.
Nicki Yoder speaks with her brother-in-law David Yoder
during a breakfast held at Pearl S. Buck International
on Tuesday in Hilltown Township.
To David Yoder
, the late Buck was simply the woman who gave him a second chance at life.
"To me," Yoder
was just a loving gran."
, the first of many children helped by Buck's Welcome House adoption program, told his
story publicly for the first time Tuesday during a fundraising breakfast.
"Gran," said Yoder
voice cracking, "I've come home."
Now 64, Yoder is set to become the chairman of Pearl S. Buck International, the nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving Buck's legacy.
It's a critical time for the group, which is launching a fundraising program in the hopes of helping more children around the world through increased sponsorship programs and adoption services.
"It was that night that Pearl Buck
changed the course of my life," Yoder
said, his voice filled with emotion.
was never officially adopted.
took the Yoders' last name because they raised him.
Buck's estate, David Yoder
said, was their playground.
Today, David Yoder, now 64, is the father of two grown children and a human resources manager for Lockheed Martin in Moorestown, N.J. In January, the Norristown resident will become chairman of the Pearl S. Buck International board of directors.
"Pearl Buck allowed me to experience what it's like to grow up in a loving family," Yoder
Updated: 11:21 pm. | Tags: Pearl S. Buck
, Pearl S. Buck International
, Hilltown, David Yoder
, Adoption, International Adoption, Fundraising