Adopted teen, half-sisters reunite at Jackson school

Leanne Smith
Associated Press

Jackson — They were names on a piece of paper.

Two older sisters Isaiah Cram had never known but had thought about from the time he was given that paper by his adoptive parents three years ago.

“I’ve looked at it so many times, just wondering,” Isaiah, 16, said.

Then this spring, during a Jackson High School assembly honoring seniors, Isaiah heard one of those names, Vivica Gage, called out. He watched his sister, who had attended the same school he does, walk across the stage to be recognized.

“I was shocked,” he said. “I didn’t know what to do at first. Then I got an idea that I could actually meet her.”

On June 22, Isiah not only met Vivica Gage, 18, but his older sister Michelle Gage, 21, too.

“It is amazing,” Isaiah said. “Meeting them was just really important to me.”

Also in attendance at a lunch arranged by Jackson High School Principal Barbara Baird-Pauli were Isaiah’s adoptive parents, Monika and Gary Cram, and his sisters’ father, Richard Knott II.

“This is a glorious day,” Knott said. “He has two sisters who will love him very much.”

The siblings share a mother. Knott is the girls’ biological father and has had them since they were 3 and 5 years old.

Knott knew of the girls’ brother and would have liked to have kept the siblings together, but the courts said that wasn’t possible at the time, he said. He knew Isaiah had been adopted, but didn’t know where he was.

“The good Lord has a way of making everything work out, though,” Knott said. “I’m just glad they got the opportunity to finally meet.”

Isaiah’s sisters both attended classes in Jonell Hasselback’s Jackson High classroom for cognitively impaired students.

“We have never, that I can remember, ever had anything like this happen at Jackson High before,” Baird-Pauli said.

The Crams adopted Isaiah when he was 2½ years old. They struggled with the decision, Monika Cram said, but gave Isaiah the papers with his sisters’ and biological parents’ names on it a couple of years ago.

“We had no idea his sisters were here in Jackson,” Monika Cram said. “When he came home from school and told us this and said he wanted to pursue meeting them, I cried. We all couldn’t hardly wait for this day to happen.”

Now that they’ve found each other, the trio plans to stay reunited, taking time to get to know each other.

“I never expected this to happen,” Isaiah said. “But I’m definitely glad it did.”

As for Isaiah’s sisters, well, they pretty much feel the same.

“I was as shocked as he was,” Michelle Gage said. “But he’s a cool brother.”