Tag Archives: #answers

Forward Progress

20 Jul

The next evening, I got a message from my uncle (father #2):

Hi Rebecca,

I just wanted to introduce myself to you. I am your uncle *******. Was delighted to hear you are a part of our family but disappointed that it was so long till we found each other. Your father, my brother, was a wonderful and caring man. Please be assured he is your father. It seems from all I hear from Patty you have the same caring qualities as your father. Hopefully in the near term we will get to speak and meet. I thought I sent this text on Sunday but had the wrong area code.

Uncle *******

PS I am not very good at texting but I try.

I was floored!! Mainly because I actually got a message, but also because it was so kind and welcoming. I could sense that he was really trying to assure me that he was not my father and of course it made me feel good to hear that my “father” was a wonderful man with whom he believes I share I share the same “caring qualities.” That simply warmed my heart and made my day! Of course I wrote him back immediately….

Hi Uncle *******,

I am so happy to meet you 🙂 Your family has been so amazing. I was so nervous because I knew I was probably going to be a pretty big surprise and the last thing I wanted to do was hurt or disrupt anyone’s family! But you have all been a wonderful and unexpected blessing! I’ve wished for years to find you all but had no idea where to start. I lost my mom when I was a baby and she left no clues…or so I thought but have been amazed at some of the little things I have found along the way. That makes me feel so good that you think (father #1) and I share some of the same qualities J I would love the chance to talk to you and learn more about you and him. So many years to catch up on. I have to get down there at some point to meet everyone too 🙂

Love,

Becky

I am so happy. A door has been opened. Here is to hoping there is more to come. I would love to learn more about these people who I am biologically tied to.

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Hold the Phone….Say WHAT?!?

19 Jul

I got another message from Aunt Patty. It was filled with all kinds of family information. Most of it not necessary to share. But the key points:

– She talked to her brother a lot and he was going to text me.

– He might take the test for me sometime.

– She mailed me a package with information on the family and if I want more to let her      know because she has a lot of family history.

Yay for packages. First, because…well who doesn’t like getting mail that is not bills? Second because it contains information about my mysterious other “family.”

But wait, what?!?! Her brother is going to text me?!? and, he might be willing to take the test for me?!? I mean HECK!! I never thought the topic of the test would come up. I would have wanted to ask but would have been too respectful not to and yet here it is potentially being offered to me on a silver platter…but even BIGGER than that……he wants to TALK to me!!!!

OMG! I was like a kid on Christmas!! He was most likely going to tell me person to person he is not my father…then I would have my closure. But this is also the same man who didn’t want me to contact him and now he was choosing to contact me!

I am guessing his interest in contacting me was a combination of his sister’s persuasion and my words. I am sure that she told him that from talking to me that I was not looking to cause any trouble and I had also asked her to please give him a message for me. In one of my messages to her I wrote:

Poor (Father #2) must have had quite the shock when your son first approached him with the story. Maybe you could do me a favor and let him know that if I had ever reached out to him to ask him about my mother, I would have found a way to do it discreetly so his wife would have never known. The way I viewed it from the start was that as much as I wanted to know who my father was, it was not at the sake of his family!! I never wanted to hurt anyone whether it be a spouse, child, sibling, etc. If (Father #2) had been my father, that was between him and I and if he wanted to share that with anyone else it was up to him. I actually had no intention if I had asked him of telling him that if it wasn’t him, it was his brother because I never wanted to have laid something like that on him when his brother wasn’t here for him to talk to about it. Luckily for me, your son took the test and talked to him so I didn’t have to figure out a way to do it myself and to be honest I am so grateful for Anna and her dad because they made this so much easier logistically but emotionally as well. Plus having them involved brought me you, your daughter and your son. I have talked to each of them which has been so nice!!! It made me feel like I had a “place” and I am so grateful for that 🙂 But please, do tell your brother that I am sorry if I caused him any stress or concern. It was never my intention and I would never have done anything to put his family in jeopardy. I have too much respect to do anything like that! Whether father or uncle he was still family and I would never want to hurt family 🙂    

Maybe after all of that he could tell I was just a girl, looking for an answer but hey…whatever it was, I would take it! I told her that when and if he was ready, I would love to hear from him. If he decided not to be in touch I would completely understand but of course I would obviously love to talk to him!

The Verdict Is In

14 Jul

After the email from my Aunt (we will call her Aunt Patty), things started to unfold so fast. Within the next few days, she told her daughter and other son about me. Her daughter sent me an email and added me on Facebook while her son added me on Facebook and we chatted there. Anna had asked for a picture of my biological mother so she could show it to her grandmother and see if maybe she might have known my mother.

Everyone was so nice! They seemed genuinely excited to have a new addition to the family and were curious about who this new person was.  It was fun learning about everyone and seeing some of the things we have in common. Little did I know that Aunt Patty was hard at work behind the scenes.

Aunt Patty kept in touch. She said she was sorry she could not tell me who my father was but told me stories about both of them. I heard about some of their traditions, families, etc. She also sent me pictures of her brothers and herself. I sent her some pictures of me. I asked her if I reminded her of anyone. Nothing prepared me for her response!!!

She wrote me and said she wished she could tell me 100% who my father was but she can tell me in her heart who she believes it is. She said that she had a long talk with her brother. She told him all about me and showed him the picture of my biological mother. He said he did not recognize her and that he was not my father. Seeing his face and hearing him out, she believed him. She truly believed that her other brother (father #1) was my biological father. She even went as far as to say that I remind her a bit of him. He was such a good man. They did coffee together every Friday until he was too sick to do it anymore. He raised his daughters on his own and was very good to his mother. He called her every day and visited her often when she was in the nursing home.  He was also Patty’s daughter’s god father. Every year at Easter he sent her a corsage from her “secret admirer.” What an absolute sweetheart!! She said that if he knew I existed he would have been sure to be a part of my life and that he would have loved me.

So there is was. I would never know 100% but it seemed pretty darn sure. She of all people would know her brother and be able to tell if he was being honest with her. Plus, so many of the clues that I found along the way seemed to point to him. In all honesty, even though he was gone which means that just like my biological mother I will never be able to meet him and their story will always be a mystery, just hearing about the man he was, I would be thrilled if he was my biological father. Everyone tells me stories about the person my biological mother was. It would make so much sense if it was him. And wouldn’t it be nice that even if I can never meet my biological father in the end, that the memory of him that I am introduced to is such a good and positive one!

I was finally finding my peace. Little by little. It wasn’t quite closure, but it was peace. I still hoped for the rest. I still hoped in time maybe Patty’s brother would give me that closure. But this….this was all something I can live with. This was really darn close.  Father #1 was the first person on the list of potentials at the beginning of my search that I felt the instant connection to. It would make sense if it was him. I would be happy if it was him.

Welcome to the Family!

13 Jul

Anna gave me her grandmother’s email address. I sat there for a little while trying to find the right words.

Hi 🙂 

I am so nervous, I am not sure where to begin!! I guess to start, my name is Becky. Though I guess you already knew that 🙂 It is such a pleasure to meet you!! 

I am not sure what Anna has told you about me but before I say anything about myself I wanted to tell you that while I don’t know them too well, you have a truly amazing family. They have been so kind, gracious and helpful. Anna is one in a million. 9 months pregnant and she still took the time to help a stranger. Her parents, have been wonderful as well. I could not have been luckier than to find myself connected to such good and kind people!

I have so many things I want to say to you 🙂 First and foremost I know I must have come as a complete surprise to you!! I am so sorry for any shock I might have caused you. I never in any way want to cause you any kind of hurt. If in any way I did, I am truly sorry!! Anna said you are open to talking to me and I would absolutely LOVE that. I am so thankful you would be willing to do that! I would love to know more about you and your family. I just wanted to reach out to make sure you are comfortable with that.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have for me. I am an open book! I look forward to hearing from you and learning more about each other 🙂

Sincerely,

Becky 

There is was. I put myself out there and waited for her reply. And her words……just the first sentence alone of her reply…did it for me.

WELCOME TO OUR AWESOME FAMILY. 

At that moment, all was well with the world. Yes, I would surely still wonder who my father was. But in that moment I no longer felt unwanted. I felt quite the opposite. Just those words were enough for me to be at peace. I may never know who my father was but I know he came from a good line of people and those people accepted me. I knew in that moment that if I just had a few pictures of both men and knew a little bit about each of them that would be enough for me. Not only because it had to be, but because I understood.

Extra, Extra….Read All About It

12 Jul

News!! She has news!! I am in the dressing room at the store, trying on clothes for my upcoming vacation. I stop instantly and start reading.

Anna’s father had reached out to father #1’s eldest daughter. She had not responded so he made the decision to go directly to father #2. He approached him and explained the situation to him. Father #2 said he did not recognize my mother’s name and to ask me to please not contact him because he did not want his wife to get mad.

Heartbreak. Confusion. Questions. Reality. My mind was racing in a million different directions! Please don’t contact him because his wife will be mad??? That was a statement I was not expecting. Not because I didn’t understand that this could obviously be an issue that could potentially cause tension (hence the way I was trying to approach everything in a way to protect everyone and their privacy and relationships) but because it had a guilty tone. It just opened the door to more questions, but at the same moment slammed the door in my face because he did not want to talk to me.

The emotions hit like a train off the rails. Silent tears in the dressing room as I processed it all. There was nothing more I could do. All the was left was to accept the fact that yes, I was disappointed I could not get a definitive answer, but be grateful for the fact that I came from a place where there was no hope of ever knowing who my father was and somehow, I had it narrowed down to two people. That had to be enough and I knew after a few days of raw emotion, I would be able to accept that. That is me. I am able to see the bigger picture. Sometimes I just need a few minutes to process my personal feelings.

Of course I had every intention of honoring his request. I told Anna to please have her father assure him that I understand and will not bother him. I went home that night and cried. My search was over. The conclusion, there was no conclusion. There was no definitive answer. All that work. No closure.

I won’t even begin to try to list all the thoughts running through my mind, but I will say that it is crazy how many scenarios you can come up with for just one statement made by another person.

The next morning I was still a little sad but there was no room for a pity party for one. I got up and went off to work. Work was a welcome distraction.

That afternoon I got another message from Anna. She wrote to tell me that her parents had told her grandmother (my aunt) about me. They had not said anything before because they were waiting to get as much information as possible, but now that we knew Anna’s father and I were 1st cousins, they were ready to tell her. At first she was in shock and could not believe the news but then……then she seemed kind of excited to have a niece!! She was going to have Anna over the next week to help her scan pictures for me. What’s more….she would love to talk to me!

Oh my goodness how the emotions changed. From sad to happy in seconds.

Boom!!!

1 Jun

I was getting ready for bed and something hit me. The best way to describe it was a “feeling.” Just that sense that I should check my Ancestry DNA account. I sort of felt it, but ignored it. Then I felt it again. Stronger. So I stopped what I was doing and logged in. I saw that I had one new match. I clicked to open my matches and my heart skipped a beat. There at the top of my list was Anna’s father. He was listed as my first cousin.  OMG! OMG! OMG! It was the match that I expected it would be which would mean that my research had paid off. I was guessing he would come back as my first cousin and she would be my 1st cousin once removed. I was so proud of myself for being able to predict that! All those hours were not wasted.

My mind started racing. I laughed at myself because even though I knew what that meant, I was so overwhelmed I had to run and look at my notes to make sure I was looking at the right names.

TWO. Two is the magic number. If all the tests are right and the research correct, by process of elimination we are down to two people who could be my father. Brothers. One alive. One deceased. Part of me hopes it is the one who is deceased. If it was him, he sounded like a good, decent upstanding citizen. A really good man. The other half of me hopes it is the one who is still alive. If it is him, maybe I will be able to have just one conversation with one of my biological parents. I just want to know the story. Where I came from. How I came to be. Was I a one night stand? The product of a relationship that could not be public? Did it come from good? From bad? Why did my mother want to keep my father a secret? Did he know about me? Not want me? I want answers.

All these questions start racing through my mind at once. I am joyful. I am sad. I am bouncing off the walls looking for someone to share the news with while at the same time, choking up…tears coming down my face. I am close. So close. Closer than I ever imagined I could be!

I send a message to Anna. I told her I saw the results and was so overwhelmed. She wrote back that her father had gotten them back earlier that day. She was headed to bed but we would chat the next day.

Please brain…calm down for a little bit. Just long enough for me to sleep!

Here’s Your Sign!

26 May

As I have mentioned before, life is all about “moments.” There have been moments over the years that have made me feel close to my mother. The dream that I had that started me out on my journey to learn more about her. The picture I received from her friend that looked exactly like she did in my dream, the framed pictures falling from a coffee table and on to the floor when we were talking about her. A Volkswagen Bug with eyelashes (like her very first car) appearing behind me the day that I wished more than ever for a sign that she was there with me. These and other experiences have led me to believe that my mother is with me. Not in the conventional “let’s hang out and grab a coffee” kind of way, but in the way where she is looking out for me. In tune with my needs, making her presence known at times, protecting me.

This was the case one day as I found myself getting closer to the answer.

Several years ago, someone came across my birth mother’s wallet and gave it to me, thinking it was something I would like to have. I LOVED that wallet. Not the actual wallet itself, but all the contents inside. There was a driver’s license, credit cards, insurance cards, card for a doctor’s appointment for my brother, pictures and so much more. I must have held each item in my hands 100 times, studying it…looking for clues. Nothing. There was absolutely nothing to be found. I had researched a few items, making calls and digging for information, but came back empty handed every time.

Here I found myself facing something so big. Trying to find my biological father. Man how I wish my mother was here. She could fill in all the blanks. She could answer all the questions I have. She alone could give me all the information I need. But she is not here. Of course she isn’t. I don’t know why she felt so strongly that she did not want to tell anyone who my father was. To protect him? To protect me? To protect her own heart? People always told me that they believed she would have told me when I had gotten older if I really wanted to know. She didn’t know she was going to pass away so suddenly. But man, it left me in such a hard place. She left me no clues. Nothing to try to solve the mystery on my own!

As I was perusing the internet looking for information on my potential fathers, I came across the obituary for father #1. My heart sank at the idea of being too late. Is it possible that after all of this I will never have the chance to hear my father’s voice just once either?

I slowly read the article, taking note of the different family members listed, etc. They talked about his military service as well as his 30 years on the police force. There was a list of numerous things he had been actively involved in including a bowling league and a fishing club. It also mentioned him being a member of the Fraternal Order of a specific lodge.

I don’t know what it was, but the minute I saw the name of the lodge I stopped dead in my tracks. I have not lived in that town since I was two and a half years old so there is no reason I would know the name. Seconds later I had it. I thought back to my mother’s wallet and for some reason felt that was where I had seen this before.

It was 10:30 at night and the fact that my alarm was going to go off at 4:30 am meant nothing to me! I jumped up out of bed and started tearing my whole bedroom apart looking for this wallet. At 1 am I finally threw in the towel. I went to work the next day, exhausted. All I could think about was getting home and where else I could look.

The day finally came to a close. I got home and headed right for my room. I stood there looking around and said, “ok mom, where is the wallet?” I looked under my bed and pulled out a box. I opened the clasp and there inside were all the contents of my mom’s wallet. About half way down, there was an associate membership card bearing the same name as the lodge listed in the obituary!

I can’t begin to explain the feelings I had when I saw that card. Relief that I was not losing my mind was one! But really? After all those hours of tearing the room apart and then taking one moment to breathe and ask my mom where to look and poof…there it was? It felt like she recognized I was ready. That I had been working so hard to find the link and this was her way of letting me know she was ready to share her secret. That pat on the back saying “you are on the right track kiddo.”