Tag Archives: #relatives

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.

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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.

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!

I Think I Can…I Think I Can..

30 May

So it seems that somehow my mother was tied to Father #1 through this lodge. Not that it actually answers any questions though! In order to be an associate member of the lodge, you had to be sponsored by a member. So, was Father #1 her sponsor? If so, how had she met him prior to that? What was their original connection? Or, had someone else sponsored her and maybe she met him there?

Taking that one step further though, if all you needed to become an associate member of the lodge was to be sponsored by someone who was a member that means that Father #2 or #3 could have been associate members too. Could she have met one of them there? Or did she know father #1 and met Father #2 or #3 through him?

Really, the finding of this card does not answer any of my questions questions. In fact, if anything, it creates MORE questions. But is does do one thing. It proves that I am on the right track!!!

Through this DNA test I have found a relative that matches pretty closely. This match and her family as well as all the possible “fathers” lived in the town that mother was living and working in when she got pregnant with me. The associate membership card for the Lodge shows there was a definite connection. It not only put them in the same city but in the same organization. So while the massive amount of new questions is discouraging, it is also encouraging. I am that much closer to solving this mystery. I can do it. I will do it. I HAVE to do it…..for me!

 

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.”

 

Three Men and a Grownup Baby

25 May

So I am afraid of getting my hopes up. I feel like I am so close to finally having an answer but my fear is that maybe that is all it is. Hopes. Hopes that will be dashed, broken down. I mean after all, to go from no hope of ever knowing who my biological father would be to being so close to the answer, how could this be possible? How can I keep my emotions from getting the best of me?

But hope it is! I will take it. Mostly because I feel like there is a reason I am supposed to know now. It has been a secret for so long with not even an ounce of a clue or direction and then suddenly, all this information has just landed in my lap. Why now? Is my mom ready to reveal her secret? Does she think I am ready to know now? Who might these mystery men be? What was the connection between my mother and biological father? How did they meet? Why hide this man from the world? From me?

I decided to take a break from all the family tree research and the daily frying of my brain trying to figure out relationships between people. Instead, I wanted to learn anything I could about the three potential “fathers” in my life.

Sometimes I despise social media and the internet. The constant connection, the unnecessary information people share, our inability to unplug. But there are other times when I live for the internet. When used for the right reasons, it is a plethora of information and tools.

I spent the next day or two trolling social media, googling and doing any other research I could on my three potential fathers. Information, pictures, anything I could find. The irony….one of them lived on the same street as my now mom’s best friend. In fact they lived on the same street during times that I was there in her best friend’s house! Imagine that, I could have been just a few doors away from my father and didn’t even know it! How crazy to wrap my head around that!

So who were these men?

Father #1 – he was about twenty some odd years older than my mother. He had been in the military and later had a long career as a police officer. He was divorced during the time that my mother would have known him and remarried about six years after I was born. He had several biological children and adopted several children as well. I saw pictures of him. He has a kind face and sounded like a really nice and good man.

Father #2 – he was also about twenty some odd years older than my mother (Father 1 and 2 are brothers). I don’t know as much about him aside from the fact that he was married at the time and I believe is still married to the same woman now. I haven’t seen any pictures of him as a younger man but he seems happy and family oriented. There are lots of pictures of him with his grandchildren.

Father #3 – I believe he was my mother’s age, maybe a year or so younger. He was in the military and not married at the time. I haven’t seen younger pictures of him, but as a man in his 60’s, he looks kind and happy. He is married now with several children.

As I wait for the rest of the mystery to unfold, all of this new information keeps racing around in my brain. Who are you? How am I going to figure out who you are? Do you look like me? (yes, I have totally taken their pictures and put them next to mine to see if I see any similarities). In the meantime, the betting line is now open. Who do you think it is going to be?  Feel free to take a guess 🙂