Tag Archives: #secrets

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.

The Match Game

24 May

My parents always joked I should be a lawyer or a politician. After this crazy adventure, I think I should be a detective or maybe even a genealogist. Oh heck, who am I kidding? This genealogy thing has literally made my brain hurt at times!!

Because the DNA tests are “predicting” your relationship, it does not mean the relations they designate you and your match to be is 100% accurate. The more DNA you share, the more confident they are in their predictions. For example, Anna and I are predicted 2nd cousins and the confidence level of Ancestry DNA is extremely high. Shannon Wayne however is a predicted 4th cousin with a confidence level of high. The more distant the relationship (the less DNA matched) , the less confident the prediction.  I have a very long list of people with whom the match prediction confidence level is moderate.

I was curious to see how accurate the matches actually were. If i could crack that code, it might help me further narrow things down in the search for “dad.” Because I still was not sure who my father was, I had no starting point if I used myself so I did the next best thing. I used Anna. I started going through the list of our shared matches. I found the people who shared the closest matches to her who also had information available in their profile (some people had mini to very large family trees in their DNA profile which can really help you find where they link in some cases) and began tracing them on her family tree. The tree that I had built using any information she had given me combined with all the research I had done to expand. If I could do the physical research and formulate a guess as to their relationship, I could then compare my guesstimate with her Ancestry DNA findings and see how close I was.

What I found was that I was far better at this family tree research and DNA analysis than I thought I was. Unlike when researching my maternal side, I was essentially starting from scratch here. But I did it. In fact, I did it so well and pieced together such an extensive tree that I was able to get through several matches in different branches of the tree. When I was all done, I went back to Anna with my guesses to see how well I did.

I was right on point! Using my research I was able to deduce all of her predicted relationships as well as find a pattern. Just because it says you are predicted to be 4th cousins does not mean you are. There are several possible combinations. For example, one of the relatives I matched, ancestry predicted that they were 4th cousins. However, when you draw out the family tree, looking at it visually you can see that they were in fact second cousins twice removed. I looked like they were 4th cousins but because of the generational gap, they were actually second cousins twice removed!

That means the further out your relationship, the more possibilities there are. The closer the relation the fewer the options which means the easier the answer.

Anna and I are listed in the 1st to 2nd cousin range with the prediction that we are second cousins. I have other matches listed in the 2nd to 3rd cousin range that are also predicted to be second cousins. That says to me that Anna and I share more DNA and have a stronger tie than the others. My guess is that we are either 2nd cousins (share great grandparents) or are 1st cousins once removed (which would mean I would be her father’s cousin’s child).

Three. If all the assumptions are correct, I am down to three potential fathers. But which one is it? How did they connect with my mom? How did she know them? Why would she keep them a secret? Did she keep me a secret? Does he know I exist. Does he dread the day the phone rings and I am on the other end? Does he wish for that day? Does he even know it is a possibility? What does he think happened to my mother? Does he know she died? Or does he think she just disappeared?

All of these questions racing through my mind, I decided it was time to take a small break from the family tree research and try to learn a little about these three people. Maybe if I did a little digging, I would be able to unearth something. Another clue…..

Mom and Dad

8 May
When it comes to my biological parents, I think the one I have always felt the connection to is my mother. It never really occurred to me before. But I see it now. I always grew up knowing about “Mommy Bevy.”
She got pregnant and chose to keep me. She didn’t tell anyone who my father was. Just that she was pregnant and keeping the baby. People said she was happy about her decision and was excited she was having a little girl. She was the one who named me. She was the one that loved me those first 4 and a half months of my life. Even though I don’t remember her, she was there. She was my mom.
I came to terms many years ago that I would never know who my biological father was. My mother took that secret to the grave with her. There has been a lot of speculation over the years. The general consensus was he was most likely someone she met through work. Maybe he was doing a delivery and they had gotten to know each other. It could have been a secret relationship or a one night stand. Whatever it was, she chose not to include him in my life. Or maybe he chose not to be involved. Maybe he knows he has a kid out there somewhere. Maybe he has no idea. Was she trying to protect him? Protect herself? Man, I hate unanswered questions!!
My aunt (my other aunt, nit my current mom) told me once she knew of someone who might know who my father was. She said she would tell me when I turned 18, but she passed away before that. I was left with not a single clue. How do you find someone who may have no idea that you exist without a single place to start looking. Any lead I thought I might have had come up a dead end.
I realized that my mom had a reason for not sharing the info and whatever it was, I understood. I am sure once I grew up if I wanted to know she would have told me. She would have recognized that it was important to me and would have shared the story of where I came from. But alas, that will not happen. I understand she wanted to keep this secret at the time. Maybe someday, when she thinks I am ready, she will find her own way to share.