Avoidance

Pretend it doesn’t exist. Just like I haven’t existed in the lives of my biological family. The big Mother’s Day celebration. What’s a girl to do?  I am at sea with this one.  I’m hot on the trail DNA wise, but Mother’s day is always a day of mixed emotions. If I could reach out to her what would I do?

I am not the flower type, mainly because of my work. I see so many floral pieces wasted that it becomes too sickly sweet and meaningless.  I love flowers but not to send them they remind me of funerals. So, the issue becomes what to do with someone you are biologically related to but doesn’t really outwardly acknowledge your existence. HUM.

Dear Hallmark,

Perhaps, you might make a passive aggressive line of greeting that could fill the void for those of us that don’t know quite what do with these biological relatives?

Sincerely,

Biological Child

Perhaps-it could go something like this:

Dearest First Mother,

Though you couldn’t parent me, I wanted to acknowledge you on this holiday and really have no idea what the appropriate way to do that is since you haven’t bothered to tell your family that I exist.

Much Love,

Your First Born

That would cover it right? It does seem a bit hostile though. Maybe not what one would want to put out there.  Perhaps it is better to just bottle up those feelings some more or just write it on a blog.  So, it may appear that this holiday brings out some unworked through emotions.  I think this whole process brings through some unworked through emotions for so many.

I don’t want to diminish the hurt on the first mother side either by my statement, I am only addressing my feeling because, well, they are mine and I’ve had all these years alone with them.  I cannot know her anguish or joy, because the opportunity to know her is denied me.  This is my impasse, wondering about the unknown. Once she is found will she want to be known or will there be a second rejection and abandonment? Speaking with other adoptees I hear this fear echoed.  It is often better to not be rejected again.

I continue……

 

 

 

 

Who Needs Sleep?

Break through! A cousin match sitting in queue since the beginning but unable to understand its significance without context, has yielded its sScreen Shot 2017-05-01 at 10.30.29 AMecret.  I built a tree based on this cousin match at 131 centimorgans across 5 DNA segments.  His family hailed from Missouri some from the Hannibal area, which I admit is what drew my attention because I am a devout Twain hound.  I was too focused on Hannibal and the newspaper connection to see what was right before my eyes. An English immigrant that connected to another tree I was working from my first cousin match.

I had built separate trees because my first cousin didn’t have a tree so I built one through my own research.  The 3rd cousin, I didn’t know how he fit but I could see he share my first cousin, but how? The name Black was in both trees, but it’s a very common name.  the Blacks in both trees seemed to originate in Durham, England.  I found the parents for the first cousin’s Black ancestor, and low and behold it was the same in the 3rd cousin’s tree-BINGO we have a match.  I had a bridge and I knew now I was on to a true path to biological connection. We shared these common ancestors, a couple from England who had at least two daughters immigrate to America.

These two young women were fairly easy to trace with their families.  The only downside was that the trees were large.  As I built I saw that other DNA matches began to fall into place within one of the young woman’s trees.  She had settled in Southern Illinois with her husband and matched my first cousin match.  I soon saw many of my 3rd and 4th cousin matches falling into the extended family tree. I solidly matched the Black’s from England but I also matched my first cousin’s other side of the family also.  How could this be? She didn’t share enough DNA with me to be an Aunt and her daughter didn’t share enough DNA to be my first cousin.

I was only sleeping about 4 hours a night now.  I had a paid subscription to Newspapers.com and I was cross referencing obituaries with names, filling in living relatives when possible.  I even looked people up on Facebook to see if I could match them to the information I had.  Did anyone look like me?  So far, no.  That meant little, I needed to follow the DNA evidence.  I had built out the matches family tree back to her Grandparents with their siblilngs.  I most likely shared these Grandparents with her somehow because I had other DNA matches that shared these same people.  I traced obituaries and filled in all of the children’s names and traced their obituaries.

Twelve children, but I had quite a bit of difficulty tracking down one son. It looked like he passed away within a week of his wife and the obit was more than brief, it listed none of his children.  UGH!  I began looking for secondary sources for information of him.  I searched all newspapers for any articles and began to come up with some information that I could piece together. Looking at census records I could come up with at least three daughters in the 1940 census.  I cross referenced them with newspaper articles, bingo! I came up with wedding announcements. That gave me married names for daughters. None of the information matched my biological mother. I had to be looking at my biological father’s family.

A search brought up an obituary for one of the sisters.  That’s where I found the name of a brother. The brother had to have been born after the 1940 census.  I knew that my father was 21 when I was born. I searched his name in Ancestry records and a marriage record for South Bend, Indiana came up for the year that I was born.  That put him in the area that I was born, near the time I was born. Who was this woman? She wasn’t my birthmother, she didn’t match her information.  If this man was my biological father was he running around the countryside courting young women?

There were more questions than answers.  How could I confirm or reject this person from my match list? I would need to put my DNA matches in my tree and see how I fit. The last thing I would want to do is contact someone that was not related. I had about 15 more matches to place before I would be confident enough to reach out to someone. Looming over it all is that constant fear of secondary rejection.  Discarded once. I don’t want to be discarded twice.