DNA doesn’t lie!

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I am sure you have heard the phrase “a watched pot never boils”.  Well, waiting for DNA test results to come back is pretty much like that.  I knew it could take up to 6 weeks but…still…I had come so far and now just wanted proof that I wasn’t mucking it all up again.  In the mean time I had a chance to go to the L.A. area for a few days and even though the results were not in, I asked my potential 1/2 brothers Scott and Bruce if they would like to meet up.  They were so sweet and were excited to meet me, even prior to the proof of the DNA test.  We pretty much all thought that the picture of my mom with their dad on the same bowling team sealed the deal.

I drove down to Southern CA and we planned a meet at Scott’s house. While I was driving to our meeting I have never been so nervous in all my life.  I was so afraid that I was getting all excited for nothing – what if Scott and Bruce weren’t my 1/2 brothers?   I had to remind myself to breathe…to relax…to just be me and let things play out and to stop worrying.  As I drove up to the house the first person I saw was Scott, standing in the doorway of his house…and all I could do was smile as I know that this is probably my brother and I couldn’t help but feel the love. Then I see Bruce, the elder of the two and the acceptance was written all over his face too….I felt like I had come home to family.  We had the nicest visit….Bruce had brought some old photos from the Perry family and we went through them and laughed and talked. It was such a good visit but also a little bitter sweet as I learned their sister Linda had passed away a couple of years ago and she was very interested in family history and had done lots of research and they were sure we would have hit it off.  Linda and I were the closest in age, she being just 2 years younger than me.

Scott’s roommate Donna had a sandwich spread fixed up for us and we ate, and laughed and talked a lot more.  I really felt good about this visit and so wished the DNA results would come in while I was in Southern Ca. that weekend, but I knew I would probably have to wait for awhile still.  It was funny that Scott kept asking me and texting me..”when will the results be in?”…he wanted to know for sure just like I did – we were like a couple of little kids!  I learned so much about the family during our visit and I promised Bruce and Scott that as soon as I knew the results I would be letting them know.

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Here we are at our first meeting, June 9, 2016.  Scott to the left of the picture and Bruce to the right.

As I was driving back home to Northern Ca.the following day I had my phone laying next to me on the seat.  I just had a feeling that I might get an email that the results were in.  All of a sudden I get a ding on phone and the screen has a little popup that says “your Ancestry DNA results are in!!!!!”

OMG….I am on the 101 Freeway, I can’t look at my email…I need to pull over…I need to see asap….where is the off ramp???  I can’t get off that freeway fast enough…I am in a panic mode.  Those who have not been through this cannot understand the intense feelings that are present when you are trying to find out who you are and where you come from.  I don’t know how to explain it…it is just such a need that it is inexplicable.  I finally get to the off ramp, am in an industrial area and there isn’t much parking but I pull over as fast as I can and open that email!!!

I had to see how many cm’s of DNA that Scott and I shared to determine if we were 1/2 siblings or just cousins….The amount needs to be over about 1500 for definite 1/2 sibling range  – I half close my eyes and get to the part where I see the shared cm’s……..it’s 1765!!!!!!!  Jackpot, Bingo, Case solved!!!!!  I have new brothers!!!!!

I immediately call Scott who told me he was sure we were siblings, he had no doubt!  He calls Bruce, who texts me “I hear its official Sis!”  How could have asked for a more welcoming new family. About a couple of weeks after that trip I got in contact with my 3rd 1/2 brother.  He lives out of state and is the child of my father’s first marriage.  He was also very nice and welcoming and I really do appreciate his acceptance of me also.

It is now 4 months later, we have talked and text a lot.  my husband and I went down to L.A. area for my class reunion earlier this month and we also went and saw these cutie pie brothers of mine.  I got to meet Bruce’s wife Carrie, to enjoy the company of Scott’s friend Donna and they got to meet my husband Michael.  Michael likes them a lot.  Talk about a husband who has supported me 100% through this search for my roots. He has been my rock.  The rest of my family doesn’t understand my search, it has even put a rift between my sister and I.  But I cannot help that and if they are not supportive or understand my feelings then that is on them, not me.  This is my journey and I am so glad I made it before I got too old to meet any of my biological family.  I do wish I could have met my father.  But he passed in 1989.  I do not know if he knew about me, I do not know if my mother even knew I was his child.  But I do know that my mom or dad that I grew up with never, ever, let me think I wasn’t wanted or unloved.  I can’t help but feel that my mom chose to keep me because I was Robert’s child.  She was 38 when she had me, my sister and brother were already grown and almost married themselves.  When I discovered Robert had a daughter and I looked at her middle name, I had to pause.  It is Louise.  That is my mom’s name.  Too much a coincidence??  maybe…but in my mind they were in love for awhile.  Maybe I am making that all up in my head but who doesn’t like a love story???

Thanks for reading…it’s not the end of the blog…just the end of this chapter.

family

Are you my brother?

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So now I was ready to get moving on finding my biological father.  I have talked to Scott, my possible 1/2 brother.  I have done my due diligence in tracing the DNA trail and the family tree hints.  I was thrilled that Scott agreed to take a DNA test and that he would be happy to have a new sister!  As soon as Scott and I got off the phone I ordered the DNA test kit from Ancestry.com from my phone….I was not going to wait until we got home from our camping trip!!  I was floating on cloud 9 the rest of the weekend – I had such a good feeling about this phase in my search! Scott and I messaged back and forth.  Sonya and I did also, she was an angel in my eyes for helping me to connect with my possible family.

My only question now was,  how did my mom know Scott and Bruce’s dad?  They didn’t live in the same city, although not too far away from each other.  Their dad worked as a plumber and my dad owned his own chrome plating business…no connection there I could see.  But as I was thinking about how the connection could have happened I got an idea.  My folks had been very active at the Elks Lodge near them during the 1950’s and 60’s.  Also, they both loved to bowl – my dad was a pretty good bowler and used to compete in leagues with the Elks and at different bowling lanes for many years.  So I decided to contact the Elks Lodge and see if they had a roster for 1952 and if my possible father was on it, and guess what?  He was!!!

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Gun shy

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I titled this post “gun shy” because that is what I was feeling at maybe, just maybe, discovering who my father really was.  I had such a sad/bad experience with my first suspected 1/2 brother that I didn’t want to make that mistake again, no way, no how.

My family and I went off to a camping trip in the Sacramento delta area – thank goodness we had cell phone signal, or my anxiety level might have gone through the roof!  I knew Sonya was going to contact my maybe 1/2 brothers and try and make a connection in a very general way – she wanted to protect me from being hurt again and she was very involved in my “mystery” – she is a great cousin!

I didn’t expect to hear anything from her that weekend. What I didn’t know is that she was able to contact the youngest brother first, Scott. Continue reading

Aside

Who’s my father????

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I was gathering all the information I could on Ancestry.com for matches to my new 2nd cousin, Bill.  With him being that close to me and seeing that Lee did not match me correctly with Bill being a 2nd cousin I had to figure out what was going on.  So I started with building a separate tree for Bill with all the information I could find on his family and then BOOM.  Not only did I find a common surname that linked him to Lee’s surname, but I saw on Ancestry.com that Lee did the DNA test….without telling me!  I was looking at my DNA matches – yes, I impulsively do that every day!  And I see that Lee is there and matching me as a 4th-6th cousin probability.  That dirty dog….he did the DNA test that I had been begging him to do for months….which would have solved the problem, would have gotten me off his back and would have given me some peace of mind….sometimes I don’t get people one bit. Continue reading

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Why aren’t you as curious as I am???

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After Thanksgiving I figured I would be overwhelmed with welcomes from my new found probable family, instead I was ignored. Ok, I’m thinking they need time to process, so I waited a few days before I emailed Lee again and asked him if he would agree to the DNA test. But I was put off and he said his family wasn’t receptive to my claim and he understands my plight but he wants to think about it some more. Come on already!!! I offered to pay for the test, keep it private, etc etc. but that didn’t seem to make a difference to him. In hindsight I think it was stubbornness….I had besmirched his father’s name and he wasn’t going to take my probable assumption (to him there was no proof) and go ahead and take the test. These are my feelings on it here, I have no proof he felt that way – but this was how it seemed with him. I told him I didn’t want to disturb his family nor did I expect any relationship unless it was welcomed – I just wanted information.  I wanted to know where I came from. Continue reading

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What…you don’t believe the DNA results???

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Dexter and Louise Halldin 1941

My dad, Dexter, and my mom, Louise about 1945

So, my thought to be honest and above-board with my possible 1/2 brother Lee just sort of crashed and burned.  It was Thanksgiving weekend and I was feeling pretty feisty and thinking that since I was giving thanks for finding my possible biological father that Lee might feel the love and all that jazz. But I was pretty much let down in that regard. I decided to be honest and tell him that I thought his father might be my father and would he consent to a DNA test to confirm. I explained all my reasoning, my searching through his family and building a tree on Ancestry.com. Continue reading

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Too much too soon

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This is my mother, Louise

This is my mother, Louise

I haven’t written as I am such a procrastinator. So many things have happened since my last post, I get overwhelmed and that makes me grouchy and then I shut down. When I discovered that my mom had me with a different father, that part didn’t bother me, what bothered me was that no matter how I looked at it, my biological father was dead. I am 62 years old and my mom was 38 when I was born, do that math and you come up with too old to be living. And then, that made me feel sad. But I was also excited so I decided to try to contact someone from the suspected father’s family. In hind sight I might have come on a bit strong… I stalked them on Facebook…such an easy way to find people. I found the workplace of the oldest son and contacted him by email. I am not courageous enough to do it by phone or in person…much easier to hide behind the keyboard! At first I just showed a general interest in shared genealogy and hoped he would be willing to share info. But I got a pretty short “good luck” answer so I figured…what the heck…let’s tell him what I suspect. Bad move. Stay tuned for the next segment….I have to write this in bits and pieces because the story is long and I don’t want to go on and on and be boring as hell.

Who’s your daddy???

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It’s been awhile since I have posted. I have been sort of at odds with what is going on with my DNA tests and how I wasn’t matching up with my known close cousins. So I asked my sister to test her DNA with Ancestry.com.  About 6 weeks ago I went to visit her and had her spit into the little test thingy and sent it off.  It seems like FOREVER until the results come back, then one day there is the email…results are in….I wondered how fast I could click on those computer screens to get to the results!!  And, as I suspected,  it turns out we are 1/2 sisters which means my dad is not my biological dad. All the pieces fell into place.  She matches to my cousins on dad’s side where I do not. She does not match to the cousin matches I was receiving that had nothing to do with dad’s side. So…I began searching in earnest on my cousin matches and their family trees on Ancestry.com for someone, anyone, who might fit the bill. Continue reading

Dewey died all alone, sitting against a tree

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My mom used to tell me about how her father’s brother, Dewey, died. She said he was robbed in Mexico and killed. I always felt so bad that this could happen to someone in my family, and I wondered why he was in Mexico and the circumstances surrounding his death. I was pretty sure Mom got something mixed up because she had never talked of Dewey except for his death, I knew that she wasn’t close with this uncle as other stories about him were never shared. Mom was 29 when Dewey died so she was old enough to get the facts but her memory was not always the best. I decided a while back to try to investigate what had happened to Dewey. Dewey never married and didn’t have children so I asked a cousin the late 1990’s about Dewey. She told me she thought he died in New Mexico…hmmmmm, that is close to Mexico…so mom couldn’t be too wrong could she? Continue reading