Welcome back, everyone!
I have a very special story to tell you all today. This story is about my family and the aunts and cousins that I never thought I’d find.
See, my dad was adopted. Adoption is a great thing and I believe that the families who open their hearts and homes to kids without any family are great people and serve a lot of credit. My adopted grandparents were good people and I love them but there was just always something missing. Whenever I went to the doctor’s office and had to fill out the family health history papers or did any sort of genealogy project in school I just didn’t have anything to write.
There were rumors about my biological grandparents but they weren’t very flattering so I generally kept them to myself. We didn’t have any names or anything – just some possible dates and locations: December 5, 1957, Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Curious to know my ‘real’ last name, I started looking for my biological family around the time that I was 16 or 17. I called the courthouse in Carlsbad, NM and tried to figure out how to get ahold of my dad’s birth or adoption records but was told that not only was New Mexico a closed state – meaning we couldn’t get ahold of any records – but the fact that the adoption took place in 1957 meant that the records might not even exist.
When my dad’s adoptive parents died, there was no paperwork found in their possessions and we thought the trail had just ended. In a final hail Mary attempt, I bought my parents a 23andme DNA test and had them take it. This was about a year and a half ago.
The results came back with no close relatives and any 3rd or 4th cousins that we contacted were generally uninterested in helping us out, especially when we told them that one of their relatives might have had an affair in the 1950’s that resulted in a baby boy.
So we waited. And we waited and we waited. I checked the results every time 23andme emailed me to let me know that more relatives had joined 23andme. Never any good.
Then, out of the blue on Monday, November 26th, 2018, my dad’s biological half-sister contacted him.
She knew everything. It was mind blowing. Turns out, she had been looking for us just as long as we had been looking for her!
To make matters even better, it turns out that my new half Aunt lives 10 minutes away from my parents in Arizona!
It was a crazy, crazy week. My dad and his sister had dinner together and I’ve been speaking extensively with my great aunt about the family history and getting to know my biological grandmother who has sadly passed away. I have cousins in Illinois and Texas, apparently, and I think Wisconsin as well. I’ll be flying out to Phoenix to visit my family on the 16th (this was originally going to be a Christmas surprise but my parents forced my hand once we found my dad’s family) so that I can meet her myself.
I don’t know where this new twist is going to take me but I have a lot I need to learn about myself now! The more I talk to my dad’s side of the family, the more I see how much I’ve inherited from them, even though I didn’t grow up around them. My grandma was literally a genius – a member of MENSA – she was musical, and apparently she was a bit rambunctious and creative.
So that’s what I’ll be doing this Christmas! Celebrating the fact that I have tons of new relatives to get to know! And better yet – I’m actually related to them by blood!
We still don’t know who the birth father is though….so there’s a whole other part of my family lurking around out there. Maybe one day we’ll find them as well! Who knows!
I want to take the time here to thank everyone who has been reading this blog so far. I’ve really enjoyed figuring out the schedule, keeping up with the writing, taking photos and generally just getting my voice out there.
That being said, I’ve finally figured out what I want my focus to be. I’ve become incredibly interested in Yoga, Veganism, Paddleboarding and Running and I like trying out new locations associated with these activities (and lifestyle choices).
From next week on, this blog is going to be focussed on reviews of locations in and around Anne Arundel County, MD because that is where I live and where I enjoy wandering around. There is a lot to talk about in this county and I’m super excited to share what I know with everyone.
I realize that a lot of my readers are nowhere near Maryland but in order for this blog to be a success I need to choose a niche and a target audience and I think I’ve finally found one. Wherever you are, thank you for being there since the beginning!!