When worlds collide, expect the unexpected

I spent the evening searching through names of a few faculty members of a school that may have been occupied by an individual who adopted a birth mother’s son.

This requires a bit more database searching and then comparing findings with actual records on Ancestry.com and familysearch.org. It took about two hours to determine one individual identity, his immediate circle of family members, and whether or not he had any children.

After all was said and done, the results came up short for any children before this individual passed away about a decade ago. One has to be extra thorough finding living people on dated records. There is a tendency for these bits of information to be hidden from the public. The only real chances come from whatever online interaction they or their possible relatives may have used. Especially when it comes to social media they or their children might have interacted with.

About a year ago, I was looking for the children of my suspected birth father. I spent the better part of a month tracking a daughter down from his first marriage.  I eventually came across an email address for the suspected daughter that she had been using in a job she had almost a decade earlier. I stumbled across it in a Google search.

Later the same morning I composed an email to this address with enough information that would make anyone who read it curious about who might be sending it, and know way too much about them. I received a response and read it the next morning. She said she was cleaning out an email account she barely ever used, and almost deleted the message thinking it might be some form of solicitation from some spammer. Well luck would have it that she actually read the email and responded.

We spoke on the phone over my lunch break and from that hour-long conversation both of us were convinced enough to take the next step. I ordered her a DNA kit and we continued to correspond over the next several weeks as we waited for the results. She was sympathetic to my cause because her father too had abandoned her when he divorced her mother when she was two years old.

She spent the next twenty-two years haunted by his absence and sought him out when she was in her mid-twenties. She literally begged an operator in the late seventies to give her his phone number. She knew of his name and the State he moved to, but that was all. The operator, risking her job, broke the rules and gave her his unlisted phone number.

They had a reunion, but he was very creepy. He basically treated her like his ex-wife and it was just becoming too awkward for her to let it continue. They broke off the reunion about eight weeks later. Fast forward another two more decades and I came calling. Her story about this guy was familiar to me in my research regarding biological family members sometimes feeling a physical attraction with their children they had not seen from again. In most of these rare cases, nothing is ever acted upon, but it still can be very disconcerting without prior knowledge that it might occur. I told her about this, but made sure to be very careful not to spook her with my calls, or emails. I did not want to repeat the same creepiness that drove a wedge between us, similar to the experience she had with her father’s reunion.

Around six to eight weeks later the DNA results came in and I had my first definitive proof that I found a half-sibling. She was my biological sister. We have promised to get together at some point, but opportunities have come and gone that just were not in our budgets or time available. We both seem to be very busy people and live on opposite sides of the Country.