It's been almost two years since I wrote my last blog on finding a full brother alive and well living in Arizona. If you're not familiar with the blog it's about my fraternal twin and I being adopted back in the summer of 1960. We were a tad over three years old and to this day I remember the ride we took down the NJ Turnpike to meet our new parents. We always knew we were adopted and that lead to some issues especially with me as I got older.
Fast forward to two and a half years ago when I received the results of my DNA and was notified that I have a full brother living in Arizona. Yes, we connected and yes me met in Vegas two years ago this week. We look more alike than my fraternal twin and I did.
The Saga Continues
In the last two years I've been able to connect with two half sisters to learn more about my birth parents or at lease my birth fathers side of the family. Both are up there in age and both are sweethearts for allowing me to test and pry their memory banks. I received a shocker that one day last summer when speaking to one of the sisters. My birth father had eight children with his wife and then my birth mother had 3 children with her husband. My birth mothers husband had left her after WW2. Some where in Bergen County, NJ my birth mother and father met and I believed they had three children (Peter full bro in Arizona and me and my twin). So between half brother/sisters and full siblings there was 14 of us. The shocker was that my birth mother and birth father produced 6 children and not the three I was led to believe. By my count that makes 17 of us! To date I've not been able to track down the other three siblings and one of the reasons is that they probably never took a DNA test. In addition my twin and I were the youngest. My birth fathers age when I was born was 47! Well at least he was a player.
Just This Week
Every now and then I get some "hints" sent to me from Ancestry.com. I'll open the email and see if it's something new or just some of the same old hints that have been coming across for years now. There was a new name that I was not aware of so I logged into Ancestry. That new name didn't go anywhere but there was a PM from someone. Okay, let's check it out because just maybe it's a hit from a full sibling. The PM was from a women in NY and stated that I was showing up as a 1st cousin with a 15% DNA hit. Sometimes with Ancestry a DNA hit like that could also mean a full sibling thus I was willing to check it our further. Stuff just started to click, this person was adopted out two days after birth and not the legit way but given to another family. The year was 1963 and the location of the birth was in North Jersey which is right in line with my birth family.
DNA Does Not Lie
Okay, 15% DNA hit, North Jersey birth, adopted out not the legit way and all of this was adding up that this could be a close family member. Of course I reached out to her and she shared with me that she knew and had met her birth mother. She gave me her full name and maiden name and both of those names were names I was not familiar with birth family circle. Right, back to the DNA, I then asked her who else she share DNA with and then the names fell into place. One was my full brother and one was a nephew of mine that were on Ancestry. So it had to be from my birth fathers side of the family and yea that was probably the right conclusion from the start, however take it from one who knows birth certifications from that era can have false information.
All She Wanted Was...
Like me many years ago all I wanted was to find some type of connection in the world. Who came before me, how did I get here, where were we from and who were my birth parents. It was more like needing closure to to along standing puzzle that couldn't be finished because you didn't have all of the pieces. Today I was one of those pieces that could help her put a name and a face of her birth father.
I felt on top of the world today because I thought I had the contacts that could help her figure out who her father was. For me it was a choice of two people my father (the man about town) or one of his sons. There were only two sons and one was killed in a car accident in 57 and that only left the one son.
I called my "go to" nephew in PA and we chatted about the names and threw around some scenario's an in the end he need to reach out to his Aunt/my half sister to she what she remembered.
By the End of the Day
Turns out that my half brother had a short marriage back int the early sixties and was then involved with another woman who turns out to be the mother of the person who contacted me. I was told that my half brother and her had a baby although he wasn't around anymore because he decided to change teams if you get my drift. That baby was her! My half brother also passed away back in 1990.
End result is the person that contact me is my niece and I'm her uncle. She was elated that after all of this time she finally had solved the puzzle of who her father was. I felt awesome that I could help this stranger that turned out to be family in finding that last piece of the puzzle. Thus the reason I just had to write this tonight.
As with many adoptions it's more about be careful of what you wish for. In most cases adoptions back in that day (at least in northern NJ) were from unwed mothers that were Catholic and since they were Catholic those mothers carried the babies to term and many made local arrangements for the adoptions.
In closing I'm never been so thankful for the faith that people put on lives in the Catholic Church for born and unborn.