Back in January of this year my wife asked me what I wanted for my Birthday which is Feb 7th (if anyone would like to send me a card or a gift) . I thought about many things and finally stated, "hey why don't you get me one of those Ancestry.com DNA tests?" My wife looked at me and with that look she gives me and said "really"?", "yes that's what I want" and with a nod of the head I knew that's what was coming for my birthday.
I wanted the ancestry.com because I was living in a foster home with my twin brother until we were three years old. I can still remember certain events from that age. What I remember the most is the time we were hustled in the car, driven down the NJ Turnpike and delivered to our new adopted parents. I believed we asked, where we're going and was told that we're going to our new home. My wife finds it hard to believe that I remember events from when I was three years old, I guess with an event like that it stays with you forever.
Thanks to God, we had wonderful, loving and supporting parents. God be good to the two of them (they passed many years ago), they were and still are my Mom & Dad.
Almost twenty years ago my twin bother passed away. Since that time, well let's say that I've felt alone in the world because I'm the only one left with my bloodline. Sounds kinda crazy right.
Anyway back to the Ancestry test, I wanted that because I needed to know my ethnic background after 62 years> I was tired of thinking of myself as a basket baby and needed to know something about me.
A little over a year ago I was able to get my original birth certificate from the State of New Jersey. For years and years those records would not be released to adoptees. However all of that changed and if you filled out a form and gave the state twenty-five bucks you could get one. Mind you, that birth certificate could be redacted if the birth parents requested it.
I think it was eight months later that I received documents from the State, low and behold there were no redactions. Ya! I finally knew my birth name, first and last. My last name was Conti and my first name was "baby A". WTF!, "baby A", was that some kind of joke? After a minutes of thinking, yeah that's probably right because the parents knew they were putting both of us up for adoption and my twin brother was probably "baby B". But I had something, I had the names of my parents (first, and last) and also their age and birth locations. However those data points has led me to dead ends trying to find out more about them. It was so exhausting that I just gave up.
Right, right, back to the Ancestry DNA. My wife had a small bet that I'm Italian, and I begged to differ and told her. "betcha it comes back as French". After 5 weeks of waiting, checking the app, and waiting, I was notified my results were in!
Woohoo, the day has come. I was not shocked that my DNA showed 67% for Northern Italy, nor the 10% England, Wales, 7% French, 7% German, but how the heck did I get 1% Middle East?
Hey, I was happy, I finally knew my ethnicity. But there was a shocker with this news. My DNA test matched someone else, in fact it was so close that Ancestry labeled that person as an immediate family member. A grandparent, a sister or a brother. I knew grandparents there was no fraking way, but a sister or a brother are you for real?
Ancestry listed that person (to connect, kinda like and inmail with Linkedin) and it seems I have another Brother out in the world. In fact that brother is alive and well and living in the SouthWest USA. The name was there and a button to connect with that person through Ancestry. Yeah, I was floored, and I was hesitant at first. First thing I did was a google search with images and the first thing I see is a guy that does have a resemblance that has a full head of gray hair. Dang, I got a full head of hair also, but it's not all gray yet.
Thus, I clicked the connect button, shot off a short message with names of my birth parents. Six or seven hours go by and I get a message back and he mentions that he too was adopted, lived in NJ, and mentioned some data points that he knew. It wasn't long before we were sending messages. I checked out his facebook page and my wife and I were floored with the resemblance of the photo's. There was no doubt that he is my Brother.
He was just as shocked as I was, even his wife remarked about how much we looked alike. Dang, my twin brother and I looked almost nothing alike.
We've since chatted on the phone, exchanged some stories and data. On April 22nd I'm going to ITEX in Las Vegas, my brother lives in Phoenix, Arizona and will be making the drive to Vegas while I'm there. We'll meet and spend some time together. But above all he's not alone in this world anymore! I guess making the decision to go to ITEX was a good one. My wife always tells me that things happen for a reason.
See you never know what the tomorrows will bring you!