Saturday, March 10, 2018

A sister I never knew

This week started off with a big family secret bouncing out of the darkness through DNA testing. My mind is still reeling with the facts from the past, revelations that are both devastating and thrilling ... I have a sister! 

I gave Matt and Bri a DNA testing kit for Christmas, they took the test and sent it in. We read all the results with fascination. It was interesting and David and I promised to take the test soon. 

 A few nights ago Matt received an email from a woman who came up as a match on his DNA testing as a relative. At first I told him to delete it thinking it was spam but the more he read, the more the facts shot out at me, the more I thought, there might be something here. I asked him to forward me the email so I could take a closer look. In five minutes, I had the person's info, where she lived, worked and her Facebook page so I knew it was a real person ... not a bot or someone from a foreign country phishing. After clicking through her photos on Facebook I came across one photo that had Matt, Bri and I falling out of our chairs. This beautiful woman, with hazel eyes, had my mom's eyes, nose and smile. Any one who knows my mom, has seen photos of my mom can not dispute the fact that she could be her twin!

Within 30 minutes I was emailing Susan, explaining I was Matthew's mother and I would like to talk to her about her DNA test. Another 30 minutes I had a response with her story.


Thank you for responding so quickly. I really wasn’t sure if anyone would actually respond. My best friend gave me the DNA test for my birthday and it took me a few months to decide to even send in the sample. And what a shock to see that I have a blood relative as close as a cousin. And then to have a response!!  I’m beyond excited.

I was born in Little Rock, Arkansas on 12/17/1957. I was in foster care for two years and adopted on 1/14/60. My parents raised me in Springdale Arkansas. I have a brother, Ross, who was also adopted. He is 2 years older than me (and was reunited with his birth mother several years ago).

I hired a private investigator who was able to find my birth mothers name but could never locate her. Dianne Moreland Hawkins was the name she said was my birth mother. I have nothing on paper, just the word of the PI. I have no information about my birth father.

According to records I received from social services in Arkansas, my birth mother was separated or divorced from her husband. She already had a daughter who, I think, was less than two years old. (A half sister!!) She conceived me with another man, left town to give birth then returned home, I assume.

Sincerely, Susan

I emailed her right back and said ... I think I am your sister! I think we were both taking a deep breath of reality? Unreality? I sent her several photos of mom and asked her to call me. And there ended her 20+ years of searching for a half-sister and the beginning of me having a sister I never knew about.

Now we are in the process of talking and learning about each other. Piecing together facts that we have and information from the adoption agency. Many tears. Many thoughts of gratitude. Many more of confusion of a secret so buried.

So now off Susan and I go into the future! More to come. ;)

PS a photo from Susan!


s'mee said...

I kind of have to comment on this one because *I* found out about half sisters a while back also! Well in reality we actually knew about "the twins" forever, but knew nothing about them other than they existed. I came home one night about 10 years ago to a phone message, one of the sisters had searched FOR YEARS and found only me, my other 3 living siblings had eluded her. Long story short, she has filled in a LOT of blank spaces and vice versa (our parents held tight to their secrets). Another interesting thing is that her sister wanted nothing to do with us up until about last year, and even then it hasn't been a rush of activity, and *my* sisters felt the exact same way; kind of "OK - move it along, nothing to see here." -again, up until last year or so, and again, just casual acceptance of FB greetings, and photos along the way. It's weird to me that the two sisters who were glad about finding each other, found the ones who would accept it as a great thing. I am hoping the other sisters get on board more deeply later, everyone has their reasons for holding back and being cautious, it's all good.

One thing, for me, that has come from this is how quickly we can love a relative stranger! lol pun intended! That fact has taught me that if I could love this stranger I should be able to love and accept other strangers, instead of fearing them and or their agendas, cultures, backgrounds, etc. We ALL *are* connected, we are all the human family. Another thing I have learned is that "it all works out in the wash" or in other words, family secrets have a way of coming out.

And lastly, something curious about a DNA test *I* took... We knew my bio dad was 1/2 blackfoot, his mother being full, and his dad being "Heinz 57". In the genealogical studies of the one half sister, she informed me we had a great great grandfather who "came from Haiti as a sharp shooter/sniper to enlist on behalf of the north in the civil war... presumably African in his heritage". So ok. I got my DNA back and although one of my (whole?) sisters had about a 1/4 percentage of Native American Indian, the other sister and myself had zero percent. Yada yada, and for me, I am the only one who has any African, although it's only 1% Nigerian. The half sisters have not taken DNA tests yet, so I am curious to see what genes out of the mix they each grabbed. It has been fun to see all the places our immediate family has traveled to and comes from, who has more of this and less of that. I hope this journey with your sister is wonderful!

Kim Carney said...

I just ordered my test, interested to see what comes back. I think the native American will be front and center

BUT WOW on your find! That is amazing!

phlegmfatale said...

It truly is astonishing how much Susan looks like our dear Dianne. I hope you are both richly blessed as you get to know one another. I keep thinking of what a determined and strong young woman she was to make those decisions in the witheringly harsh climate there was in the south for women. I am comforted knowing there is even more of Dianne left in the world than I ever knew. <3

ELFI said...

je n'ai pas tout compris... mais cette histoire de famille est fantastique! bises

Kim Carney said...

Ma mère a abandonné un bébé pour l'adoption quand j'avais 2 ans!xoxox

Maureen said...

You are soooo lucky to hzve all the stars line up for you to find this sister, Kim. Wow! Much love and patience and open heart to you

Rick Anderson said...

Holy smokes! I better not take that test!

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phlegmfatale said...

It is wonderful just knowing there is more of Dianne left in the world. <3