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Thread: Finding Relatives

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    Finding Relatives

    I had commented on facebook that I had found some uncles. One of our fellow Cyburs suggested that there was a specific "Bear" that had been talking on this subject.

    Certianly not enough time to provide all the details but will give you the short version of the story.

    Evidently in 1942 my grandmother "took up" with the married man down the road. I think I can hear her turning over in her grave cause I am telling that publically.

    The product of that was my mother. My mother was with her mother for 18 months and was then put in foster care. AT the age of 5 her mother came back and took her back from the only family she really knew. My mother never got over being mad at her mother for that. My grandmother was angry at my mother for acting out and their relationship was ALWAYS strained.

    So the family had only tiny clues to who my mother's father was. We heard trucker, soldier and only much later about the "taking up".

    My grandma died in 1991 from cancer. I have always thought that this situation just ate her up inside. She stuffed all that crap all her life.

    Over the Christmas holiday my brother and I were talking about her father and what information we had. We decided that one of us should try to make contact and if it goes badly then we would just not tell mom and none the worse in the situation.

    Her father had past away a few years before we heard the "taking up" story so we knew that we would only be contacting any living relatives.

    I agreed to be the one that made the call because I had the most understanding of the situation. So I look in the phone directory of the nearby towns of the past neighbor down the road. Searched for the last name and as it was, there was an individual with that name living there.

    With the birth certificate in hand I asked if they were a relative and he said a son.
    I asked if he was sitting down, and then I told him that I thought my mother was his sister. He was very happy that I had made contact and said that his younger brother would very happy too.

    So now these two brothers 74, and 71 have a new little sister that is 66 and they could not be happier. The younger one said that he had looked for her a bit but had no idea how to find her because once she got married there was no longer a trail. He had been waiting for her to contact him.

    Here is the topper to this story. Their father had kept some things in a suitcase. They sent mom a package in the mail of these things. A letter from my grandmother to him while she is in labor. He was over seas in WWII. The telegraph
    announcing her birth and his service records and metals.

    When he came back he went back to his wife and sons. Even after he died his wife kept the letters so that if that little girl came looking she would have the information she was looking for. That lady remarried and still she kept the letters. And she is still alive at 94 so that she can tallk with my mom and help her find closuer. What a gracious woman.....I am so impressed with her.

    So last night I spoke with the younger of the uncles and he is so happy that he has found his sister and he plans to visit and "now that he has found her he intends to keep her close..."

    So my words of wisdom would be... put yourself out there and try to make contact. If you are scared have someone else do it for you. The worst that could happen is they would say they don't want contact. That is no worse than it was before. But if it goes well you might open up a new family and that family may be wishing you would make contact. Family love can be unconditional and whatever happened in the past just melts away.
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    ...and cousins!

    QB, you'd exuded about your new cousins too.

    I'm having fun googling my surnames and finding distant cousins. My grandfather had several brothers, and one of these produced twelve (12, a dozen) kiddos. One of the sons kept that formula going, so on my generation level I have a dozen second cousins. (We never spent time with these people, as grandma considered them "rabbity.")

    Lots of these people, and their spouses, are on Facebook. The one in NOLA married into the family, and kept her surname after the tragic diving accident.

    As an adult, it's so hard to meet people and make friends these days. Seems like any connection is welcomed by all parties.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    Vel, Yes I did. There are 13 cousins and all their families. I am excited to make connection with them. I have never had cousins...
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Your mother's "stepmother" is indeed a caring, gracious woman. This sounds like a happy ending.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    About ten years ago I decided to search for my birth family. This was a hard decision for my mother but she said she was supportive because my adoptive family was very small. She understood this from the position of being a birth mother herself in 1960. We had a name to start with and I intermittently searched the electronic digital trees on the fledgling internet and didn't get a reasonable return for a good while. One night at 2am I saw a new ad for searching your family tree and I tried and came back with a hit that had an email address. I sent a polite email explaining that thought he was married to my birth mother at one point and laid out enough details so he wouldn't think I was a crackpot. He called me very first thing in the morning and it turned out to be of the man she went on to marry and have two children with. He put me in touch with his daughter-my half sister and from there I got in touch with my birth mother.

    She was very gracious and I let her take the lead of what she wanted to share with me. Turns out I am the oldest of 5 children and Native American too . I met my half sister and her brother. Then I met the two younger half brothers as well. It took a year to meet my birth mother as she had moved out of state right before I had contacted them. All of us communicated for a while but my sister really resented that I grew up in a substantially better situation than they did (single mom with 4 kids). I can say that the right decision was made and my birth mother said her biggest fear was that I would be angry about being given up and I assured her that I thought it was the most unselfish thing she could have done. I have no regrets meeting them as it gave me good insight of where I came from.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  6. #6
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I'll be honest I'm a little bit concerned about the day Junior decides to seek out his birth family. Birth mother is a druggie and dad fathered 7 other children (and has supported none) through 6 different women by the ripe old age of 25! He's currently doing hard time for breaking and entering.

    Junior is a very generous and compassionate soul and I could easily envision him wanting to help his poor relatives out, not realizing the jealousy/resentment his half-siblings would likely bear him. At a minimum I'm sure they'd be lining up to 'borrow' money.

  7. #7
    All I have to do is throw a rock in a couple of cities in northwest Indiana. I'm apt to hit someone I'm related to. One of those "Hey !@#$%^&, what do you think you are doing. Aren't you such and such's kid and whats-her-name gandson."
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    I'll be honest I'm a little bit concerned about the day Junior decides to seek out his birth family. Birth mother is a druggie and dad fathered 7 other children (and has supported none) through 6 different women by the ripe old age of 25! He's currently doing hard time for breaking and entering.

    Junior is a very generous and compassionate soul and I could easily envision him wanting to help his poor relatives out, not realizing the jealousy/resentment his half-siblings would likely bear him. At a minimum I'm sure they'd be lining up to 'borrow' money.
    Teach him about tough love and how hard it is to say no and when the time comes he will probably struggle but will eventually remember your teachings and will be ok. Sometimes these kinds of situations affirm that they did have the best life had to offer and makes them even more connected with their adopted family.
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  9. #9
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    I'm not ready to take on the emotional energy of finding birth parents - too much going on in my life right now that is sapping me, I just can't add one more thing to it

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    I'm not ready to take on the emotional energy of finding birth parents - too much going on in my life right now that is sapping me, I just can't add one more thing to it
    Everyone has to decide when and if they will do that. Evidently it was not on my mothers plate, I pushed the issue. She is 66 and they are 71 and 74. If it had not happened now, I am not sure it would have.

    Completly an individual decision.
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  11. #11
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Queen B View post
    Everyone has to decide when and if they will do that. Evidently it was not on my mothers plate, I pushed the issue. She is 66 and they are 71 and 74. If it had not happened now, I am not sure it would have.

    Completly an individual decision.
    I had enough information to go on and knew she came from a decent enough family but she was just young and it was 1973. Some people change and some people don't over time, so I wouldn't worry about something that won't happen for a couple of decades and by then you can have the "it might not be a fairytale" conversation then. As I had mentioned before, while I am happy to have met everyone I am also very greatful for growing up in the family I did.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

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