Thursday, December 17, 2015

CHAPTER 28: UPDATES.....LOTS OF UPDATES.

Note- I began writing this chapter several months ago.  It's safe to assume that most "updates" were written anywhere from a week to a month between.

So, as of my last chapter- my story is at a stand still.  I have a few random "leads" that I am currently awaiting results on- but there have been no major developments in my search.  This leaves me at a loss for "content".  Since the release of the last chapter I did, in fact, hear from my mother.  She mentioned a couple of gentlemen who lived directly across the street from her uncle's home (where she was living at the time).  She said that she doesn't remember anything "happening" with either of them- but eluded to some of my previous suggestions that perhaps she was in a state that had been caused by some substance she may have been "slipped".
Now, I don't know how to decipher exactly what she is saying.  It seems as though perhaps she is "telling" me something. She told me their names.  I have been able to locate them.  The problem now is how to proceed.


As I write this, I am awaiting the results of a test that another gentleman was kind enough to take.  He is a distant relative of a woman whom I match on Ancestry as a "4th to 6th cousin". She was born in New Zealand and now lives in the US- but has a large extensive branch of family in my hometown.  I have been able to trace several members of this family- many of whom would fit the criteria of someone who could indeed be my father.  I don't however, expect for this individual to be identified as my father- though it is possible.  My hope is that perhaps we will match in some way- possibly closer than the lady in Alaska- and we can then see if we match (all three of us) on the same chromosome.  If we do, then we can ascertain that all three of us probably share a common ancestor.  That would then suggest that I am on the right track, and I can further investigate this family as my tribe.


Update- The results of the Alaska lady's cousin came in and he is not a match to me.  Initial thinking would be that this family is not mine...however, it is important to note that the further genetic distance (in this case- at least 4th cousins) the less chance there is for detectable DNA to be present.  In  other words, the more distant the relationship, the less chance of a match- even if there is a connection.  An example would be that one of that persons siblings could also be tested and we would match because that person and I happened to inherit the same segment of DNA from our common ancestor.  Unfortunately, DNA testing is quite expensive- not to mention that convincing an entire family to gift their DNA to a complete stranger is a task in and of itself.  There are several different branches of this tree that are in Australia- so, I am still optimistic that my father is somehow connected to my Alaska match.  Eventually, I will probably try to contact others from those lines.  I may need to start a second job in order to pay for all of the tests I'm sending people.

Update #2- I have made contact with the son of one of the brothers that my mother told me about.  I told him that I am an amateur genealogist (true), searching for my Australian connection (also true) and that his family was in the tree of one of my AncestryDNA matches (not so true...). I've wrestled with the ethics of this for a while.  The fact is, if I called this guy and told him that his father or uncle have been suggested as my possible father (through implied date rape?), the conversation would end there- and that opportunity would be gone forever.  Let me say this;  although my mother says she doesn't remember having a third sexual partner- I am not convinced that she was drugged and raped.  I will not be able to ascertain any sort of conclusion on that until my father has been identified.  I'm sure Lynn's denial is a response to some sort of trauma- however, trauma wears many hats.  That's all I will say about that for now.
So, I'm told that the son's father will be taking the test (amazing).  That means that he will come up as my father, uncle or no match.  Given the track record (so far) I'm not holding out much hope- but at least that stone will not go unturned.

I am relentless.

Update #3-I am still awaiting confirmation that the test currently in Australia has been taken and sent. The "son" appears to be dragging his feet a bit.  At first I was afraid that he had done some research of his own and happened across this blog, however, whenever he answers his phone he still seems as though it's in the works and is happy to assist me.  I will, however, refrain from posting this chapter until I have confirmation that the sample is on it's way.  Torture!!!

In the meantime, I've made some new connections in the Genealogy world.  Someone, who's sister is a fourth cousin match, directed me to a page on Facebook called "DNA Detectives".  It consists of incredibly knowledgeable researchers and people who are basically in the same situation as myself- adoptees or people who have found out later in life that one of their parents is, in fact, not so much.  It's both heartening and distressing the read people's stories that are so similar to mine.  It appears to be commonplace for biological mothers to "clam up"- even when it comes to the children that they have raised from birth.

Update #4- It is now December.  The "son" in Queensland, Australia has not communicated- nor answered any of my phone calls.  As far as I know, he still has possession of the DNA test.  In a moment of desperation I dialed the number of the "father" (as it is listed on Facebook).  He answered.  That was unexpected.  He had the usual polite "Aussie" phone manner and was patient when I explained the same story that I had communicated to his son.  To my surprise, he hadn't been told about it- but still seemed willing to participate.  He said that his son has been moving his family in to a new home and had been "full on" of late.  I came very close to just throwing out my mother's name and the name of the street that they had both lived on around the time of my conception.  Instead, I mentioned that I know my mothers side of my family and that I was born in Melbourne.  I asked him if he had any relatives there and his response that his brother lives there- but never offered that he had been born in Victoria and lived in Melbourne in his twenties.

I don't know if it was a mistake to show so much of my hand.  I had mentioned the surnames of many people in his direct family line- reading them directly off of the "mirror tree" that I have constructed to see if I get any Ancestry hints.  He was receptive and, at that moment, willing to participate.  I don't know if, after talking to his son, he changed his mind.  Maybe he started thinking about his younger years in Melbourne and thought about the ramifications.  Maybe the son has also thought about that and is pretending that his e-mail seems to be repellent to my e-mail address as he has said that every time he sends me an e-mail it bounces back to him.  I don't buy it.


 If "Mr Queensland" (or his brother) is my father, I wish Lynn would just tell me.  I'm tired of having to snoop into complete strangers lives and convince them to take a DNA test because my mom feels like a floozy.  I'm fifty.  Any man that turns out to be my father need not worry that I'm going to want anything from them other than the truth.  And a DNA sample. And family medical history.  And his parents names so I can research MY genealogy.

It would be so nice just to be able to talk to someone and say "Hey.  My mother says she knew you in 1964 and there is a possibility you could be my biological father.  Would you be willing to take a DNA test so we can find out the answer?"

That doesn't sound so difficult does it?

Update #5- Was about to publish this but decided to call "Queensland Son" just to see if I could get through.  He answered and said he felt terrible about being so flakey and would call me a little later. I have to say, as a family they both have a sincerity that is undeniable.  I frankly feel like a wretch for not being able to share the complete story with them.  I will, however, wait a little longer to publish this chapter.

Update #6- Sample received by Ancestry.com.  The son took it- but that's all I need.