Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I Knew Who My Family Was, Until...

All my life, I knew who my family was...who my mom was and who my father was. I had one brother (J), and that's it. Or so I thought. When I was 28 years old, I was using MySpace way more than Facebook, and my sister-in-law (K) found me on MySpace. Well, let's just say this came as a shock to me, for one thing my brother, J, wasn't married...for two...this woman knew a good bit about me.
K wrote to me on behalf of her husband, E, who I have found out is indeed my half-brother. She said he had been looking for me for about 10 years, ever since he found out I existed (I had no idea during that time he existed, let alone 2 other half-sisters). He had heard I was at a Florida college, and so he tried looking at UF (AS IF)...well as luck would have it, I was at FSU (GO NOLES!). She decided that fateful Oct. 2007 day to look me up on MySpace and there I was...she later told me she was so nervous writing me not knowing what I'd say.
Well, when I got that email, I was at work...and I couldn't work anymore that day. She knew who my parents were...and knew where I was from...etc. Whoa! In the back of my mind was something my mom had said to me when I was in high school - she had told me that my father wasn't my father...and I told her, "You're lying, because you hate him." Since, they were long divorced. Well, you'd think someone else trying to tell something would continue to tell them, but apparently that was enough for her to not tell me.
I tried to call my mom to confirm with her, but she was unreachable at this time. I told my grandma (mom's mom) about this..and she said she didn't know anything about me having a father other than (D), but she could believe it. So, K and I conversed some more...and she knew a good bit, but not all...and well I had a lot to find out about! And, my mom finally confirmed that she was 99.9% sure this other man, E, was my father. Whoa. Hello! Wasn't there any other time before they contacted me that you'd think you'd want to tell me? Her response, "I would have told you if you dated {last name}." Awe, thanks for looking out for me mom!
What I found out was: my mom had been dating E when she was 18, she got pregnant with me, and he broke up with her around that time (not that he knew at the time she was pregnant) and had gotten with another women (actually cheated on my mom - hurt her bad as an 18 yr old who was pregnant). She knew D, and he was there the whole time she was pregnant and after she had me, she told everyone that he was the father. He eventually "adopted" me. E apparently tried to get in touch with my mom about me, but she said he was never to have anything to do with me. So, that's how that happened.

Well, turns out that J is my half-brother...because my mom is still my mom and his. D is his father. E had other kids, so they are my other half-siblings - A (older sister), E (younger brother), and C (younger sister). Weird to go from 1 sibling to 4 overnight. And, that means my whole paternal side of my ancestry research was wrong - I now had this whole other side. And this added another grandma and a great-grandmother (still alive, she's 95).

Now, I have a mom, a birth father, and an adoptive father. Whhhhat? Just like that. I also have 3 grandmas, a grandfather, and a great-grandmother still alive. That's pretty awesome. ;) What saddens me though, when doing my ancestry research, is seeing that I could have known almost all of my great-grandparents - it seems most were alive when I was younger (also on my mom's side, but that's another crazy story - let's just say I still wonder why when my mom found out her aunt was her grandma, why then she didn't think it was a good time to tell me - that was in like 1991).

So, yep. And great for genealogy, the new paternal side had done a lot of research and had their ancestry all the way back to the first one to come over in the 1600s...so that was pretty exciting.

Oh, also with the "new" siblings came 9 nieces and nephews, when I had none previously. Yep, 0 to 9 overnight. It was surreal, it was weird....but, here it is nearly 3 and half years later, and I've met most all of them. And, E & his family had only lived about an hour to hour & half away from Orlando (where I lived at the time). It's nice to have more family, but sad we didn't get to meet when we were younger. And, I may never have known if E & K hadn't been curious to find this missing sister of E's. So, at least we all know now and can keep in touch.

Life sure is funny, I never thought I'd have a story (and this was the short & quick of it) like this to tell. Well, other than the one I already knew about my mom's side of the family (save that for another time)! Sorry, I didn't want to share names or pictures...sharing my story, not sharing all of them.

Has anyone else found out as an adult they were adopted? Or that they had more family than they knew about? It happens a lot more than people think.


Anonymous said...

Hey, yep... I found out in 2008 that I had a 1/2 sister the same age as me. Turns out my dad was having an affair while my mom was pregnant.
He never told anyone about her and claims the mother took the baby out of the country so he lost trick of her. The daughter (my sister) says she went to the same elementary school as me until 3rd grade. She was a grade under me.
She has a picture of my older brother and dad at my Abuela's house. I have the same picture only my mom is in it as well.
My parents divorced shortly after I was born and remarried others around the time I was 3.
Oh and she found me on Facebook. Asked if I knew someone by a certain name. I said yes I have a brother... She asked how about a father with that name.... I said oh duh yes..... And then I was the one to confront my dad, he denied and then came back with this "story" which I don't believe. I also told my mom so she wouldn't be taken by surprise by another.

Becky said...

Pretty wild that you have a sister the same age! So wild that you went to the same school and he was bringing his other family around, too...yet no one else told you. Social media...bringing families together! HAHA! ;) What did your mom think about this? And how did your sister find out about you?