Monday, May 01, 2006

#127 - Major Family History News!

Ya just never know how, when, or where information is going to surface.

I believe I've mentioned that we found out about my Dad's adoption a couple of years after his death. We kinda, sorta knew about it, but it was fun to discover a legal document that proved it once and for all. That one document started a whole train of research and discovery that seemed to run into dead ends a year or so ago. I had communicated with a couple of cousins from Dad's birth family a while back, but that, too, ended after a little correspondence.

Last Friday night we were settling in for some Date Night relaxation. Mrs. Woody fielded a call from someone whose name sounded familiar. When she announced herself as one of Dad's half-sisters, Mrs. Woody hurriedly handed me the phone. I then launched into a half-hour conversation with a sweet lady who was about four years Dad's junior. Turns out Dad's birth mother had indeed shared her story with her kids, and they all had wondered what Dad was like. Knowing that Dad had passed away, and having two of her siblings already gone, the idea that she could have a conversation with her half-brother's son was exciting for her. And me.

It's hard to describe what it's like to begin to put these puzzle pieces into place. The adoption record showed nothing but a name of the birth mother. From that, we have discovered a whole new history with characters galore, plus another link to the Saints in Nauvoo. My discussions with this wonderful half-aunt (??) were all too brief, but yielded some neat information. We exchanged addresses and accepted a standing invitation to stop by for a visit whenever we pass through the area (they live in Pahrump, Nevada).

Tonight we heard from another half-sister. This one was even chattier than the older one, and gave me another set of leads to research for my family history. Addresses have been exchanged again, and we have another standing invite to visit in Seattle sometime soon.

Of course, there's no reason or responsibility on my part to research this line of my Dad's. Dad was lawfully adopted into a line of honorable people, and we are equally honored to bear their name. Also, the principle of adoption in the Church is itself an eternal one. We submit our family names to be sealed one with another in an unbreakable chain. If Dad's birth mother had to make a tough decision at such a tender age, it has no bearing on our ability to love the family that raised Dad and gave us our identity. We certainly can enjoy the revelations of where many of Dad's traits may have originated. Certainly there was some musical talent in that family, and I can't wait to see how similar their physical appearances may be. I'm sure we will grow to love this new extended family as well as our own adopted one. They surely are dying of curiosity about Dad's kids and grandkids.

There's one half-brother left that we haven't communicated with yet. I was told that he probably will call soon, although he is rather shy. But it is this brother I'm most anxious to see. If anyone may have a likeness of Dad, it may be this fellow. Or not.

One can never tell, with gene pools.

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