Thursday, March 5, 2015
Searches and digs
When I married my wife, more than 24 years ago, I knew that there would be times I could give her the world, other times that I couldn't. Unfortunately, for most of those years, it's been "thin" years. We just don't have what we need. It's a troubling fact. (Sorry, my dear wife... I will keep trying!)
I knew, after a while, that there would be something I could give her -- if I spent enough time and effort on it, was willing to do all the work and had some help. It was a gift I could never afford on my own -- it's actually priceless. I would search for her roots and branches...Her parents and her child. I knew it might be hopeless.
On and off, over 20 years, I searched. 21. 22. 23. During that time frame, DNA testing became available. The search went on. I started frequenting more groups, looking at more resources. Someone mentioned a website called COUSINCONNECT.COM. It seemed to hold some promise, but l found nothing on Trisha's parents. So, what the hell...search for her daughter's stuff. Didn't have much to go on, but would search. I had more than 1000 names to go through. 100. 200. 300. Nothing. It's frustrating, but I keep going. 400. 400. 600. 700. I pledged to go through ALL the data there... I couldn't have the wrong birthday. I'm hoping that everything is correct. I plow on.
800. 900. It's hopeless. 900, Had the date once, but male and not female. No help. But I keep going 950. 960. 970. There are 1500+ data snippets to look at. I'm tired. I keep going. 973. I find a date for a female. Data -- Hospital matches. date, yes. Something seems off. I make a mental note, but stop.
Something,however,draws me back to that page a few days later. I read the info again. I had misread what was there. I start checking again. No guarantees of anything, too many people with that surname. Even narrowed down to a city, no guarantees and too many names.
I turn to adoption forums for help.
I continued looking on my own for a while; I was sure the answer was there. I don't know how. A puzzle with no pictures on the box.
I got name to try. I attempted a call; no luck. I decided "Snail Mail." The obvious risks that go with it. A "Chancey" address. I mailed the letter; a month passed. I tried to remain hopeful,
One day, there was a call. I didn't recognize the number, but answered anyway. It was the person to whom I had written.. We started verifying, as best we could, if this could be the one. City, state: Check. Data: check. Hospital, check. eye color (this wasn't a necessity, but it matched) : check.
Health condition -- check. Surprising, it's not really inherited, but it could be. That's a check.
Time of day was left unverified, at the time. I checked it later. Only an 8.% chance of being correct, which could kill the possibility. Time of day -- falls in the small range. There is some excitement, but it's too early to celebrate. I'm convinced, but... more proof would be welcome.
My wife did DNA...we hoped to find close cousins, mother or father by DNA. Nothing close. Still over 950 3rd or more distant cousins. Our contact: DNA would be done later, but as soon as possible.
Finally, that test was ordered (it can be a strain on many, price-wise). It was taken, shipped to the lab. Results were pending. I hoped for the haplogroup to match--it's supposed to match mother to child. The first results came in and the haplogroup DID NOT MATCH. I am shot down. But the final results are not yet in. But what's the point? Haplogroup doesn't match.
Check anyway: Maybe this is still a cousin. But that first chromosome told me a different story. Then the 2nd. and the 3rd...and the 4th...I checked EVERY ONE... then called my wife in.
Nope, this is no cousin. This is HER DAUGHTER!
Today, I am truly blessed. I was not only able to give my wife something that had been missing from her life for nearly 40 years, but I gained a step-daughter.
I have too many people to thank to be able to mention them all. Search angels, Registries. Websites. The folks at the lab.
One search is over -- but the adventure is just beginning.