Last fall I got an email from someone whose DNA said they were 99% positive for being my cousin. The young woman had been adopted as a baby and linked what little information she had to my family. It was a shock to come home from traveling and hear this. We went to work trying to find who her biological father was and how he sat on my family tree. I was not sure what I might find, but I was sure I wanted to help this gal.
We turned over family stones, tracked pictures and high school yearbooks, opened closets, and shook some family members up when questions led to both new and old family secrets. One branch of the family had been guilty of hiding some facts as they feared the truth because it might sit too close on a family tree limb.
But this story had a good ending because her biological father was thrilled to learn of her existence! One of the lucky people in this world, she now has two loving families. Her new family embraced her and is now including her in every event family-wise.
Now a mother of five herself, she is using her children’s spring break to meet more new family at gatherings including a wedding of one of her new sisters. Today we met at a halfway point for a lunch and an in-person comparing of notes. My grandmother told me once that you can pick your friends but you are stuck with your relatives. Another quote says that friends are relatives you chose yourself for a family. I am hoping this young woman will be both friend and family.
Welcome to my new distant cousin!