Thursday, December 31, 2015

Dear Mom

It has taken me 49 years to begin to know you.  After Grandma died, no one wanted to talk about you.  When they did, I heard a lot of generalizations, but when I asked for examples, they could give me no stories.  You were smart.  You were naive.  You were quiet.  It didn't quite fit with the description of drug user, promiscuous, and irresponsible, but those were also words that were used.  I never stopped loving you.  Grandma told me to never stop loving you and I listened.

In the summer of 1965, you had an affair with a married man.  He didn't love you, but you loved him.  The evidence supports what M told me.  You kept his name a secret because you didn't want to ruin his life.  You loved him enough to let him go.  You loved him enough to bear the brunt of your punishment alone.  In all honesty, you could have had an abortion in secret, and saved yourself so much scorn.  You were in the center of where girls in trouble went to rid themselves of their problems.  You didn't.

In March of 1966 you walked into a hospital, had a baby, and walked out of a hospital as the "sister" of that child.  This is how things were done back then.  You had no husband.  You had no means of support to take care of a child.  Your choices were to give me to strangers or give me to your family. I understand why you made the choices you made.  You didn't leave the option of getting the paternity test L requested.  Instead, you kept me close, endured the shame and let them make assumptions about you.  Thank you.

You worked in a mental hospital, taking care of retarded people.  According to M, you loved them.  You were kind to them.  You had compassion.  Some of the family insinuated that you just left me for your parents to take up the slack.  M says you tried to come see me, but the tension was so thick that all you did was fight with your parents when you visited and they made it impossible for you to have any peace to just see your child.  That's when you got a promotion that took you to Salem so you could afford to come back to get me when the time was right.  That time never came.

The word on the street is that you died in a ministers home.  He was not a real minister.  He was one of those "quack" ministers.  He was probably a drug dealer.  I haven't found him. As I sift through the facts, I notice these street words have little validity.   I also haven't found the young boy (at the time) that killed you.  I know his name and I google him every so often.  If I do, I will tell him that I forgive him.  It was an accident and if you loved him, so do I.

I have missed you so much...

I lost a baby in 1986.  He was a boy.  I would have named him Corey James after my pretend husband when I played Barbies.  I wanted to die.  I wanted to be where the only two mothers I ever had were.  The Army gave me 30 days to suck it up and get back in uniform.  I spent the first few days talking to you in my head, because I knew God hated me and even Jesus couldn't help me.  After that I went to the bar and stayed drunk for about a year, except when I was on duty, of course.

I think that is when I stopped believing you were a person with zero ability to make a good decision.  You made some very understandable decisions.  To be pregnant one day and have nothing to show for it the next is the worst feeling I have ever encountered.    You kept trying.  You tried until you died.  So I kept trying and will continue to try until I die.

So if you are watching, don't worry about me.  I got this.  I am not going to hurt L and I am not going to hurt his family.  He got his paternity test he asked for and he didn't have to bother with me while he saved his marriage and his family.  I just might get my feelings hurt, but I have been there and done that before.  I learned how to recuperate minus the alcohol.  I know you tried to save me from the pain, and I appreciate it.  Half of me is you.  Remember that, if I ever frustrate you.  All my life I have been told "Like mother, like daughter"  They might have said that in scorn, but I wear it in pride.  If you ever want to talk... just ring me in my head.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

What now?

Christmas Bouquet with no name
L and I have exchanged a few messages.  I don't think he understands how DNA works, because he asked me how I am related to his grandfather.  He probably has no idea how adoptees and biological hunters discover their relatives.  It seemed strange to him that I have biological markers on my tree that are his relatives.

I have a feeling that when the time comes that he wants to discover information about his own father, he is going to need a lot of technical help dealing with the DNA matches.  It is a lot to wrap your head around and he isn't sure of the very basics.  If Child2 doesn't take the reins, I might help him out.  It will help both of us.

I got the most beautiful bouquet of flowers with no name on them to indicate who sent them.  We think it was L.  I lit the candles on Christmas night and we ate our dinner with them right in the middle of the table.  That is the first time anyone has ever sent me flowers for Christmas.  I have never had a family member send me flowers, except my husband.  It was a nice first.

I don't know what to expect now.  He wanted to wait until after Christmas to tell the rest of his family about me.  I don't blame him if he puts that off.  I have gone numb.  This is what I do when I expect bad things to happen.  I go emotionless.  If he contacts me, it will be nice, if he doesn't, nothing about my life will change.  "Meh.  It's whatever."  This is how I managed to roll with every punch to the gut I have ever taken.  Never let them see you wince.  If they know you have a weak spot, they will punch you there.  This goes double for emotional weakness.

They are very religious.  My experiences with highly religious people have not been good.  No one can reject you or make you feel lower than a religious person.  When they do it, they make you feel as though God himself is behind it all.  I am not just a typical sinner that can be forgiven.  I am the sin.  I can't undo my birthright.  Everyone speaks of the adulteress (who is not Mary Magdalene, by the way) that Jesus stood up for when the men wanted to stone her, but no one ever mentions any possible children that might have happened in her days of sinning.  

Deuteronomy 23:2"No one of illegitimate birth shall enter the assembly of the LORD; none of his descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall enter the assembly of the LORD.

By the old testament, I cannot be a Christian.  There is no saving me or my family.  That doesn't mean I have to be a bad person.  That has always been a choice.  That has always been my choice.  No one owns me.  If God chooses my destiny, I choose how I want to get there.  It's easy to be the horrible sin.  It is much more challenging to be the nice one.

Buddhism is easier.  They say "Suffering happens."  It happens even more if you dwell on your thoughts of suffering when you are not actually suffering at the moment.  The moral of the story; check in to see if you actually need to dwell on what might or did happen more than you need to pay attention to what is currently happening.  So I had a very nice Christmas and concentrated on enjoying my family instead of wishing the family that was thousands of miles away would be able to accept me.

All but one of my kids hanging out for Christmas
All but one of my kids hanging out for Christmas

I don't have faith that L will be able to have any kind of close relationship with me.  I admit this thought is probably my own baggage being carried into the situation.  If I go by Buddhist teachings, I can only be harmed if I allow myself to hope things are different than they actually are.  This makes so much more sense to my situation than beating my head against a pearl gate I can never enter.  Begging God and Jesus to overlook a rule just this one time is a lesson in futility.  Learning to accept what is actually happening, so I can move on, is my only forward moving choice.

In Nordic mythologies every day is a battle to be fought bravely.  Now this is a philosophy I can sink my teeth into.  Women were as tough as nails and did not need a man to survive.  They were not slaves to a society that would berate them for being born with internal sex organs.  Illegitimate?  No problem.  Get your Axe and your shield and hop on that boat over there.  We have battles to win. When you die, you fight beside Odin, or you become a Valkyrie and pluck the bravest warriors from the field when they die.  Life is never without battles and death is no different.  Courage and honor were the most important characteristics before the Christians took over the North.

I think we lose the bigger message when we refuse to learn from all of the religions.  I think we lose good people when we condemn them to hell for being born.  I plan to prove that.  That is between me and God, whoever, or whatever God is.  I can't expect L to understand that.  He believes God has his hand on this.  I believe it has always been this way, because for me, the only change is that I know L's name.  L can afford to live in his world.  He is just the sinner.

"Don't hate the sinner, hate the sin."

I believe I was put on this earth to be a reset button.  My maternal family is so broken they don't even speak to each other most of the time.  When they do, it is lies or half truths and most of the time they do not trust each other.  Love is a competitive sport and only handed out as a reward for the one that wins the game.  This is most often the male child, since they get to have a head start.  No girl has won the game of approval for love.  There are consolation prizes and awards for participation, but the feeling of love, acceptance and being wanted are only given to one child per generation.

I am the hero of my story.  I am the game changer.  I threw out every rule and regulation.  I loved them all.  I am the lover of males and females, biological and not biological.  I am the mother of healthy relationships between my children.  I think L's DNA helped me out with that.  He may never be able to be anything that resembles a father to me, but he has possibly helped me be a really good mom and grandmother through genetics or epigenetics.  I don't see any examples like this on my maternal side.  I got what I really needed from him.  He owes me nothing.

Deep down, I believe in my heart that my mother and grandmother would be proud.  They would be proud of what I have done with my family.  They would be proud of what I have done with their family.  They would be proud of how I am handling L.  I have spent my whole life making reparations, through my actions, from the scorn they endured.  I am the holder of their DNA.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Now he knows..

On Dec 15, 2015 at 11:04 pm I became a real person.

L logged in.  If it isn't L, it is probably child2, which is almost as good.  The same rush of feelings that washed over me when I first saw the results came back.  I keep pounding refresh, waiting for his name to disappear off my list. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Sister Speech

Child2, my half sister,  posted a new picture for her background today.  I think it was her grandkids.  Beautiful little girls!  They are so cute.  I had to just stare at them and compare them to my kids and grandkids.  The youngest was crying her eyes out.  Child2 says she loves it.  Yeah... she has the same rotten sense of humor as me.  Those pictures are taken to be used as ammunition later.

This is going to be awkward.  There is no way this can be anything but awkward.  Do I say "yeah, I have been stalking you for several weeks.  Thanks for posting that picture of the grandkids!  I floated on it all day and fantasized about swapping grandkid stories and sending each other little trinkets to give our grandkids."  Maybe someday, but it's going to be awkward for a while first.  I am her father's sin.  That family prays a lot.  I have no idea which way God is going to tell her to lean.

No status change from Child1.  She's probably busy making last minute Christmas gifts, if I was going to guess.  She hasn't been married very long.  If I go by the exchange on Facebook, she just decided to get married, got married, and told everyone about it later.  Yeah.. that's something I would do.  Did do.  Would do again.

I love them already.  That's crazy, right?  Siblings who live together don't always love each other.  I love them.  I have always loved them, or at least the idea of them.  If they are really angry that I exist and that I am out here, willing to wait my whole life to talk to them, then that's just how it is.  I am a pretty patient woman.  Love is a decision.  You make that decision every day of your life to make a marriage work.  I don't see why it wouldn't apply here.  I have decided I love my sisters.  I just need L to log in and see his results and ponder his life for a while to figure out how to break this to them.  If they say something a little crazy, I will forgive them.  That's what you do when you are family.

I have a speech I say to my kids when they squabble.

Throughout your life your friends will come and go.  Your spouses might come and go.  Your parents will eventually leave you, and when you are all alone and look around you, the ones left standing behind you are your brothers and sisters.  They know who you are, and love you anyway.  They know about your childhood fears and if you are smart, your adult ones.  They are the ones that will be there for you, even when they don't want to, because they love you.  Of all the things I could have given you in your life, your siblings are the most valuable gift.  So be good to them.  Love them, even when they don't deserve it, because one day, you are going to need them when you don't deserve it.  

How can someone who has said that for 30 years decide anything besides "I love my sisters?"  I did this to myself.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

A New Note

I went to my favorite Chinese buffet a couple days ago.  Their hot and sour soup is so good.  It is just the kind of comfort food I want on a gloomy day.  After the meal I got my fortune.  It read:
Lucky #11, 14, 25, 36, 47

Like anyone who has to wait far too long for someone to respond, I pondered this as a sign of what to do.  Does that mean that as long as he is happy this will continue forever?  So I will have to take away his joy to get him to read his Ancestry messages?  Boy!  I hope not.  It says nothing about the joyfulness of a woman.  Did I get the wrong fortune again?  That is the story of my life!

Or is the important thing on this the numbers?  He will read his message on the14th or 25th, since the 11th passed and absolutely nothing changed.  This is why I hate vague prophecy theories.  I get my hopes or dread up and then when it doesn't come true, I am left thinking I am an idiot because I read it wrong.  Maybe the problem is that I read it.

I had a nice conversation with one of my foster sisters.  She is one of those people who has something nice to say when you really need to hear nice things.  It is important to keep those kinds of people in your life, by the way.  At times like these, you need them.  They help prop that chin up when hope starts draining out of your soul.

That last part, is referring to my Resume that I posted a few days ago.

I needed to read that.  I needed to believe that someone thinks I am a really good person and that I am not the jerk that would ruin lives for selfish reasons.  I needed to believe that I have something to offer these people that they don't know is missing.  It's kind of like having a seventh child.  People will say that you really don't need another one, but our lives would not be as complete without him.

So I decided to write a new note and put it in a Christmas card.

I am so happy that I have been able to discover new relatives on through DNA testing.  I hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas.  I hope it is filled with all the joy and laughter that we will enjoy.  Merry Christmas!  Anna
You can mouse over the picture if you cannot read my writing
This is a suggestion I was given in the DNA Detectives group when I posted my dilemma concerning the reading of my message.

No one wants to ruin Christmas.  I don't want to ruin L's Christmas. I certainly don't want to ruin my siblings Christmas. I don't want to ruin my Christmas.  So I will send this and hope that it encourages the logging on of Ancestry, without being brutally invasive.

Really, all I want is to see that login status change.  After that, I can't say I won't eventually want to see some kind of final word about contact, but I could truly be ok with believing he is pondering his own methods of dealing with this.

This whole experience is a little surreal.  It feels like I am a ghost that is haunting them online, but they can't see or communicate with me.  I am able drift around looking for their electronic footprints and see where they have been and what they have been doing, but actual connection is impossible.

I looked at some of the pins my half sisters pinned on Pinterest.  We really do have quite a few hings in common.  They are country girls, like me.  They like making things.  I always thought that was my maternal side, but maybe there is a paternal element to it.

I do hope they have a Christmas filled with joy and laughter.  I mean that so sincerely.  I hope they post pictures in the public space so I can see it.  That would give me joy.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

My Resume

Using this Cover Letter as an example, I have constructed a cover letter and resume.

Dear L, Child1 and Child2,

Opening paragraph: State why you are writing; how you learned of the organization or position, and basic information about yourself.

I am applying for a position in your life as Spare Part Family Member.  I learned that there was an opening for this position after months of research at and a very lucky match in their DNA database.  I have been carrying around pieces of your gene pool for 49 years and have contributed these resources to seven very attractive and inspiring individuals, including one born and one yet to be born grandchild.

2nd paragraph: Tell why you are interested in the employer or type of work the employer does (Simply stating that you are interested does not tell why, and can sound like a form letter). Demonstrate that you know enough about the employer or position to relate your background to the employer or position. Mention specific qualifications which make you a good fit for the employer’s needs. (Focus on what you can do for the employer, not what the employer can do for you.) This is an opportunity to explain in more detail relevant items in your resume. Refer to the fact that your resume is enclosed. Mention other enclosures if such are required to apply for a position.
I think I would be a good fit for this position because I am very happy in my current life and have had enormous success in building a family of my own.  My interests and hobbies tend to coincide with those of your own.  I am from, and still love, the state of Oregon.  I have an incredibly talented and intelligent team to bring to your already amazing establishment.  As you can see on my enclosed resume, I am very familiar with large family dynamics, to include blended family issues and the special care that needs to be administered when dealing with such issues. I am a self starter and have been more than capable of working independently, but with the proper handling and care, I believe I could be a valuable asset to your lives in a more inclusive capacity.

3rd paragraph: Indicate that you would like the opportunity to interview for a position or to talk with the employer to learn more about their opportunities or hiring plans. State what you will do to follow up, such as telephone the employer within two weeks. If you will be in the employer’s location and could offer to schedule a visit, indicate when. State that you would be glad to provide the employer with any additional information needed. Thank the employer for her/his consideration.
I would love to have the opportunity to speak with you more about my qualifications and answer any questions you might have.  I will be online day and night waiting for you to log into your account so you can see my our test results and see the message I have left you.  I will keep my phone charged, and my contact services open.  If I don't see any indication that you have logged in by January 8, I will send correspondence by mail to the address that, I hope, is your current location.

Anna (Faucett) Sellers


Anna (Faucett) Sellers
Middle of Cornfields, Indiana

Contact Objective

Recent DNA match and genealogy enthusiast eager to launch a successful relationship with a biological family that recognizes the science and understands the importance of emotional connection to biological inheritance.  

Professional Experience

Sellers Family          1996-present
Wife and Mother

  • Actively supported and maintained a combination of 5 children, 3 biological and 2 step, and added two more to round out the complete family experience.
  • Demonstrated strong backbone and determination by doing so without the use of government financial aid or charitable resources.
  • Relied upon strong nurturing skills to raise and support all children into, or nearly into, adulthood.
  • Followed up with continued support as those individual struck out on their own to create their own families and lives.
  • Maintained a team environment to produce a strong marriage and good example
  • Produced several Christmas, Birthday and special event celebrations that looked financially impossible by emphasizing experience instead of material gain.
  • Encouraged family bond over financial gain.
  • Encouraged honesty and integrity in both personal and professional interactions including child and adult.
Haubenstricker Family       1989-1996
Wife and Mother

  • Adept at packing and moving on a short notice to coincide with military family life.
  • Understood the work requirements of a service member and made use of military resources to family members.
  • Able to press uniforms and shine boots up to military regulation.
  • Took advantage of the style and sophistication of military housing and made use of common resources.
  • Used sewing skills to rejuvenate used clothing and generate monetary resources.
  • Provided emotional and financial support in times of crisis.


US Army                          1984
E4 Electronics Communications

  • Graduated Basic Training in Fort Jackson, SC
  • One of the first 5 female graduates of the Automated Switching Systems Repair (36L) MOS in Ft. Gordon, GA
Lafayette Atelier                                                                                                                2006-2010

  • Basic Drawing and sketching
  • Bargue copy and traditional fine art training
  • Art history

Other Skills

  • Fluent in Sarcasm, silliness, and proficient in the use of humor to destress a situation. 
  • Cooks all holiday meals from scratch
  • Able to break into song to answer nearly any question.
  • Fibre arts - Crochet, Knitting, Sewing, Embroidery, and Quilting
  • Strong interpersonal relationship skills
  • High personal character standards for self and children

Think I will get the job?

What Do I Want?

As a lover of history, it is quite normal for me to want to know what functions my ancestors played in historical events.  There is always that hope that I might be related to a hero, or a famous figure. Beyond that, it feels good to know that no matter what the challenges were, or the issues my ancestors faced, that they continued to thrive at least as long as it took to make me.  It is a battle to be out here as a live human being and trying to live in a society that has civil unrest, and economic challenges, and day to day history making events.  It is a morale booster to know that I come from the kind of people who had real moxie.  I love it most when I see an ancestor that did something way out of the box, or braver than I was expecting.  I love bravery.

As a lover of science, I love that I could use scientific method to deduct and deduce my origins based on comparing data.  I love even more that this is a collaborative effort and in order for anyone to get anything from a DNA research site, they had to at least give their DNA data for others to compare to.  (I believe that is my Swedish showing.)  I loosely follow epigenetic research.  I am a fan of cognitive behavior research.  In general, I am fascinated by my own species as a whole, and all the ways we have been built to evolve and change according to our environment.  My own DNA is no exception. I put my DNA data on DNAland purely to contribute to research.   I want to know what they figure out.

When I set out to submit my DNA, I had one primary reason in mind.  Half my family tree was missing.  I wanted to fill it out.  I wanted to know who to put into the empty spaces.  My biological father was one in hundreds of people I wanted to know about.  He just happened to be the most likely to be alive.  There is something a little frightening about knowing nothing about half of yourself.  Is there any history of heart attack in my family?  I still can't answer that question.  What is your genetic make up?  Ahh.. now that I can tell you!

So in terms of getting what I want out of this, I can honestly say I have achieved and am still achieving one of my primary goals.  I know what I am made of.  I know how I got here.  I can find names and locations and make a nice little book about the history of our family for my children and grandchildren.  My grandchildren will be able to tell what their ancestor did in history class.  Those people mattered.  They were important.  I want them to be remembered, at least by name, even if I can't find another thing about them.  We will make songs about them.  They are our personal family hero's.  We won the battle.  We will write our history.

My second reason is more personal principle in nature. I have never known if my biological father did not contact me because he chose not to speak to me, or if he was never given an option. Nothing went as the people in charge had planned. When my mother chose not to tell anyone who the father of her child was, she had no idea she would die when I was three.  When my grandmother decided to raise me, she did not know she would die just before I turned nine.  Both of them were trying to do the right thing, but they left me with very little in the way of resources.  Would my mother have told me? Would my grandmother? I will never know those answers.  What I do know is that I was given this brain and this set of tools and I used them.  I like to believe they would be impressed with my determination even if they didn't like my decision.  I am in charge of the DNA they gave me.  I am simply doing what I think is right, just like they did.

I feel like I carry the weight of a family debt that is owed. It is my inheritance.  If he was never told about me, now he gets to know.  If he was never given access to speak to me, now he has my number.  If he chooses not to have contact, my conscience is clear and I am free from any guilt I might have carried for the decisions of my foremothers.  My life is open, honest and up front.  For the very first time, I get to decide my future in this matter.  Me.  The woman actually living this life.  I have waited 49 years to do that.  If he decides he doesn't want to talk to me, then I have lost nothing and still maintained my high sense of integrity.  I have very little hope that anything but information will come out of this, if I get that.

But those sisters.  I can't stop looking at them.  Those I want because I am greedy.  I want to show them that I am funny.  I want to learn something from them, anything.  I have no idea how to be a real sister, but I would like to take a crack at this.  I catch myself getting my hopes up that they will want to know me and let me know them.  I want something crazy, like a non verbal tick or a silly thing to say to be in common.  I want our gene pool to give us a sign.  I want to geek out with child2 and play with designs with child1.  I want to enjoy them.

I missed out on playing with them.  I didn't even know I missed that.  I didn't know I could miss that. I am not mad or resentful, but if I get to pick the one thing that I get to mourn the loss of, I choose this.  I could have been loving them my whole life, and they have no idea what that means.  I am really good at loving people.  I have references!  Just in case L and D get worried that I might be a problem, I am really good at avoiding places I am not wanted.  I have references for that too.

Will somebody please log in to that account?  Please.

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Story on Paper

I have between 17 and 31 days left to wait and so I am putting together a loose timeline to help me understand how things happened using public information and information from my own personal life.  

Birth - 1959  L was born in Michigan where he went to school and joined the military.  

1960 - L married D. He was in the military when they got married.  D is from Michigan as well, but their marriage was in California.  My mind tells me she is his high school sweetheart and she followed him to his duty station.

1960 - Child1, a girl,  No month or location available.  This is the the child that does fiber art.  She spins, knits and has an Etsy shop.  I would love to meet her.

1962 - L got out of the military as a Vietnam vet.

1964 - Child2, a girl, was born was born in Portland.  This is the child that does the family tree research.  If someone besides L is administering his DNA test, this is probably the one.

1964-1966  I was conceived in the summer of 1965 in Portland, OR and born in 1966 in Hermiston, OR.  At some point during the pregnancy, my mother returned home.

1968-1970  L attended Detroit Bible College in Detroit, MI.  From browsing around I think I can safely assume the whole family is Christian and fairly faithful.

29 Jul 1969  My mother died in Portland.

1970-1971  L attended Multnomah School of the Bible.  His GI bill wasn't enough to support him and his family, so he went to work.

Sometime after 1964 - L and D adopted 5 children from the same family.  I think they were born in Oregon, so I am placing them here.  I would like to meet them as well.  We may not be biologically connected, but they are siblings to my siblings in the same way my own family is a family.  There is no biological line allowed inside my home.

23 Feb 1975  My grandmother died.  This left me with no one able to tell me who my biological father was.

The rumors that have been dispelled.

My biological father was from the Pendleton/Stanfield/Hermiston area and sometimes worked in Idaho.

The rumors that have been proven true.

My biological father was married and had children.  - My mothers friend told me that my mother didn't want to ruin my biological fathers life, so that is why she came home to have me.

The mystery that has yet to be discovered.

In about 1970 or 1971 (I was not in school) my grandmother took me to her best friends farm and like a little spy, I tried to listen into their conversation.  My grandmother seemed to be in great distress and I remember her telling her friend that if anyone comes to try to see me to refuse to let me out of the house.  I don't remember how long I stayed there.  I don't have any idea what happened while I was gone.  I just remember my grandmother being frantic about something.

In the back of my mind, I have always wondered if the man that might come to see me was my biological father.  Looking at this timeline, I see that this is a possibility.  That would mean that he knew about me and she believed he would try to take me.  Of course, that never happened as far as I know.  I also wonder how she would have known that he moved back to Portland.

There was never a repeat and in some of my talks with my Grandfather after I became an adult, he stressed that they legally adopted me so no one could come and get me.  I have not obtained my adoption paperwork, but it would be interesting to know if I was adopted at birth, or if I was adopted after this 1970ish scare.  Both stories have been told.

Why all of this is important:

It seems odd to me that if L was aware of me that he would voluntarily take a DNA test at a very public place like unless he was trying to find me.  If he was trying to find me, it seems odd that he would take a test at a very public place like and not check to see if the results were in. I have concluded that L must not know about me, but it is possible that my grandmother knew about him.  Possible.  I don't know who she would know in Portland at the time to keep an eye on such things.  These are the days of long distance charges and we lived 4 hours away.  I was just too little to know enough to draw any real conclusions.

The other thing that seems odd is that there are really no huge brick walls in the tree unless the family is trying to find German family members.  There is nothing beyond the arrival for my Great Grandfather, so were they are trying to see if they were related to other German rooted immigrants to discover his parents?  Why did he get his DNA tested?  Boy is he in for a big surprise.

 I can tell you that one of my German Great Grandmothers relatives was a bootlegger in Nebraska.  Half of her siblings came to the US and half of them stayed in Germany.  Her parents are clear and as records become more available in the US, it might be possible to piece her pedigree together.

Poor D

I am back to this again.  I know.  It bothers me so bad that she has done so much to make everything work.  She uprooted from home, she had children, she adopted children.  I don't know if she remained faithful, but she did stick it out.  If she knew about me, then his DNA being out there should come as no surprise when I appear.  If she didn't know about me, but knew about the affair, then she might not be as surprised.  If she didn't know about either, this is awful.  I feel like I need to apologized to her, no matter what the scenario.  

D is someone I feel I can relate to.  She mothered seven children.  I mothered seven children.  She had two and gained five.  I had five and gained two.  This is a woman who has put the needs of her family ahead of her own on several occasions.  You cannot have that many kids with any resemblance of function without some sacrifices.  I don't know what her sacrifices were.  I am just convinced she had them.  

She is going to hate me and I don't blame her.  She is why I must wait and be very careful about how I present myself.  She is the mother of my siblings.  She is a woman I respect already without even meeting her.  She is the woman my mother was so careful not to harm, even if it wasn't intentional. 

The problem with secrets is that everyone eventually gets hurt.  If you wait, they get hurt twice. Once for the facts and once for the betrayal when hiding the facts.  

Things to do while you wait

The problem with having a month to wait is that all I can do is think about reactions.  In my mind, I have had every conceivable conversation that will never happen, because I do not know what the other side is going to say.  I tell myself I am going to do some activity that will take my mind off things, but that doesn't actually work very well.  I check the app on my phone while I wait for my morning coffee.  I do a quick browse to see if any of his family has a public status that might indicate they read my message in email, but did not log in.  Even though it seems obsessive, it isn't the contact or lack of contact that is driving me crazy, it is not knowing if anyone has even seen my message.

I can't stop feeling a taste of rejection every time I look at the top of the page and see:

So like any crazed maniac, I have resorted to a list of scenario's that probably have nothing to do with the real reason there is no login change.

Scenario 1:

L. doesn't actually administer his own test results.  It is his daughter.  She seems to be more than savvy enough to manage getting her email on her phone, has clicked on my facebook post on a day I thought I was clever and posted some stupid status meant to be sarcastic.  She has decided that nothing in my pictures is funny, it's all crazy and she does not want to tell her father that he has matched to a lunatic.  She doesn't even bother logging in to see the Parent/Child relationship.  She will "get around to working on the family tree" after the holidays.  By then, I will have died of "mutilated finger syndrome" because I could not stop refreshing my browser in anticipation. Someone in my family remembers to put my death date in my family tree so my bio family will know I didn't live through the experience.  Sometimes I even imagine L. and the sibs being kind enough to send flowers to my funeral.

Scenario 2:

L. knows I am here waiting to see him log on.  One of my 4th cousins told my 3rd cousin who still has the phone number to my 2nd cousin that doesn't have a family tree, but she does have the family know it all as a mother that calls my first cousin who happens to have a non related cousin who is friends with my maternal cousin. They saw me post that I had my DNA tested because my cousin clicked the like button Then in the opposite direction, word got to L. that if it was too late to stop him from submitting his test, the least they could do is warn him to never log on to see that I am here waiting. "Maybe if you don't log in, she will think you don't really exist."  I am more than a little frustrated with my cousin's friends now, and refuse to like their comments on her feed.

Scenario 3:

L. isn't real internet savvy. He forgot his password to his Ancestry account and when he tried to reset it, could not remember what his email address is.  Amail, Bmail, Cmail.. who the heck wants to go through the alphabet trying to remember how to check their mail?   He never gets on that doggone computer and when he does it does nothing but give him trouble.  He may or may not have seen my message on facebook, but even if he did, he doesn't know how to look at my account from it, and furthermore is so frustrated at this point that he just deleted the dang thing and went fishing!  That is an "online" he can handle.  

So if a girl is going to go crazy, why not embrace it?

As a little girl, I used to imagine my mother coming through the door and telling my Grandmother that she wasn't really dead, she had to fake her own death to protect everyone.  I am pretty sure that was too many soap operas running during playtime in the living room.  Grandma did love her Young and Restless.  I knew my mom was missing in my life and I was aware there was something wrong about that.  My poor little mind tried to solve the problem over and over.  My mother was every possible thing but gone forever.  If I just waited long enough, she would come back to get me, eventually.

Eventually never happened and I grew up.  I love Grandma for making her feel alive in the stories she told, or when she would say "You get that from your mom!"  (She wasn't always nice when she said that.)  There was never a father for me.  When I asked her about him, she would tell me I just don't have one.  I can't say I never had fantasies about finding him, but they were not very memorable and I don't remember "missing" him like I did my mom.  I looked "just like my mom," I acted "just like my mom," I was "smart like my mom."  She was very connected to my own identity.

So here I am, 49 years old and it's almost like that little 4 year old girl is reaching into my brain saying "See, I told you if you wait until you are big, you will see that Grandma was wrong."  That 4 year old is making up stories and chattering away when I do dishes, or read a book, or run the vacuum.  She is begging me to do something crazy to get his attention so he can read what we wrote.  I gotta love her.  She can be quite entertaining as long as I keep her contained in a story and not out there where she causes real mischief.  I have between 18 and 32 days.  This could get a little crazy before it gets better.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

I got my wish

So much has happened since my last post.  Let me catch you up to speed.

I had to take a bit of a break around Thanksgiving so I could make a turkey and all of the family prep. I dabbled here and there, but nothing serious.  On Friday after everything was over, I awoke to two dancing dogs begging to go outside.  While they were doing their thing, I fired up Ancestry to see if there were any new matches and I just about lost my jaw on the floor.

There he was.
Predicted relationship: Parent/Child Possible range: Parent, Child - immediate family member (  What does this mean?  )    Confidence: Extremely High
Amount of Shared DNA 3,385 centimorgans shared across 94 DNA segments What does this mean?

I just stared at it, clicking back and forth to see if it would go away when I left the page,  I let the dogs back in the house and sat some more, staring.  "This can't be real."

Regions: Great Britain, Europe West, Ireland, Scandinavia, Iberian Peninsula, Europe East
Member since 2014, last logged in Nov 13, 2015
The connected family tree is private

I am leaving out his name, of course.  I will just call him L.  I quickly took a screenshot and posted what I thought was a non identifying crop of the information and posted it to DNA Detectives.  There were lots of congratulatory responses, but more importantly, one of the volunteers there began private messaging me.  I will call her C.  

C asked me some important questions and I answered them with fingers that could barely type because they were so shaky.  She sent me a Facebook picture and began sending me links to possible siblings and family members.  Every time I looked at a possible sibling, a rush of emotion hit me in the throat.  

It didn't take long to determine that my biological father was married when I was conceived.  He is still married to the same woman.  She is lovely.  After some more Facebook post investigation, it was easy to see that her children love her very much.  That's when it first hit me: My very existence is pain for her.  Even though I do want to continue to exist, it bothers me greatly that I am her pain made flesh.  How can I possibly make peace with her?  

As C suggested, I took screenshots of all of the information.  I sent a brief note on the Ancestry message system that said:

My maiden name is Anna Faucett,
If you are like me, this match is a shock. I am worried that this might be an uncomfortable situation for you and I do not want to cause trouble for you or your family. I have only wanted to know where I come from and get some idea what medical history might be important to know. 
My email address is [email] and it goes straight to my phone. You can stalk me on Facebook at: My profile is open. You can reach me at [phone number] if you wanted to call or text. I want to give you time to process this and decide if you want to talk to me.

It isn't worded very well, and I didn't give myself a chance to edit it, because I knew that if I hesitated, I would not push the send button.  So I sent it and then spent the next few days pounding the link to his match to see if he has logged in to receive it.

If his last login is when he activated the test, that means he is not expecting results until December 25th at the 6 week point and January 8 at the 8-week point.  That doesn't stop me from checking several times a day.  It just keeps me pretending to be patient when nothing changes.  I still hold my breath when I click the link.  I still close my eyes and open them one at a time.  

For the next week I spent my time searching for his parents.  If I couldn't contact him, maybe I could figure out how I am linked to all these other people.  After some diligent searching, I discovered some research that my half sister (I just like saying that) has put together on Rootsweb.  I plugged in the names and immediately saw the connection.  

Remember this? Contaminated Thinking: Step 2 - Work your way down the tree? Kinda

I am a descendant of William Nicholson and Arie Crowder!  I knew it. I was one generation away from discovering my father on one 3rd cousin match and several 4th cousin matches!  I honestly believe I would have figured this out even if he hadn't tested.  I was on the right track.

But wait.. 

Absolutely none of his paternal line had a match.  When I really evaluated what was going on, I realized that there is no way all these Irish names and English names add up to all the Western European ethnicity that makes me, or him.
 41% Europe West, 19% Ireland, 17% Iberian Peninsula, 5% Other  

I went digging.  It turns out that his mother was possibly married before and had a child by him.  When she married her second husband, L. took his last name.  I don't know if it was a legal adoption or how that was arranged, but when I plugged his biological father into place and it connected to yet another group I knew I was related to, it all made sense.  They were German.  My Grandfather was a first generation American. I was so close to figuring out who L was before he just showed up!  I don't know why, but that is important to me.

I had every one of my Great grandparents already floating in my tree, waiting for some clue to connection.  

So now I am researching individuals to try to create some kind of story to go with their facts.  I am hunting newspaper articles and saving pictures that are on public trees.  I am discovering my relatives, my blood, people who look like me.

Speaking of people who look like me.

One of my half sisters has a childhood picture on her facebook that looks so much like me, my husband says you could mix us up if our pictures got thrown in a pile.  It is impossible for me to stop looking for some sign that L has read my message.  I do not want to hurt anyone.  I do want to see if my half sisters would like me.  I am so torn as to what to do.  In my lack of patience, I sent him a message on facebook that says:

If you are the same [L] that did a DNA test at, your results are in and we are related. I left a message on their messaging system, but I see that you have not logged in since Nov. 13th. I just thought I might message you here and let you know.

I have an address for him and a couple phone numbers I don't trust. He doesn't appear to be much of an online guy. I don't want to mess this up by being too forward. At the same time, I feel the clock ticking. Life is so short and every day I hesitate is another day less, if this discovery is a positive one. 

Waiting a whole month sucks. 
smile emsmile emoti

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Anti-Mirror Tree

Since started messing up my DNA readings every time I switched it to a new mirror tree, I have been forced to come up with a new solution.

DNAGedcom is the answer.  DNAGedcom is free to join, but if you want their ever-so-handy Ancestry Download Tool, you have to subscribe for $5 a month.  A price that I believe is worth every penny for someone who uses those files for their DNAGedcom and for Genome Mate.

I still copy trees, but instead of waiting for matches to show up, I look to see if they are going to produce results.

For example, this is a cousin match tree:

As you can see, I have marked a (0) in front of every name. At a glance I can see that I will get no cousin matches from these.  I know this because I looked up the names in my collection of matched trees at using the GWorks system at DNAGedcom. There are a lot more tools at DNAGedcom for discovering lost relatives, but for now, I will just focus on this because it has been my go-to weapon in fighting broken DNA links at Ancestry.

Not only does it check against my matches trees on, it also checks against any trees that are on FTDNA.  This is time saving, even if going through the trees, one person at a time, seems tedious.  If it isn't a tree that is already matched up on my database I can copy the tree,  upload the Gedcom file to DNAGedcom, then compare it to see where the matches are.  Once it is in the system, it will remain for any new queries I make.

Even though I am not moving my DNA, I get to know my who and where my matches are.  I don't have to lock my tree from those who match my Maternal side on my main tree to do my research. Ancestry doesn't break my DNA results because I am swapping trees daily.  If I see a name I think I recognize, I can look it up right away.  There is no "letting it cook" over night. Most of all, it cross references both DNA sites I participate in.  Those are some nice advantages.

I am currently working on a predicted 3rd cousin match (92cM across 3 segments) that has 20 other cousins in common on Ancestry and an unknown amount on FTDNA.  Since Ancestry only gives a limited amount of people in common, there may even be more.  This could be the key to cracking this case, if I can find the links to the others.  She matches my Shannon County Missouri relatives, even though the majority of her family comes from Iowa.  She has not logged in since Aug 2015, and her DNA is not attached to a tree, but by using her unattached tree and the public trees I have been able to fill out what she left behind and pursue my matches on my own.

What I wouldn't give for a new 2nd cousin match or closer.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Now I know at least one thing.

I got confirmation last night that the segment I share with my cousins is DePriest line and not Nicholson. It has to be DePriest because my cousins share this same segment with a match that has no Nicholson connections, but does share a DePriest common ancestor.

I have a Nicholson without DePriest match who is planning on uploading to Gedmatch.  It is a distant cousin, but should give me some idea what chromosome and segment I am looking for.

Here is what I have so far:

The results on Ancestry are as follows:

Green Christopher H Depriest and Louisa Elizabeth Nicholson

Edward Martin Depriest7144th Cousins3rd Cousin 1x Removed
Josephine louella DePriest6564th Cousins2nd Cousin 2x Removed
Edward Martin Depriest27.614th Cousins3rd Cousin 1x Removed
Edward Martin Depriest1924th Cousins3rd Cousin 1x Removed

Green DePriest and Mary POLLY Allen
Solomon C. Depriest14.52Distant Cousins4th Cousin 1x Removed

William DePriest and Rebecca Charity Casey
Isaac Depriest8.71Distant Cousins6th Cousins

John A "Jack" Nicholson and Martha Malinda Berry
Mary Adaline Nicholson3124th Cousins4th Cousin 1x Removed
Tamer Jane Nicholson15.61Distant Cousins4th Cousins 1x Removed
Mary Adaline Nicholson8.71Distant Cousins5th Cousins
Sarah Loucressie Nicholson6.51Distant Cousins5th Cousins

James William Nicholson and Lucretia Dover
Isaac "Ike" Nicholson24.824th Cousins4th Cousin 2x Removed
Isaac "Ike" Q Nicholson6.61Distant Cousins4th Cousin 2x Removed

Isaac Nicholson and Che-Wah-Nih Betsy Walkingstick
Isaac (1776) Nicholson17.52Distant Cousins6th Cousins 1x Removed
Sarah Walkingstick - Nicholson14.62Distant Cousins6th Cousins 1x Removed
Isaac (1776) Nicholson12.71Distant Cousins7th Cousin
Isaac (1776) Nicholson11.32Distant Cousins6th Cousins 1x Removed
Isaac (1776) Nicholson112Distant Cousins7th Cousin
Isaac (1776) Nicholson8.42Distant Cousins6th Cousins
Sarah Nicholson5.11Distant Cousins6th Cousins 1x Removed

Thomas Berry and Sarah Elizabeth Martha Walker
James Enfield Berry6.41Distant Cousins7th Cousin

Before I got the chromosome and segment triangulation, I assumed I was not in the correct place based on the peach highlighted area above.  I didn't seem to fit that spot because I was too close for that match up. Now that I see the cM and segments, it seems more plausible.  They may not be accurate, but they do help.

So now to figure out what the next step down would be.  Once I eliminate the children that did not marry, or couples that did not have children, my choices are:

  • Louella DePriest and Ridley Thomas
  • Edward DePriest and Rose Etta (Rosie) Anderson
  • Lafayette (Fate) DePriest  and Vie Lasley
  • Tamer Jane DePriest  and John Y Harris
  • John DePriest  and Nellie Brooks
I already know I am going to get a match from Ridley Thomas's line.  His line is very familiar.  The Thomas's marry Nicholsons and Crowders and all kinds of people in Shannon County.  It will look like this:  The problem is, once again, this is how that highlighted match currently matches to me.  He is already really close for the numbers.  Even closer seems wrong.  I am not sure what to do about that.

One of Edwards children ends up in Eastern Washington, right in my territory.  I did a preliminary search, but his wife has not parents attached.  It is going to be very difficult to prove much without her line to match up to.  

.. and this is why I keep running in circles.  All these matches seem great, but they are very difficult to juggle.