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.