Our family histories and family trees are fascinating pieces of data that most of us love to learn about. With the recent release of “DNA” discovery companies like “Ancestry“, “My Heritage” and many others, people around the world are making incredible discoveries about their family history. I am certainly no stranger to these discoveries.
A little background about my family history, I am adopted. I’ve always known that. I didn’t think it really affected me. I’ve just always known and it was a part of me. I just reasoned that I had a better life because of it and left it at that.
Here’s where it gets tricky. I was adopted into the same family. My biological great aunt, my mother’s mother’s sister, is also my aunt, my dad’s brother’s wife, through adoption. I never knew my biological father, nor did I know who he was. More on that later.
Fast forward to Oct 2017. I discovered that I had diabetes a few months earlier, and being adopted, I got curious as to what else was coming. Are there more family health problems that I need to know about? Wondering about all of this led me to contact my biological mother. I’ve always known her and considered us having a good relationship. I asked her about health issues and about who my biological father was. I also asked her more about what the details were surrounding my adoption. She was very gracious to tell me what I wanted to know and what she could remember about that time. It’s been a few years you know.
I learned some interesting things about that time in my life. I lived with her for a few months and my original name was “Ricky Don Jones”. That was a surprise but hey, it’s part of me so it’s all good. I shared this at work and was told that I could get my original birth certificate. I went through that process with the Arkansas Department of Health and was able to obtain my original birth certificate and my official adoption papers.
All of this was certainly exciting but it was also somewhat emotional. I never realized that I had just kept all of these feelings suppressed through the years and never dealt with them. I’ve never had hard feelings against my biological mother, and have never been angry at her about my adoption. For those that know me know that I tend to just suppress feelings and not really talk about them. It’s always been important for me to look like “I’m always ok”.
I wasn’t unfamiliar with the name of my biological father. I seem to remember his name being mentioned by my biological grandmother in the past. And being in the small town of Forrest City, AR, I had a good friend who happened to be this man’s niece. Thank the Lord we didn’t date. I contacted her and ran through the whole scenario with her. After some initial shock, she was excited and began to tell me about him and how he had been killed in a car wreck a couple years prior. I was disappointed of course, because it would have been interesting to meet my biological father. I should have looked into this earlier in my life.
Another surprise my friend dropped on me was, “you know he has a daughter that lives close to you?” Ah, no I didn’t know that. Well, this was exciting. She asked me to let her contact her and see how she would react to this news. As fate would have it, she was interested in talking to me. I’m thinking, can this get any crazier? Oh but it does. Fasten your seat belts!
It wasn’t long before I was communicating with my new “biological” half sister. She had a lot of questions and concerns, just like anyone would with a possible new sibling showing up in their life. We were able to talk through the details, of which there were many and those I will spare for now. She and her family accepted me and my family into their family.
She and I became fairly close and she shared many details and pictures of our “biological” father. I could see somewhat of a resemblance between her and me, not so much with our father. I was even blessed to provide her anesthesia for a very difficult surgery and illness that she went through, and I was proud to be able to do it and be there as she recovered.
It seemed my life was now complete regarding my biological family and I was very satisfied that I had the answers that had always plagued me in the back of my mind.
Fast forward to Dec 2019. I did a random DNA test just to see what other health problems were ahead of me, since I had been shocked with a few so far. Well, I just thought that things were settled and I knew all about my family. Stay tuned for Part Two…