So, back to my discoveries through Ancestry DNA. Cousin Rich is the one who paved the way for my entry (or re-entry) into my family tree on my maternal side, checking with my half-sister and my last living aunt before putting me in touch with people. I’m glad he was careful, a family secret isn’t always met without complicated feelings.
And I have my own complicated feelings as well. I was very nervous the first time I talked on the phone with Rich, emailing seems much less scary, more distant and impersonal before you actually know someone. But Rich’s openness and sense of humor put me at ease and he is a great storyteller!
I think it was the second time we spoke on the phone that he mentioned that his wife, Donna, had looked me up on Facebook. Oh no, oh noooooo, I had forgotten all about Facebook. It didn’t exist for most of the years I have been searching and is a somewhat new aspect of my life even now. But it meant Rich and Donna could see more about me than I might want to disclose to my new family so soon in our relationship! Political views, interests, relationships, spirituality, all areas of discord in our world. I knew I had to be true to who I was and bring my Facebook persona out in the open with Rich even though I feared he would cut off contact. And even though he seemed open and accepting, all my old adoptee fears re-surfaced and left me in suspense until he called again in a few days, as if there were no change in our developing friendship as cousins.
Actually, this whole adventure and the welcoming I have received has renewed my faith in us as people, that even if we live very different lives, we have a lot in common: caring about friends and family, loving the natural world around us, enjoying food and laughter, a love of storytelling, and the importance of a sense of our past and our own history.