Sunday, August 28, 2011

Our Second Quiz, What Was Mom Thinking?

What was Mom thinking when she went to the medicine cabinet, pulled out the bottle and put that red stuff all over your cut?  Probably every Mom in America did this, but they don't do it anymore.  What was it called?  Extra credit, why was in it that is not good for you?

First quiz answer: The Cheers show jingle.  There was three correct replies.  I'm getting old!

Kevin’s Story, Part 18, Another What?


First I was thrilled to have another sister.  Mind you, I’m not lacking in the sister department.  I have adequately tormented two sisters for all there lives but, this is a new one.  Poor girl, she has no idea.  With an older sister, there are advantages.  They can tell you all about girls.  (No, I don't have them figured out yet!) When you are down, there is nothing better than five minutes on the phone with your big sister.  I have gone along just fine with younger sisters however, an older sister, this is new.  I probably scared the girl by talking a hundred miles an hour (California talk) to a poor girl that talks half speed (that’s Maine talk).  In the beginning she was just warming up, now she can keep up with the west coast speed.

And she says, oh by the way, you have another sister. . . . ......  OMG (that’s young people talk for Oh My God)  But my battery is gonna die.

The ancestry dude in me went into high gear.  One thousand questions, a 3 by 5 inch piece of paper, a pencil, and one knee.  (I never use a pencil, they poke holes in paper???)  I’m writing as fast as I can, is she married, what is her birthday, is she married (oops), I mean does she have any kids, what’s there names, when were they born, who’s her daddy?  She is talking the Maine talk speed but the California speed can only write at 25 percent of Maine speed.

Yes a husband and kids and living in Maine.  Another Maineac?  Kids, grand kids, a nurse, in the Army, (Well that tells me a whole bunch.  Guess I'm goinna have to break out my curse words that I learned while riding aircraft carriers.  I have an enormous amount of respect for anyone that serves our Country, specially the girls.  They not only have to put up with the enemy but, they have to put up with all the boys on our side too.)  I’m writing, poking holes in my leg, can’t read what I just wrote and she had the audacity to say

“And you have another . . . . . .”

To Be Continued . . . . . . .

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Kevin’s Story, Part 17, The Call


This is Kevin

This is your sister.

pause . . . . (while I pull over with out wrecking the truck)

She tells me this story; when I was little, you and I were playing together, and I overheard all the Aunts saying “Wow they look just alike”.  I was at your Uncles house and we were playing in the front room.  I remembered that and asked my Mom one day.  Do I have a brother?  Mom said; “Yeeuup” (That’s Maine talk for yes)

(How is it that the whole world knows I’m adopted but I don’t?)
She continues; twenty years ago we were getting ready to have a family reunion and I tried to get in touch with you.  I contacted your Mom.  (Oh?)  She talked me out of contacting you at the time.   (Oh?)

Later, as I was putting pieces of the puzzle together, I thought back to a phone call I made to my Mom as I was traveling on the East coast.  I drove from Virginia to Maine.  As I entered my birth town I realized I didn’t know what to look at, what to take a picture of.

Mom, where did we live, where was I born, do you want me to take any pictures while I’m here?  I don’t remember the answers but that must have made her very uncomfortable about the secret.  I’m sorry for that.

Big sister and I talked for about 30 seconds (actually about an hour and a half) before I said my battery was getting ready to die.  Damn cell phones.

Then she says, oh by the way, you have another

To Be Continued . . . . . . .

Kevin’s Story, Part 16, Looking for the sister

A sister?

Who, where, when, who?

I was talking to a cousin and they mentioned that they had been friends with your sister for a long time.  What’s her name?  I don’t know much of anything else, you’ll have to ask him.

Pause for 3 weeks while I try to get hold of him by phone.  (This is killing me) (Not the Jeff Dunham - Achmed the Dead Terrorist "I KILL YOU") The phone fell out of my hand when he finally answered.  I thought I had lost the connection.  Damn cell phones.  I understand that I may have a sister running around out there?  Yeeeessss.

What’s her name, how do you know her, what, what, how, what?

So I will call her and ask her to call you.  OKAY!

Just to find out a little piece of information, wow.  How exciting.  The joy of finding out the possibility of a sister.

The wait.

A word of wisdom from someone with not much of it.  Change the way you look at family.  Stop judging, stop saying bad things about them, stop tearing them down, stop being jealous.  Start forgetting the bad stuff in the past, start to remember the good stuff, start looking at them for who they are, start enjoying them while you have them.  Life is too short to hold onto the bad stuff and not long enough to find out about the good stuff.

To Be Continued . . . . . . .

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Kevin’s Story, Part 15, The secret

The family decides to divulge the secret.

The unknown?  It’s like a drug!  I don’t mean the 1960's kind of drug, I mean after you get a taste you can’t stop kinda drug.  With each answer, I had a hundred more questions.  You hear stories of people looking for there families to get money, or don’t try to find family because they are afraid they will take there money.  Most, I believe, just want to know about where they came from.  The first thing that popped into mind; “Maybe I have a brother or sister.”  I tend to be more of a steam roller and barge right in shaking hands person.  Not the kinda guy that asks permission to meet the bio-dad, I would knock on the door and say Hi Dad!

I can not imagine what it would be like to have a huge secret entrusted to you.  Mom wanted to ensure that all her children were treated the same.  (They were) Didn’t want anyone to get hurt or feel like less of a family member.  She worked so hard to ensure that each family member would get the same amount spent on them at Christmas.  How about the rest of the family?  How do you not tell stories about the first five years of someone’s life?  Thirty years later when your asked about something, how do you not tell?  How do you carry this secret?  Mom and Dad, now gone for over a decade, it’s time to tell him.

The email comes, you may have a sister!

That changed my life forever.

To Be Continued . . . . . . .

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Kevin’s Story, Part 14, The Bio-Dad

So now I have what I call a bio-dad.  And so starts a most fantastic journey into my past - - - -.  Are you wondering about your birth certificate yet?

I did have a name, many don’t have that much.  I tried 411, Google, and could not come up with a viable bio-dad.  There are some great resources.  Cindi’s list is a great starting point for records of any kind.

One huge challenge for ancestry researchers is too much information.  The bio-dad’s last name is as popular in England as Smith is in America.  When Google returns 1,790,000 possible hits you know you are in trouble.  This is when I started to study how Google works.  It is amazing how you can add a + or a - or even “ ” to get something completely different.  I recently bought a book about using Google as a research tool written by Lisa Loiuse Cooke called The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox.  If that book was available two years ago I could have saved thousands of hours.  You don’t have to be a Genealogist to learn a lot from this book.  For more information about the book look at her blog .

I remember a cousin asked if I wanted all the information? (Refer to part 9)  What does that mean?  Yes, why?  Well, do we want to have everything like past marriages, step brother and sisters?  Of course!  How about un-advertised past families?  We want to get history as correct as we can.  Even if it isn’t the most popular, we should err on the side of correct.  Even your past?  MINE? Of course, as correct as possible.  Pause for a couple months.

To Be Continued . . . . . . .

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Our First Quiz. What was the show?

Making your way in the world today
Takes everything you've got;
Taking a break from all your worries
Sure would help a lot.
Wouldn't you like to get away?

All those night when you've got no lights,
The check is in the mail;
And your little angel
Hung the cat up by it's tail;
And your third fiance didn't show;

Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name,
And they're always glad you came;
You want to be where you can see,
Our troubles are all the same;
You want to be where everybody knows your name.

Roll out of bed, Mr. Coffee's dead;
The morning's looking bright;
And your shrink ran off to Europe,
And didn't even write;
And your husband wants to be a girl;

Be glad there's one place in the world
Where everybody knows your name,
And they're always glad you came;
You want to go where people know,
People are all the same;
You want to go where everybody knows your name.

Where everybody knows your name,
And they're always glad you came;
Where everybody knows your name,
And they're always glad you came...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Having a Child

When you are young you really don’t think about having a child or being a parent.  Oh I knew when I was a teenager that I wanted a family some day, but I never really thought about it.  When I got married I didn’t even think about it.  Not until I found out my wife didn’t want children.  Don’t you think I should have asked that after a few dates and not a few years after marriage.  I just assumed everyone wanted a house full of kids.  Never thought how much that might cost or how I was going to support them.

You can never really know what love is until you have a child. I have never adopted a child but I guess it is just about the same.  When I was talking to wife two on the phone (1300 miles away) she said we are pregnant.  It took my breath away.  I don’t think I ever really understood what happiness was until that second.  When you hold that baby for the first time I am positive that God has your back.  That is when I understood what a blessing meant.  It wasn’t just written in a book, it was happening to us.

From my perspective (a guy that doesn’t think too much about stuff) going through everything is worth that first time you are introduced to the little person that just changed your life forever.  Wife two told me that if I wanted another one that I would have to have it myself.  If that was really possible, I might chicken out.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Kevin’s Story, Part 13, Three Sides To Every Story PG-13 Version

Family histories are shaped by those telling the stories.  Do you know what happened in the past?  Who really slept with who?  Why is my hair a different color than my parents?  Why do I have a huge nose and my brothers and sisters do not?  Did the mail man have a big nose?  Did the milk man have red hair?  Very interesting.

What is on your birth certificate?  I’m not talking about a record of live birth.  Those are generated by those telling the stories.  Is your birth certificate correct?  When asked who was the father, did Mom say Joe the Barber?  Was Joe the Barber really the father or was it Jimmy the ticket taker at the Century Theater?

When the story slipped out (at 45 years old) that I was adopted, I pulled out my wallet and read the names of my mother and father.  I wasn’t adopted.  After a little research a couple years ago I found out that when you are adopted they make a new birth certificate listing the adopting parents.  Oh!  So I write to the state of Maine and ask about my records.  I have to have a certified copy of my birth certificate.  (No the President doesn’t have one of those.)  I send away and get a certified copy that matches the one in my wallet. (Yes, it’s the same one) It just so happens that two years ago Maine allowed you to gain access to your real birth certificate.  I send a petition, with my certified copy to Maine.  That was a long wait.  The names do not match.

To Be Continued . . . . . . .

Sidebar; Just in case you were wondering what I thought about the truth being withheld, I will tell you.  Any young lad can become a bio-dad, it takes a real man to become a father.  It takes a dedicated family man to adopt a child and treat them as he does his own.  I was blessed to have one of each.  Blessed?  You’ll just have to keep reading to find out how.