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We're Related!?

I'm so excited! I traced my maternal great grandparents' forward and found a previously unknown branch of our family. I found a 3rd cousin and confirmed via Instant Messenger that her great grandfather and my great grandmother were siblings. Same names - check, years and places of birth - check, parents' names - check, years of emigration to the U.S. - check.  No need for a DNA test. This one was obvious.  She responded the same day,  and I was flabbergasted when she invited me to dinner the very next evening at her aunt's house only 1.5 miles from my home! Who does that, right? It was a fantastic night - great food and fellowship. 3 generations were present and Aunt Mary Jane has a memory like a steel trap. That was about 4 weeks ago...we've spoken many times and I took my wife over last weekend to meet more cousins visiting from Denver.  Amazingly, my wife and our Denver cousin's wife had much in common. They went to the same high school in Michigan, knew many of the same people, lived in the same neighborhood and knew the same neighbors!! I have to admit the novelty of my 50-year search for my birth family was a little overshadowed by the exuberance of these two school "girls" discovering so much in common. After leaving, my wife and I talked all the way home about how nice these people were and how much fun it was to spend time with them - people we would never have met had it not been for the miracle of DNA testing and God's own intervention. 

You see, that night we also figured out that we may not be related in the way we thought we were. Her great grandfather August and my great grandfather August appear now to be two different people - arriving on different dates, to different ports, but they definitely lived in the same Detroit neighborhood. It's possible that we are related, and we're simply off by one or two generations, or perhaps the two men were not related at all and were constanly receiving one another's mail. 

Our Colorado "cousins" ordered a DNA kit that same night, so we'll know soon enough, but Tanya and I have agreed that no matter what the results, we're claiming each other as family. This is what I wish for everyone who is searching - to meet someone, to be honest, to reveal yourselves to one another and to accept one another with love. Whether DNA testing is the cause or the effect is less important - it's just a impetus for us to do what we should always do without reach out, to engage, to accept, and to love.  The twists and turns are well worth the price of admission!

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