Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ancestry DNA Results

This journey since I posted that Picture to Facebook on March 28 has been crazy. I have really been battling with myself if I even wanted to keep searching. Everything that happened with the woman who falsely claimed to be my biological mother was a nightmare. It really made me question if I really do want to know the answers to my questions. Every time I feel like giving up something happens to keep me going.
I wasn't expecting my ancestry results for another 4 weeks. I have been checking the website every few days to see the progress on the test. I was expecting to receive an email when the results were ready to view. Yesterday I logged in and clicked the DNA tab expecting it to say processing. I was completely shocked when I was this:

First I looked at the ethnicity. There was so much more information than I had expected. I was so excited! My main ethnicity is Spanish followed by French, Italian and Irish. Ancestry maps the area your ethnicity is from. 

I thought this was really cool. The map gets even more detailed when you click on each ethnicity. It is very interesting and a lot of fun to learn about. Even my kids got excited seeing all this. For everyone who guessed I was Native American, I only have 2% Native American. 
I am really excited about learning more on ancestry and researching my ethnicity. I know to some people it may not seem like a big deal, but to me this is HUGE!! 

Next I looked at the DNA matches. At first look I thought there was 61 matches. I couldn't believe it. I was hoping for 1 match. At closer look I relized it was 61 pages of matches!! WOW!! I was completely shocked. 
It matched me to 2 people that are 3rd cousins, 13 people that are 4th cousins. The rest are distant cousins. At first I was overwhelmed and didn't really know where to start. I just started clicking on the names and getting familiar with the site. I mainly focused on the 15 people that are 3rd and 4th cousins. I was on the site all day researching. I did link 3 people back to how they are connected to each other which means they would be on the same side of the family. It is really interesting and fun to research. 
Last night one of the woman that I was matched to as a distant cousin (5th-8th cousin) messaged me on ancestry. I was so excited. She told me she looked at my profile, which explained my story, and she had to write me. It was awesome. 
Today I messaged the 15 people that are 3rd and 4th cousins. I already had one reply and she said she wants to help me figure out how we are related. 
I am so glad I did the ancestry DNA test. Finding out my ethnicity was something I always wanted. The match to cousins has been an amazing bonus.  I still have a long way to go to actually finding my biological parents, but I am closer than I have ever been.  I will keep you posted as I find out more.
Please keep sharing my story. Every time its shared there is a chance a person with the right information will see it. That is still my best chance. Thank you so much to everyone for sharing and the support that you have show me. It means more to me than you could ever know!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Moving Forward

I have had a couple of days to really think about everything that has happened since I first posted that picture to Facebook on March 28. The past few weeks have had many ups and downs. I have met some pretty awesome people and one not so awesome person. The response has been more than I ever expected. I have seriously thought about deleting the picture and stopping the search all together.
The first few days after i posted that picture to Facebook were amazing. I had many people messaging me with encouraging words and prayers. I have had a couple of people do small things that have helped me in huge ways. I never imagined that I would have so many supporting me in this.
After a couple of good leads I thought I may have found some sisters from my fathers side. We were ready to get a DNA test. I was so excited.
Then I got the message that someone thought they knew who my biological mom was. This person filled me in on what she knew. I followed through with the lead. I contacted who I thought could be my biological mother. She denied it at first, but then told me that she was my biological mom. She told me that she put me in that phone booth. She kept changing the story of who my biological father was. Finally she told me that she was raped by her father and that I was conceived from that. It never really made since to me, because she told me that he started selling her for sex when she was 9 years old. So to me that meant that my father could have been anyone, but she said she was sure that it was her dad. She told me over and over how bad things were for her when she was pregnant with me. She told me she was alone and scared when she had me. She said she took me to the phone booth to protect me from her dad. She said she was afraid what he would do to me. She made me believe that she saved my life.  I was very thankful.
It was extremely hard for me to deal with everything she told me. Going into this search I was eager to find out the circumstances behind my abandonment. I am not so eager now. I knew the circumstances were probably not good, but i never could have imagined the things she told me It was so hard to accept that I came from such horrible people and circumstances.
My husband convinced me to wait until I got the DNA test back before I accept what she said about who my father was. so after a long 24 hours I decided to put all that to the side and take one step at a time. I decided to first confirm that she was truly who she claimed to be.
Words can not express what I felt. I told my husband that  I wished that I had never searched. I wanted to unknown what I knew. I thought not knowing is better than knowing this. It was a really hard time for me. I am so thankful to my husband for being my rock in this time.
I visited with my alleged biological mom for about a week. Everything was going good. She rescheduled her first DNA test, but went to the 2nd appointment. Even though I always had a little doubt that she was who she claimed to be, once she took the DNA test I figured she must be telling the truth. I man who would go through all that knowing the test would be negative.
The next morning after he took the test she asked me who told her that she was my biological mother. When I told her the persons name she got really upset. Then she told me the test would come back negative. I asked for an explanation but she never gave me one.
We didn't talk after that, then 4 long days later I got the results from my test. She was right, we are not a match. I wasn't surprised. I was relived. All the things that had been tearing me up inside weren't even true. I was so thankful.  I sent her a message that said "I got the test results today. I don't know why you lied to me but at least now I know the truth." Then I blocked her.
I have no idea why she lied to me. I have no clue why she would tell me the things she did. After I last blogged I got several messages from people who were angry for what she did. I guess I should be angry. But I am not. I am to thankful. I think I am still in shock. The bible says to pray for those who despitefully use you. So that is what I have been doing.
I have to admit I am super nervous about going on with this search. I have wanted this for so long. But after everything this woman told me I don't know if I really do want to know the truth or not. I always figured it wasn't the best circumstances , but I never realized how bad it could be. I wonder if not knowing is better than knowing.
I told my oldest daughter that I didn't know if I wanted to search anymore. She told me " Well since you've looked for her you have found out how many people are in the same position as you and how many people can relate to your story." She is so right.  No matter what I decide this journey has already taught me so much.
My prayer is that IF God wants me to find my biological family I will. If He doesn't I will accept that He is protecting me and his plan is always greater than mine. I will not let fear stop me. God did not give me a spirit of fear but of Power, Love and a Sound Mind. I am going to use that sound mind to guide me in my next steps.
What is the next step? I am going to ask that everyone keep sharing my story. I am expecting a phone call from a Tulsa County deputy that is trying to see if I can get a copy of the original Police report. I am still awaiting the DNA results from ancestry. The sisters mentioned above have done a DNA test through ancestry to see if we match. I will follow all leads. I am going to put this woman and her lies behind me. Most importantly I am just putting it all in God's hands. I pray His will be done.
I am thankful to everyone who has shared my story and showed me their support. On this crazy roller coaster ride your encouragement has kept me going.
I posted this on my personal instagram last night.
The poem under the picture really expresses how I feel right now. No matter where this journey leads me life will go on. One thing I know for sure I will never be the same as I was before I started this journey, and I don't mean that in a bad way. I will keep you posted on any knew news. Please keep sharing my story. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

DNA Results: Surprising

This journey has taught me so many things. Some good and some bad. I guess the saying is true, you take the good with the bad. I received a phone call today that I have been waiting for. Sarah with DNA Centers of Oklahoma called me and told me something that I already suspected.
There is a 0% probability that this woman is my biological mom!! That means that there is NO way she is my biological mother.
I already suspected that. When I first messaged her she told me that she was not my biological mom. Then later that evening she told me she was just shocked and taken off guard. She told me that she was my biological mother and she said that she put me in the phone booth. She told me details of my conception and birth. Why would I not believe her?  The resemblance is crazy. Not just to her but to her children as well.
The day after she did the DNA test she informed me that the test would come back negative. I asked her to explain, but I never got it.  She then informed me that I was her child. I was so confused. That was the last time we chatted.
The past few days I just decided that whatever the DNA test said I would accept. I didn't really expect the results to be back today, so i was surprised when  I got the call. But I am so glad the news came today. I just wanted to know the truth.
I have been asked if I am going to continue my search and honestly I don't know. There are still two amazing girls who believe I could be their sister, and we are testing through ancestry. The results on that are slow, but the easiest way to go. DNA tests are not cheap. I will ask that everyone keep sharing my post and getting my story out there for now. I will see what my ancestry DNA test says and if it has any matches. I am not sure what else I am up for doing at this point.
Thank you to everyone. I have received so many messages of kind words and prayers. I know this is all in God's hands and IF it is ever his timing for me to find my biological family I will, and if not I will be ok.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Power of Social Media in one week.

My life has changed so much in one week.  I never dreamed in a million years how much my life would change by one simple picture. The power of school media, the compassion of people, the power of prayer, and the two seconds it takes to hit the share button changed my life!!

On March 28, 2014 about 4pm I posted a pic to Facebook in search of my biological mom.  The response was amazing. My post was shared all over the United States and in several different countries. I received so many encouraging messages and prayers. I met some amazing people in a few short days. I followed every single lead that  I received.  This was the closest I had ever been to finding my biological family. Then I received a message that changed everything…..
A week ago today  I received a message from someone with some pretty convincing information. I listened to everything this person had to say. I was told what my biological mother's name was. I quickly searched her name on Facebook and added her as a friend. My children and I were stunned at the resemblance I had to her. I messaged her right away. Needless to say I caught her totally of guard and shocked her. After chatting for a while she told me that she was my mother. She also told me the circumstances surrounding my birth. I am not ready to go into detail on my blog at this time about those circumstances. But I will say this…. My biological mother is a very strong and courageous woman. She saved my life by placing me in that phone booth and calling the cops. I am so thankful to her for protecting me and saving my life.  We have chatted every day for the past week. WOW! I can't believe it has been a week already! We are getting to know each other more everyday. It is amazing. We are so much alike! I love it!  I haven't stopped smiling yet. My husband says I am glowing. I also have a beautiful sister who is 27, and an awesome baby brother who is 10. How cool is that? 
I can't explain the feelings that I have. Its a wholeness that I have never felt. The missing pieces are finally in place. So many questions that I have had my whole life have been answered. It is truly an answer to my prayers. 
Many people have asked  about a DNA test. I did mine last Thursday and my biological mom is doing hers tomorrow. We will have the results in 3-5 business days. The DNA test is important to me. It leaves no room for doubt, no room for my mind to wander. It also gives proof to those who doubt my judgement. But most importantly it gives me that peace of mind that I have been after for so long. 

I have had many people ask about a reunion. We are starting to save our money now in hopes of flying to Ohio in May to meet. If all goes well I will get to spend her birthday and Mothers Day with her. We are all so excited! 

I want to thank everyone who has helped me along this journey. I know its not over yet, but I would have never made it this far without all the words of encouragement, prayers, messages, texts, phone calls, and sharing my post. I didn't do this alone, I did it with the help and support of so many people. Many that I have never met before. I appreciate you so much.  

I want to thank my adoptive family! Thank you for supporting me and putting up with me all these years. Thank you for loving me and caring for me. I am so thankful for the life that my parents gave me and I love them dearly. I am thankful to my brothers for always looking out for me when I was growing up. Even if I didn't want them to sometimes. I was blessed with a great childhood. I also have some of the best and craziest cousins around. The support from my cousins has been amazing and I really appreciate and love you all. 

I want to thank my husband! He has been my rock. I absolutely could not have made it through this without him. He has been my strength in times that I didn't even think I could stand. I am so thankful that he never gave up on me.

I am thankful to God who is faithful. The bible says he gives us the desires of our heart.  He has given me mine. God is so good. I know that He has had his hand on me my whole life. My heart is overflowing with thankfulness. 

I hope I was able to answers everyone questions in this blog.  I will blog again as soon as I get the DNA results back. Until then remember: NEVER give up hope! With GOD all things are possible!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Phone Call and an Unmistakable Resemblance

So much has happened since I last blogged 24 hours ago. My heart is so overjoyed that I feel like it might explode. I can't stop smiling!!!
After I blogged yesterday I made that phone call. I was so nervous and didn't really know what I was going to say. But the woman on the other end of the phone was amazing. Our dates defiantly match up, and there are a few similarities. But over all I am not sure are stories match up,
An anonymous source back in 1978 called the Tulsa PD and reported that I was taken from my biological mom by my biological grandmother and placed in the telephone booth. HE said the mother needed medical attention, but the grandmother wouldn't take her to the doctor because they would know that she just had a baby. A woman called the hospital I was in twice and the PD twice back in 1978 and said "Take care of my baby, Im going to come get her." But she never showed up. 
This part of my story doesn't really match up with the woman I talked with. But we can't ignore the dates and the few similarities that we share like migraines. Our migraine symptoms are almost identical. It was crazy. I really enjoyed talking to this amazing woman and if we turn out to be sisters or not I want to help her find her other missing sister!! No matter the outcome here I met an amazing person with an amazing story and we have a lot in common. Sister or not I found a friend, and I am so thankful to God for that. 
Yesterday afternoon I received a message from another amazing person who thought I looked like her cousin. I must say the resemblance is unmistakable. For the first time in my life I see pictures of people other than my kids that look like me!! WHAT?!? This has never happened before!! There are 2 sisters and I resemble them so much! My kids resemble them and I resemble their kids!! CRAZY HUH? Could this be my family? If so its only through the father, who is now deceased. The only way that we can know is through a DNA test. 
I called my best friend from high school who works for DHS and she gave me the number to the DNA testing Center. I called it and found out a lot of information about the sibling test and how it works. The cost is $645 for the test and we can have the results back in 7-10 days!! We are going to do it!! 
Im so excited that words can not express what I am feeling. I know there is a possibility that these two girls are not my sisters, but this the closest I have EVER been. I will know within 2 weeks if I have found my biological fathers side of my family. 
That still leaves my biological mothers side of the family. I still have NO leads on that at all. I am really praying that I find my biological mom. I pray she is still alive. I am going to continue my search full force for her. So please continue sharing my story in hopes that she will see it.  
My husband made a phone call yesterday and found out that I can get the original police records from the investigation in 1978. I am going to go to Tulsa and pick those up this week. I know there is stuff in the report that wasn't released to the media and I can't wait to see what I find. 
THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone who has shared my story, sent encouraging words, and prayers. THANK YOU to the cousin who took the time to look at my pic on her wall and notice the connection and then message me. 
A lady yesterday messaged me. She lives 2 blocks from the Tulsa Fairgrounds. She drove to the fairgrounds and said a prayer for me there!! My heart is overflowing from all the kindness. I truly am thankful for everyone helping me. I can not do this search alone. I have tried. But with your help I am getting closer than  I have ever been before.