30 Years of Waiting for My Mom's Birth Parents - Part 4
Finding My Biological Uncle
The Immediate Aftermath of Finding My Grandmother's Obituary
After I found out that my biological grandmother was dead, the logical next step was to find her son, my uncle, Allen DeB***. Of course, the first thing I did was go to Facebook (no luck), so I tried Google the first time (no luck). So where to next? Ancestry's records and MyHeritage. I got my break on MyHeritage. Apparently Allen's name was misspelled in the obituary; it was Alan I was looking for, not Allen. Okay, back to square one and start over...
Within a couple of hours I had managed to discover the following:
- Alan went to Morton High School, a school not far from where I grew up and the local high school in the town my mother was born and grew up in. Many of my mom's family members actually went to Morton around the same time Alan was there so I planned to reach out and see if they knew him.
- Two high school photos (one featured above) and another that is the spitting image of my sister without makeup on.
- A present day photo (found through my second Google search with the correct spelling)
- Alan's wife (as mentioned in the obituary from 2012) on Facebook. There were several profiles listed for that name, so I wasn't sure which one to contact. I also discovered her maiden name and that she also went to high school at Morton with my family members.
- Alan currently lives in Arkansas.
Asking for Help from Family
When I learned that Alan went to Morton High School, it was time to bring in my army who would help me on my mom's quest. My mom's family members loved her and knew how important this was to my mom and were happy to help.
I first reached out to my mom's adoptive cousin's wife, Lisa. I have not seen her in many, many years but she was happy I reached out and listened to what I had found with interest. Because she graduated from Morton around the same time and her children went to Morton, I thought there was a good chance that she would have some sort of connection to either Alan or his wife. She posted on her Facebook page that a family member was looking for Alan DeB*** or Kim Mar***. Within an hour, she received a friend request from Kim; I couldn't believe it!
She called me and asked me what to do next. I told her to tell her that I was looking for Alan and that I believed I was a close relative, but to be sure to say that I was not his daughter! I'm not sure of what she initially said, but it got to be late and I needed to go to bed. When I woke up the next morning, I had a message from Lisa saying that she had information for me; I was so excited!
I did not get the whole story of what Lisa and Kim talked about, but I did get some highlights that helped me understand some of my questions.
- Kim is now Alan's ex-wife but they are still friendly.
- Alan didn't have the greatest relationship with his mother growing up, but it improved later in life.
- Alan's grandmother (Anna) raised him for most of his life.
- Kim said that Alan would be excited to learn about me.
- Alan had suspected that he might have other siblings but couldn't find anything when he looked into it.
This information was invaluable to me and I couldn't wait to connect with Kim and Alan. At Lisa's recommendation, I added Kim on Facebook and when she accepted the request a bit later, I sent her a message looking to chat when she had time. Unfortunately, our schedules didn't quite match up the next few days and we decided that it would be best to connect after the holidays. I also sent a brief text to Alan at the phone number that Kim provided to Lisa and introduced myself. I recently heard from him, about one week later, and I was so excited! I hadn't expected to hear from him until after the holidays so I was very surprised. At the time of writing this article, we haven't been able to connect other than a few texts, but I am really looking forward to it because I have a lot of things I would like to share with him and questions I would like to ask.
I also reached out to my mom's female cousin (and best friend). I sent her a photo of Alan and she said that she saw my sister in the photo and she asked her I got it from. I told her it was from a Morton yearbook and she told me that she recognized the woman pictured below him and that it was the same graduating class that she was in; I couldn't believe it! She pulled out her yearbooks at home and discovered that she was actually in theatre and choir with him
I later found out from my mom's cousin (and best friend) that she actually graduated with Alan and was in theatre and choir with him (per the yearbook), but she did not remember him. She reached out to many friends who recognized the name but did not connect with anyone who remembered anything in particular about him.
A Close Resemblance to My Sister
Connecting with Alan
To date, I have only exchanged a couple of texts with Alan. I am hoping that once the holidays are over we will be able to talk on the phone or find a more effective way of communicating. I'm looking forward to learning more about him and his mother, Carlene. Despite all of the information that I have been able to find out, there is still a lot of stuff that just doesn't make sense.
One thing that I can't wait to tell Alan when I speak to him is that, not only does he have a biological sister (my mother), but that I have located another 5 siblings that he never knew about!
All that and more coming in the next several installments! You can find Part 5 here!