What would YOU do?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Gabe F., Apr 12, 2023.

  1. Gabe F.

    Gabe F. Active Member

    I'll say right off the bat that this may seem like an odd place to ask this question, but... y'all are intelligent people, and I'm lost about what to do, but here we go.

    A 2nd cousin sent me a letter a few weeks ago telling me I have a long-lost brother. Based on the letter's veracity, I had no reason to doubt the claim. I learned it'd been a secret that lots of folks have known, including my aunt, who's like my second mother. Hell, even my maternal grandmother knew about it (who confirmed my mother also knew!). In short, my father had a fling as a teenager, and the girl got pregnant with my half-brother.

    My father died in August 2021, and my mother in September 2022, so I have few options regarding who to ask. BUT, and this might get confusing, so hang with me, the woman my father got pregnant with was the niece of one of my great-aunts (by marriage... her husband was my dad's dad's brother, aka my father's uncle's wife); weird, but not entirely gross I guess??). The letter provided me with her contact information.

    I managed to track the guy down on social media using the information in the letter, which also suggested he had tried at least once to reach out to my father.

    Forgive me if I'm rambling, but what would YOU do? I have no delusions or even intentions of assuming he will magically become my big brother or anything, but I reasoned that if he's tried to reach out before, he has questions about what his dad was like - I know I'd wanna know that, so I've been on the fence about reaching out and extending an invitation.
    Dustin and SteveFoerster like this.
  2. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Gabe, as a guy of 80, who still doesn't know who his biological father is - and will never know, I say at least help the guy out. Not knowing is hard on people. They can gnaw away for years. If you don't like him - just make sure he has the info he needs and send him packing.

    Here's my story:

    It's a bit like Eric Clapton's. Unfortunately, my guitar-playing isn't.

    I found out I was adopted when I was 47. Right after my adoptive father died, my adopted mom finally felt free to tell me. At that point, I hadn't seen either of them in 20 years. All she could give me was my birth name. I did nothing with the info till Ancestry came along. I had the DNA test to see what lands etc. my ancestors came from. Interesting -- all the usual invaders. I also found out I was a wartime "oops" baby - and who my mother was (she had died at age 88) and about 150 years of her family. I got this by Ancestry email, talking to people who were distant cousins. I also learned I had no half-siblings as she later married, but had no other children.

    My father's name is left blank on my birth certificate, so my mother didn't want his name known. Nobody seems to know. I don't think I will. I learned I have some DNA from a different part of England - and a couple of distant cousins there. They were nice guys, around my age but could offer no help.

    If i found someone who could help me -- yeah, I'd be grateful. And I'd try my best not to be a pain in the rear. Gabe, I think you should give this person a chance - and not just because he's your brother.
    Dustin, Mary A and SteveFoerster like this.
  3. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I would decide what outcome I want then go for that.
  4. SweetSecret

    SweetSecret Well-Known Member

    Gabe, my vote would be for you to talk to him. Everyone deserves to know their family history.

    Johann, in case you are not aware there is a DNA Detectives group with free Search Angels on Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/groups/798315666906219/

    This is a bit of a long and confusing story but I have an adopted in family member who I helped to get reconnected with their biological family.
  5. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Good to know Vicki. I appreciate the suggestion, with thanks, but I left Facebook around 15 years ago and I won't be going back there. I'm serious.

    Eric Clapton's father turned out to be a Canadian. After his war service he went back to being a traveling piano player, who ended up playing in the Mississippi Delta at one point. I sometimes hope my father could have been a wandering blues guitarist, in the same area - but I sure doubt it... :)
    Lerner likes this.
  6. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    No wandering guitar players in my tree, but in the mid-19th century, at least three of my male relatives on my mother's side, including my great-great grandfather and his brother, were sent to Tasmania / Australia for .... donkey-stealing!!! I have no idea what that explains about me --- if anything. :)

    The Brits took livestock-stealing seriously. The family donkey-thieves received sentences of 10-15 years. If it had been 25-30 years earlier, (up to 1832) they could have been hanged.
  7. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Do DNA test.
    Be ready to share fathers inheritance if any.
    One never knows, maybe you will have good and happy extended family relations, but also can be the other way or lukewarm.
  8. SweetSecret

    SweetSecret Well-Known Member

    Clue me in here, where did "Vicki" come from? Does this have some meaning like Karen or Felicia, that I am not hip to?
    JBjunior likes this.
  9. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Sorry. We have a member, Vicki. I thought it was her post I was replying to. I apologize. Blame old age... :)
    Suss and SweetSecret like this.
  10. AsianStew

    AsianStew Moderator Staff Member

    @Gabe F. I highly recommend getting to know your extended family member. Think of it as giving yourself a chance to meet a new friend, if you find them with a good disposition, continue with that friendship, if it goes the other way, you can somewhat keep your distance if needed. You have control over your own time management, depending on the first encounter or subsequent ones, you may want to continue onward with meeting and seeing if this would last. It's something I would not want to regret later on in life, a chance missed just doesn't feel right.
  11. Gabe F.

    Gabe F. Active Member

    Hi everyone,

    First, I want to sincerely thank everyone for chiming in - it a gave me a boost to do it. Shortly after I read the comments, I pulled the lever and sent the message below to my alleged brother's wife on social media. As of today, I have not received a response and I'm okay with that. I certainly don't regret giving it a try. If anything changes, I'll certainly chime in again.

    Hi [wife of alleged brother],

    I don't know how to say what I'm about to say without it seeming like a scam or total nonsense but hang with me for a second. In short, it would seem that your husband and I share a biological father. A few weeks ago, I received a letter from a cousin who's done extensive genealogical research that gave me little room to doubt the claim. The information in that letter is what led me here.

    [My alleged brother's] mother "Daisy" has an aunt "Cindy" in Kentucky. Her husband was my dad's uncle (his father's brother). My dad was (insert name here). The letter said that [my alleged brother) made at least one attempt to reach out to my dad, but never received a response. I never knew ANYTHING about this until I receive the letter, but I reasoned that if I knew one of my biological parents was out there somewhere, I'd want to know. If he's interested in reaching out to me to learn about (dad), I'll tell him anything he wants to know.

    Please understand that my intention is NOT, in any whatsoever, to cause any disruptions or issues in the fabric of your family. I have stewed over this for many weeks, so please know that I don't take any of this lightly, as I know it may be as jarring for you and him as it was for me. If you decide to ignore this message and pretend you never saw it, that's okay too. I promise I will respect your intentions and never reach out again. But if you or your husband want to know anything, by all means, reach out anytime.
    Suss and Dustin like this.
  12. JBjunior

    JBjunior Active Member

    Depending on which service and how it was sent she may not have even seen it.
  13. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Well-Known Member

    Agreed. FB, in particular, is bad about sending things to somewhere it'll never get seen.
  14. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I'd walk him and pitch to the rhino.
  15. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I know the joke but I can't see the relevance here... ???
    Dustin likes this.
  16. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    The setup is similar to this thread's title. I'm not at all surprised you know (and get) the joke.
  17. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Thanks. Now I see. It's "what you'd do." OK.

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