My Own Great Wall Still Standing

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May 2016 So many things to update here ...

There is a breakthrough on my search, for my original tribe – it seems a unique surname; Urdaz, has come up on three separate Ancestry trees where I  have a DNA match. I have reached out to several descendants of Emilio Rivera Urdaz, 1891 – 1957 Arecibo, PR. There’s probably a good chance one of his 9 children could offer some insight to my vague beginnings. However, two have since passed. The one living in NY when I was born is one of those two. Emilio Rivera y Fuentes 1937 – 2001 Queens, NY. He might have held the key. Right now I am waiting to hear back from his daughter, YS, that wonders if we are related. We are; she hasn’t DNA tested yet. We are biologically related! We are family! She is part of my first tribe. How close are we I wonder? A closer relative to Emilio Rivera Urdaz. If I wasn’t adopted; would we have even grown up together? She grew up not more than 40 minutes from me. So close, logistically and biologically!

urdaz post

Then there are few other cousins I reached out – one is very cold when I speak to him on the phone. It didn’t start out that way. In fact the first time we spoke; this second cousin of mine Reynaldo, he seemed genuinely interested in my story and helping me out. Then he went to visit family in PR and has since been very distant the times I have tried to reach out o him on the phone. Another cousin remains in the shadow, Emilio – I have tried to reach out to him via social media and through Ancestry – both so far a bust. Lastly, the the grandson of one of Emilio Rivera Urdaz’ daughter, Daniel has reached out with more of an open hand. We are working to build up that relationship. Although Ancestry recently reconfigured the way they measure SNP’s and we are now a bit further apart on the DNA tree. I don’t think his grandmother ever ventured from PR; so that would make sense.

The most frustrating is a match on ancestry that is just a basic member – with a vague name, no family tree, no identifying information except – female, probably in the NY area and a 1st cousin match. Several attempts at reaching her go answered in the ancestry in-mail system. FIRST COUSIN Match – OH MY!! and I cannot get any information from her. [Big sigh of disappointment as I shake my head]

These walls seem pretty unsurmountable at this point – but eventually something  has to break. Patience is not one of my better traits; but what choice do I have.

Waiting for My Bulldozer …. to answer my lifelong question; Who Am I?

 

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Elated!! Ecstatic!!

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Wonderful fabulous week and it’s only Tuesday!!!

I spend so much time on the DNA sites; checking for new matches; looking at names, looking for hints of information. Calculating how can I be related to this person? How can I connect the dots of their life & world to mine. Where do they live now?  Where has their family lived?

Over thinking until I am exhausted and still empty. My cup runneth over with information; but it is too distant for me to make sense of it – YET!!!!

But yesterday …. YESTERDAY I found out I finally have a surname I can call my own … Miranda!!! It’s official! thank good news for MY COUSIN TRACIE, who figured this all out. Her acumen in Gedmatch is to be admired!! I am still pretty green on doing this.

Finally!!  Finally!!!    Finally!!!!   HUGE sigh of relief!!!

Late last night with the last bit of energy I had to stay awake; I exuberantly entered my newly confirmed surname into my profile on Ancestry, FTDNA & 23andme.

It gets better though … I have been in contact via the DNA sites ‘in-mail’, email, phone calls, Facebook, texts and also working on Skype calls.

I have been fortunate to have so many new cousins. These new additions are under the special grouping of primas & family in my contacts. I know each day how increasingly important they have become because each time I see an email or a call or even a FB entry that they have made; I cannot wait to get to it, to answer that call. And when I do, I am smiling from ear to ear! Truly, I consider them friends as well because they are lovely wonderful warm open hearted people.

Well, this Friday I meet my cousin Karen IN THE FLESH.

This is the VERY FIRST COUSINS I WILL MEET IN PERSON!! [squeal squeal squeal].  I cannot wait!

Bridging the Gap Between My Two Tribes!

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I reached out Irene – a cousin of a 1st cousin by marriage, her paternal 1st cousin; from my Life sustaining tribe – and also she is also a cousin from my original tribe. There is definite genetic & paper trails to her maternal grandmother.

I gave Irene the outline of my adoption; how we are connected through both my tribes and a little of the travels on this path.

I received a very positive uplifting response from Irene and value it more than I can actually convey at this time. No matter our connection; she considers me a cousin!

My world has always been about less than the predicted 6 degrees of separation – and so that trend continues.

The Universe is working OT!!

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And Gloriously I might add – not a word I use to often, but here, today I FEEL the weight of that particular word!!

More ‘Cousins’ coming out of the woodwork!

If there was a DNA jackpot for responses from new found matches – then this would be the week I hit that pot’o’gold!!!

It as if there is a cosmic connection.

At the beginning of this week, my amazing & very talented [and self-less] an original tribe cousin, Melissa Ulto, released the first installment of her documentary series – COUSINS – RACE, IDENTITY & FAMILY – Trailer 1 or as I would also like to refer to it … ‘Cousin Reunification Project’ – enjoy!! I am proud to say that the participants in this trailer are also all my cousins!  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BARTCgwOxdE&feature=youtu.be 

So, the cosmic ball is rolling and stones are turning over and people are responding from a variety of sources. I have received responses from my 23andme, Ancestry and Gedmatch accounts!!  WOW!!

The secret FaceBook page of Prima y Primo’s … is adding in new ‘family’ on almost a daily basis!

This is so exciting. People coming together.

I can only attribute it to the Universe being included in this quest, request, hope for finding out our truths, finding out our original story and unifying and connecting us even more to our original tribe.

Thank you dear cousins Melissa, and the other stars in our quest to our roots: Teresa, Carmen, Luis, Maddy [brother & husband] & Iris.

Documentary?? Too Good to be true … but THANKS Universe – I would love to!!!

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Since I found out my true story; I tried to do the search thing ‘old school detective style’. It hasn’t yielded any insight into who my birth-parents could be.

After years of disappointing efforts I was enchanted with affordable DNA testing. Here again, my hopes were raised; but not too high, my *closest public relative is about 3.8 generations* from me. There are second cousins on one of them; but for whatever reasons they have chosen to remain that way even after I had contacted them a few times.

However, DNA testing has been incredibly successful in other ways. So many things have come to light: my nationalities, a plethora of family from my ‘Original Tribe’. In addition I have been privy to many family stories – that may or may not also belong to me – yet I have a sense of ownership because even if they aren’t ‘mine’ per-see, they are the stories of my cousins!

In my quest to find my Original Tribe; I have been on adoption sites for years and more recently on Facebook Adoptee / Triad pages. I sporadically will visit the pages. One lucky day, I noticed this post – a lovely woman posted her friends email address to contact if you are interested about your story being documented. Well, it happened to be a great day for me!

I sent a quick email stating my interest to share! Recently, I was contacted by the woman who just completed this documentary – https://www.feeln.com/films/journey-of-dreams. [they are connected to Hallmark – WOW] She had been busy wrapping up a film and hadn’t forgotten about me. ‘Can I share my story with her.’ Well, I gladly did!!

I shared my story; some information that I haven’t been extremely forthcoming about for no other reason than I just wasn’t comfortable; and it seemed that it may make others uncomfortable. I included the newspapers articles from when I was first found and the one from done 35 years later, one of gratitude to my birth mother for having me.

I also am fortunate to have a copy of my foster care records, and the accompanying police report from when I was found. Attached those as well. Being found abandoned at approximately a day old with no knowledge of the birth parents did not make for a successful police investigation. Fifty plus years ago; information was not as easily shared, computers did not exist as they do today and the idea of an **unwanted child** is much more accepted.

Well, I received a response; the team is now considering my story for a documentary. This is huge!! People have been reporting incredible success with just posting their stories on Facebook. A documentary! WOW!! That can be the path to the MY TRUTH that I seek. The path to finding my ‘Original Tribe’.

Thank you Universe!

Thank you to the wonderful people at feeln.com!

Thank you to my wonderful ‘Original Tribe’ family!

Thanks to my ‘Life Sustaining Tribe’, how I got to here and now!

And most of all to my spouse & children that propel every success I achieve!

Note:

*This cousin, ‘3.8 generations’, is one of my closest original tribe family. We are in constant communication and it’s wonderful! AND, there are more cousins that I am also in VERY close contact with, 4th generation and beyond. The thing is, we are friends because we found out we are family. It is a wonderful feeling! We text, email, talk, try to Skype, share on Facebook. We hope to meet soon; for me with two toddlers and working full-time, etc., I have limited time and energy right now; but I look forward to that incredible day!

I guess I would have to call them framily!  They are supportive and informative and try to help me find out more information. I feel so fortunate.

**Now, here I would like to clarify ‘unwanted child.’ I really cannot speak of my birth mother and possibly birth father’s true intentions or feelings. I do not know what motivated her / him / an unknown helper / them. What I do now, they had some kind of spirituality / religion and they believed in the miracle of life. I can only conclude from their actions that they probably knew they were unable to care for an infant / child and hoped for the best.

Finding Our Common Ground

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My search is no closer today than it was months ago

But life is richer having met so many amazing DNA matches that I endearingly refer to as ‘cousins’. A few months back I initiated a ‘private’ Facebook page that is encompassed of my DNA matches and any one in the group is welcome to add in their DNA matches. We have gone different routes to try to pull together the information that everyone is sharing from old family photos, family trees, comparing gedmatch numbers and search tips and reference materials.

This ‘networking’ is a very un-attached type of description for it. Really, this group of 130+ has it’s own personality. It’s a place of warmth, caring, laughter and it’s evolving. Hard describe a Facebook page as that – but really has become my favorite place to catch up. It emits a positive vibe, encourages the members to come a little out of their shell and share and comment.

Today, we try a new forum – a blog / website. I initiated that too – but like the Facebook page; it’s is nothing without the members and their input. We all have different reasons for doing DNA testing and trying to piece together a past that is ours for the taking; the learning; the sharing.

Right now we are all on a path of unearthing that past. From there we will build our trees and see how that root has taken and given us our now. We will add to those branches so we can give our offspring their foundations. This new found ‘family’ is working together, learning together, growing together all due to common ground.

More Stories of Mi Primos

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Unsure of even what the title for this should be; ‘more adoption stories’, ‘what an interesting DNA family we have’,

The bottom line is that I have found I am not so unique, not so alone. Our ‘DNA’ family seems to have a few more stories in the proverbial closet.

As I have delved into the world of DNA testing and been given a slew of ‘matches’ I have been privy to their stories as well.

There are several; these are the ones I know of:
AO – looking for her bio-dad. AS a an adult with an adult son; she finally heard the truth from her mom. She won’t believe anything until science, DNA test confirms it.

SO – Korean born, adopted West Coast, USA

BA – lives in the Carolina area, never had any identifying info

SM – really has no info, is looking

KA – figured it all out, denied by birth mother

MB – looking for immediate family info, parents perished at an early age; they were both 25. They left behind 5 small children to become orphans. Why are she & her siblings so fair with blond hair? What are there roots?

LF – born here on the East Coast, relocated to Europe where she has been for decades. Enlisted the assistance of a genealogical PI and found her mom & brother. After meeting & engaging with her bio-brother that has some serious emotional issues, she agrees with her mom; her being adopted out was the best thing the mom could have done.

SR – adopted out twice and then finally left home as a teenager. Out on her own, she is a success story. finally able to piece together her story because of another shared match that shed light. She knows her grandfather on his deathbed let her siblings know they had a sister out there and this regret could not go with him to the next plane.

DM & TB – sisters, they also have at least one other brother who I have noticed as a match for me in the DNA sites. They are looking for their dad.

SM – looking for her dad; was never in the picture growing up. Had no idea who he was. finally did DNA testing and a 3rd cousin to me matched her very closely.Turned out it was her dad’s first cousin. There was a brief reunion after he was ‘informed’ he had a daughter. Then it hit the rocks. Hoping that things work themselves out soon for them.

LV – very little info on her dad’s side of the family. One of many children spread far and wide … was he even ‘legit’?

Patricia – born in Spain, unsure of even her birth year, had surgery as an infant or toddler, scar to prove it. Her parents are probably from Puerto Rico. She has recently done DNA testing and is using social media and every other type of communication to get her story out. I am in awe of her perseverance, dedication, and all to well understand her obsession with finding out her truth. Her story  We are in connected through social media, email back and forth, but there is a caveat for me and this new found cousin is that we are separated not just by the ocean; but by language.                                                  Her story is pasted below!

HA – half siblings out there; they didn’t grow up together and so they shun their blood.

MN – adopted, found his mom; looking for his dad.
Has a good relationship with his half sisters.

AR – grew up with very abusive, abandoning and inattentive mom. Finally met his father. After meeting him, mother divulged he was a product of rape.

HO – a 2nd to 4th cousin that might hold a key, a false hope; his mom was adopted; no information there either.

Reached out – waiting to hear back:
H – adopted out as infant; looking for her birth family & roots.
A – adopted, knows birth name
I – grew up in an orphanage in the Bronx

MV – a cousin of a cousin. We actually share many cousins; we are thinking probably we are cousins – but have been unconnected through random recombination. We have connected through social media and she is actually the translating go between for Patricia & I. She too is looking for her dad.

 

Patricia’s Story!!!  Please feel free to share / re-post, talk about it / get the word out however you can!!!

New Information – Maternal surname – Adela / Paternal Surname – Thomas

Weighed in 2 lbs appox in the February 1976 – due to congenital heart condition? or low birth weight – unknown still at this time.

Mi busqueda realizada por Annette

IMPORTANTE
Esta es una historia real y tu oportunidad de ayudar a alguien- por favor léelo y compártelo. Patricia Perez Saes fue adoptada y criada en España y se acaba de realizar pruebas de ADN con las cuales descubrió que su madre es PUERTORRIQUEÑA. Su madre pudo estar estudiando en alguna universidad o residiendo en España entre 1974 y 1977. Pudo haber dado a su bebé en adopción voluntariamente, como pudo haber sido presionada o víctima de un esquema de robo de niños que hubo en el mismo hogar de adopción de Madrid en el cual estuvo Patricia, situado justo al lado de un hospital en el cual muchas veces le decían a las madres que sus bebé había fallecido, para darlo en adopción. Patricia es una prima lejana mía, según revelan las pruebas de ADN, pero tan lejana que hace imposible identificar por quién exactamente estamos emparentadas. La quiero ayudar a encontrar a su mamá y necesita la ayuda de puertorriqueños que compartan esto, para regar la voz, con la esperanza de que su madre vea esto. Quizás es alguien que ha vivido con el dolor de pensar a una hija muerta, o quizás apretar ese botón le da la oportunidad de una vida, de conocer a esa bebé que, por razones que desconocemos, entregó hace 4 décadas.
IMPORTANT
This is a true story and your chance to help someone-please read it and share it. Patricia Perez Saes was adopted and raised in Spain and just DNA testing with which he discovered that his mother is PUERTO RICAN. His mother could be studying at a university or residing in Spain between 1974 and 1977 could have given her baby up for adoption voluntarily, as might have been pressed or the victim of a theft scheme of children in the household were making Madrid in which Patricia was located right next to a hospital in which often were telling mothers their babies had died, to give it up for adoption. Patricia is a distant cousin of mine, as revealed by DNA testing, but so far it impossible to identify exactly who we’re related. I want to help find his mom and need help Puerto Ricans share this, to spread the word, hoping that her mother sees this. Maybe someone who has lived with the pain of thinking to a dead child, or perhaps push that button gives you the opportunity of a lifetime, to meet the baby, for reasons unknown, gave 4 decades.