My Painter is My Half-Brother

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My Painter is My Half-Brother

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Posted: 12/2/2009
Note: Names, Identifying informaiton and details may have been altered to protect personal identities.

I was adopted at birth so I never knew my biological family. My adopted mother was always open with me as far as being adopted since I was about 7 or 8 years old. Since then I have thought to myself that I would like to know who my mother is and where she is. I have also wondered if I had siblings. My adopted parents did not have any children so I was basically raised as an only child. My adopted mother passed away February 2000 from a terminal illness and prior to that I felt that I would hurt her feelings by searching for my biological family considering that she and her husband raised me prior to their divorce. After their divorce, my adopted mother raised me. The agency that I was adopted through, CHS of California has provided me just general information regarding my biological family so I am aware that I do have 4 half brothers and I half sister that are older than I that I would also love to meet. At the time my biological mother put me up for adoption, she had 5 children she was already raising and for her to have a newborn to add to her family, financially and emotionally she was not able to keep me. My biological mother and father were set to get married and when my biological father found out that she was pregnant with me, he left her. I would like to let my biological mother know that I love her, I respect what she did and I thank her for allowing a family that may not have been able to have children to have a chance to raise a child like it was their own. So regardless of what her decision was, she shared what she had with someone else. There have been times in my life that I felt guilty for being the catalyst that caused my birth father to leave my birth mother, but over time I have come to accept their decision and appreciate them for giving me up so that I would have a better life.

I decided to contact Search Quest America one Tuesday afternoon when I was going through some old documents left by my adoptive mother when she passed away. She wrote me a letter and in that letter she let me know that "the time will come when you have the desire, even a need to search out your birth parents. Please know that you have my blessing. If I dont live to meet the woman who gave birth to you, please give her a hug from me and thank her for giving me the joy of motherhood. If Im not here to hold your hand on that day, Ill help you from heaven." I didnt realize until that moment that I had been somehow waiting for her blessing all along. I wept over her letter and then I did what she taught me to doI got up and went to work.

I contact Search Quest America on October 2nd and my case was assigned to Patricia Lawrence. I received a voicemail on October 4th while I was at church. Patty said she had found my birth mother and that I should check my email and then call her as soon as possible. With trembling fingers, I pulled up my email account and read the following:

"Good morning! I thought I would get this off to you before I left to run errands today. I will be home later this afternoon, but this is what I have found so far. I am 95% certain that I have the right family, according to your non-id. It appears that birth mom's family came from Louisiana and settled in California. I find her siblings as: Andrew, Mildred, Mary, John, Pearl, Geraldine, Evelyn, Henry, Velma, Lucy, and Sharon. Your birth mothers name is Genevive (goes by Jennie).

Jennie married Claude in 1954 and she had several children, including Claudell, Michael, Donald and Anthony. Their son Donald is deceased, but both Jenny and Claude are alive and well. Both of them and the majority of your half siblings are in the Bay area living just a few miles from you!!! Call me back so we can talk about the details!"

I called Patty in shock, not just because she was able to find my birth family so quickly, but because I actually recognized some of the names of my half siblings. My daughter actually goes to school with her first cousins. A few months ago I hired a painter to paint my house, and he turned out to be my half-brother! I have actually met my birth mother on several occasions as we have planned school functions and I am shocked to say that I never noticed a resemblance or had any inkling that we were related in any way. I have heard about crazy situation like this on TV, but I never expected that when Patty found my birth family, they would be my neighbors and friends. Thank you so much to Patty and SQA for solving this mystery for me. I really do feel like my mom helped from heaven, and Im grateful to have all the pieces and the joy of knowing who I am and where I come from.

(Written by Mica Burton on Sonyas behalf.)

Client ID# 236083
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