Midlife Monarch with Lori Ballen

How I Found His Father

June 18, 2019 Episode 2
Midlife Monarch with Lori Ballen
How I Found His Father
Chapters
Midlife Monarch with Lori Ballen
How I Found His Father
Jun 18, 2019 Episode 2
Lori Ballen
My love for genealogy and DNA, a new hobby has led me to find family members for adoptees and 1/2 siblings. I love sharing this story of how I found a DNA cousins father who was also my cousin using DNA and a paper trail. Hint: There's a happy ending!
Show Notes Transcript

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Speaker 1:
0:01
Welcome to midlife monarch episode too. Thank you so much for joining me. Just getting this podcast often rolling and we are going to be focusing on things that a midlife woman would encounter. Also, men are going to be able to relate to some of this for sure, or being married to a midlife woman, right? But my focus definitely is on being a midlife woman and on all of the things that come along with that, including um, empty nesting and parenting still of high school. Um, children. I want to talk about everything from time management and travel and hobbies and business and pets and just kind of whatever it is it is happening. Some of you guys have been following me for a while. I've been a trainer in the marketing space for many years and I catered specifically to real estate agents because that was my first business.
Speaker 1:
1:00
I still have a real estate license and a real estate team in Las Vegas, Nevada. So we'll talk about some of that. And over time I began blogging and creating videos and webinars and tutorials and training courses. And so some of you guys may already know me from that space over@loriballen.com but now I'm excited to have been branching out into a couple other niches. One of them is affiliate marketing and I love to share and teach and train how I earned six figures, um, passively when it comes in. Obviously it's not passive on the front end and I do all of that@theseventhstream.com, the seventh stream.com. So you're welcome to check that out. But the midlife thing is really cool because I can actually just talk about life and whatever it is that I happen to be going through. And I'm hoping that this is more of a storytelling podcast and something that you can personally find inspiration in.
Speaker 1:
1:59
Um, you know, empowerment. I love to empower people even more than I love to inspire people. And we're going to talk about everything from marriage to divorce, to dating, to finances, investing taxes, credit debt, um, just all of that. And I'm in an interesting phase in my life because I went through a divorce two and a half years ago, which at 40, I'm now, I'll be 48 this summer. Um, is a shock to the system to be single again. And I'm going to be talking about that path and you'll be able to follow me through that journey. I'm not yet dating and um, that's very on purpose. While I still have my teenage daughter at home, I've just been really focused on her and on, um, making some major changes in my business that would help set me up for the future and for retirement and just for quality of life to be honest with you.
Speaker 1:
2:58
So now that that's all I've gotten through all of that and the teenager, Tabitha, we call her tabs, she prefers tabs, is going to be going into her junior year this year and we'll be driving. There'll be more opportunities. Should I decide it's time for that, but for today I'm not. And so we'll, we'll share as we go. So I was debating on what topic do I want to talk about today? These talks are designed to be similar to a Ted talk and the 20 minute talks. So just enough to um, get you, get you feeling good and inspired. Some of the talks will be more serious and probably a bit on the darker side when we'd, when we dive into real life stuff, I am a very positive, optimistic person. You'll find that I focus on um, the positive and at this phase in my life I just don't take life all that seriously.
Speaker 1:
3:52
Um, but I, I do work the majority of my time and I'm very passionate about my business and I'm also passionate about a new hobby that I started a few years ago. And that is what I have these highlighted to talk about today because we will get into divorce and we're going to get into things and probably bring me to tears. And I thought I would keep it a little bit lighter as, as you figure out who I am and if this is a podcast you want to listen to you before we get into, into the, into those kinds of discussions, we're going to talk about divorce and addiction. And Depression, mental illness, some of those kinds of things. So today I'm going to talk about my hobby and I'm gonna tell you a really cool story. So a few years ago, uh, not long before my divorce and I, and I really believe this hobby has been one of my saving graces through all of this.
Speaker 1:
4:45
I on a whim and I'm, I'm, I'm believing, I saw a post on Facebook is why I did this. A friend of mine had gotten her DNA test and I think that is what actually sparked my curiosity, if I, if I can remember right. And she was talking about the percentages that showed up and that she was surprised to have a little bit of this or that, you know, and, and I thought, well, you know, that would be interesting. My biological father's been absent our whole lives. I know who he is and I know where he is now. I didn't, I didn't always, but I do now reconnected with him a couple of years ago and actually got to meet in person. Um, which was nice because now I'll never have that lingering curiosity. I have the answers that I wanted and that's great. But of course there's always that, that am I really his kid or are there others of us that we may not know about?
Speaker 1:
5:39
Um, obviously I look like him. I, I looked like my mom. I knew I did not expect to, they're really to be any secrets uncovered, but it was just kind of, uh, uh, you know, I wonder, it was just an I wonder and, and, and I didn't know anything about my mother's father's side of the family. My mother's father actually committed suicide when she was just five years old and there wasn't much known about his family because, and we'll talk about this on a later podcast. His siblings also, um, either we know they committed suicide or there's rumors that they did. And so I'm no longer living a siblings either to really plug into and, um, the offspring just don't know a whole heck of a lot. They knew of their grandparents. They're gone, but nobody kept in touch with them. So I was curious and I was kind of curious about this, um, you know, the suicide thing and, and is this a DNA trait?
Speaker 1:
6:38
Is this inherited? Um, my mother suffered with it my whole life. My siblings and I have had bouts with it. I'm a teenager. Has it challenges with it? So, you know, I, I'm, I'm curious for the sake of family health and just for curiosity sake where they cursed. I mean, what happened, right? Why did all these people commit suicide? So I got curious and I went ahead and took the DNA test, send it in. I took, I did ancestry.com to start off with and the test came in and, um, because I don't know anything about anything when it comes to a genealogy, DNA, nationalities, I honestly, although I like to think I'm a smart girl, I d I did not do well with geography, so I'm not real familiar with countries and, and things like that. So, you know, basically came back that I was primarily European, German, Irish, British American, uh, typical white girl, not a whole lot of secrets in there.
Speaker 1:
7:38
We did hear rumors like most families that there was native American, but we did not pick that up in the DNA tests and, and um, so anyway, after looking at it, I got really, really intrigued by what I was seeing with the cousin connection. So ancestry starts revealing that you, you have all of these fourth cousins and third cousins and a couple of second cousins popped up on there and I started thinking about a couple of things. My younger brother was, um, had a different father and so he had a couple sisters that I met when we were all really, really young. So these would be his half sisters like I am. And I was curious if I could find them for him. We had, we had found out that his father had passed away. He never knew him and we were curious about the sisters.
Speaker 1:
8:27
And then my oldest daughter was from a previous marriage. I was only 21 when I got married the first time. And I'm sorry I was 17 believe it or not, and I was 21 when I had Sabrina and after our divorce her father had a string of daughters and I was curious, you know, can we find them? Do they look like her? You know, what are they like? So I got kind of, you know like oh my goodness, maybe I want to do something with this. So I went ahead and paid for the subscription to build a family tree because they're separate things. You buy your DNA test and then there's a family tree thing. And at the same time, just to let you know, I also went ahead and DNA tested with 23 and me and I wanted to upload my DNA to Jed match, which is another whole thing.
Speaker 1:
9:11
So I went ahead and got that and I got the health report also from 23 and me that talks about potential disease traits you have that indicate you could have such and such disease. And I really liked that report. Overall, I liked the DNA and health report better from Ansys, uh, from 23 and me. But I liked the tree much better for the ancestry.com and the way they do hints and paper trails and all of that. So I went ahead and paid for the subscription and I got super involved with building this tree. And I guess my years of loving logic puzzle puzzles when I was a child. Logic puzzles being, you know, 14 people, you don't have to train this half is male, this half is female. Jimmy's wearing a blue shirt. If they had four stops, who, who does Jimmy end up exiting with?
Speaker 1:
10:00
You know, all of that kind of stuff. Process of elimination. I loved that stuff. I I if, if I had money, I was picking up a brand new logic puzzle and a new pencil and eraser. That was my, that I just loved that as a child, a teenager, young child. So this is kind of similar. You have all this. If this then that this person couldn't possibly be their father based on the DNA. These guys are connected. And I just got super excited about it. Well, I did wind up finding all the sisters that I was looking for, my brothers, sisters, we found a found my daughters sisters, they're all connected and talking. They know, they know of each of each other. Um, so that was really cool. And then in, in this exploration, which again I'll talk about in a, on a, on a future podcast, I actually found dozens of suicides, which was fascinating.
Speaker 1:
10:49
And they're all in the same family line. So I'm now studying that aspect in my grandmother's line. We found out that were descendants of the Mayflower and that's gotten me very into the hobby pursuing um, the, the Mayflower society of Mayflower descendants, the daughters of the revolutionary war and all of that. I'm getting, I'm much more interested in subscribing to the New England ancestry magazines and all of that. I've got a nice stack of genealogy books now that I'm studying. So we've got a lot of, a lot of royalty and all of that in the, in our line. But where this gets really interesting and I'm sure that I'll be sharing more and more about that as we go. One day last year I got a message from a, from a guy and he said, hey, um, this is gonna sound strange, but I'm adopted and you are popping up as my first cousin and you're the first person I've ever known that's my blood relative and I don't have any questions for you.
Speaker 1:
11:51
There's nothing I want to know about my family. I just wanted to connect with the only living relative that I've ever known, blood relative. And I said, okay, great. I'm happy to, you know, know you and be here and you know what the next little family function we were at, I kind of, I kind of asked a couple of questions. My grandmother was still living. Um, and it turns out that when he was connecting with me, it wasn't actually me. He was connecting with, it was my grandmother. I DNA tested, I think 10 members of my family, maybe more. And I manage all of the DNA test. So when my grandmother was one of them, so he was actually first cousins with my grandmother. Later I found him on my second cousin list. So he, I explained to him that that's who he was connecting with and I poked around a little bit, ask people if they, if they knew nobody knew anything.
Speaker 1:
12:42
Nobody knew anybody, gave anybody up for adoption. So I dropped it, you know, I didn't want to get nosy. He didn't ask, he didn't ask for anything more. So I completely just let it go. Well after my grandmother passed away, it wasn't long after she passed away that he reached out again and said, now I would like your help. I had a son. And I'm really curious now about my, you know, Basic Dna and health and what we're made of and I'm curious. And he said, I'm more curious about that than I am necessarily about knowing any of the family members. But I would like to know more about where we came from. Of course he had his DNA results that from his test. So he knew what he was, you know, it, that he was primarily European and all that like me. But, um, obviously he was more curious still about the people.
Speaker 1:
13:30
I think that he even wanted to admit himself at the time. And so he asked for my help. So this was so funny. I had appointments at work at this time. I had a major payroll, I had employees, I had a lot of moving parts going on, but I still had earned into this position of freedom where I, I can make my own choices what I'm going to do with my day. So I messaged my assistant and I said, hey, take everything off my books today and tomorrow, no appointments. I'm going to help this guy find his parents. And I was so excited about the project. Anyway, it's like a logic puzzle, right? I love this. So I got out my tree and I got out my spreadsheets and I put it all together and I basically narrowed it down to these four siblings. Three or four.
Speaker 1:
14:16
Now I can't remember. Maybe there was only three. Um, so anyway, these, this set of siblings, I pretty much could tell that they must have come from there. And I will tell you the world works in such mysterious ways. God universe. Out of all of my family members, when it comes to anybody that would be a second cousin, third cousin, first cousin, once removed distant uncles, aunts. I'm not connected to any of them. I know one aunt and we don't talk on Facebook either, but I'm not connected to any of them. And definitely not my mother's cousins or any of that. Uh, haven't met most of them. They live in other states. But for some reason I happened to be connected to this one cousin of my mother's. I don't even remember. I don't know why, but there he was on my Facebook. Well, he happens to be one of the three siblings that I narrowed this down to.
Speaker 1:
15:03
So I messaged him and I said, this is going to sound bizarre. I don't know how much you follow my page. Somehow we've gotten disconnected. I mean, somehow we've gotten connected and um, I'm just gonna tell you straight up that there's a young man that messaged me and said that he is adopted and based on my genealogy research, I believe you or one of your siblings would be his father. And he messaged me back within like a minute, like he was sitting on Facebook and he messaged me back and said, well, he told me this really sad story about his children that had passed away when he was younger that I didn't know anything about. So of course that was, uh, that was an incredible story and very sad and I appreciated him sharing with me. And then he said, you know, Lori, my brother did give up a child when he was a boy when he's a teenager.
Speaker 1:
15:54
And so I'm thinking, this has got to be it. I want to, hadn't messaged the other siblings too and never got a response back. But I, I said to my cousin, he was my first cousin once removed. I said, if you'll reach out to your brother and ask him if he wants to, to know any about this and wants to be involved, if not, I'll leave it alone. But if he does, let me know. We'll the brother messages me back same day and says, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. I want to know I'd absolutely, and so I can, I reached back out to the adopted son and suddenly he scared he doesn't know what to do and he kind of kind of doesn't respond for a little while. And then he finally says, okay, you know, how do we do this? And I said, well, how are you comfortable?
Speaker 1:
16:40
They don't live in the same state, but they're not far from each other. And he says, well, let's start with texts. So I help him each get their phone numbers, they start texting each other. Eventually I offered to pay for a DNA test for the father and we were able to prove certifiably that they are, um, father and son match. And then they ended up hitting it off over text and the son ends up going to Missouri from Indiana. I believe it is. And they met and they're in touch and they're father and son and the other son has met. And it's just this most amazing, amazing, wonderful story to actually see this unfold. And what's crazy about it all too is that the father even still talk to the mother. So he was able to connect the sun with the mother too. And she also wanted to know him.
Speaker 1:
17:25
So such, it's such an amazing outcome. Obviously when you watch these stories on Netflix or Hulu or whatever it is on these adoptee stories, they don't always turn out that great. And a lot of times the parents aren't living anymore or they deny it or don't want anything to do with him. So that to see this unfold, it's been pretty incredible. And I've actually been able to match up several people based because of the DNA in my tree. Um, my daughter's father was adopted so we didn't know anything about his trail. And Man, if you could see the stuff I've uncovered there, it's crazy. But I was able now to tell my daughter where she's from and trace her grandparents all the way back on both sides. And I was able to help, um, one of the other adopted family members, um, connect the dots and now he knows who his father and his mother are, even though the mother had passed on.
Speaker 1:
18:14
So it's been a really cool thing and I feel like, um, this hobby has given me a purpose. I've been able to present this to my entire family and show them slideshows and pictures of who we are and where we came from and family members and, um, you know, were related to Harry s Truman and, and, um, several others that I've been able to show that. So w exactly where the trail goes. I was able to give my grandmother before she passed away, a family book. She's the only one I've ever made at four so far. And I was able to show her, her father, her grandfather, her, her aunts or, and pictures. I mean, there's pictures online too. And it's been incredible to say, here's who your great grandparents were and here were their kids. And, and then I gave her the book tracing, you're all the way back to William Brewster of the Mayflower.
Speaker 1:
19:05
And she was just tickled. And then I was able to take her to the, um, genealogy, the Mayflower descendants society luncheon, where she got to hear a bunch more and see presentations and see Scooby manner and where Brewster came from and, and that was all before she passed away. And that just felt so good to be able to give that back. And, and I think it has helped me in my divorce to stay focused on something positive and something outside of work because I am such a worker. It's nice to be able to go, okay, I'm not going to work for a couple hours. I'm going to go work on my genealogy and just, just sink into that. I was able to go travel to Boston and see the [inaudible] were related to 22 of the Salem, Salem witches. I was able to see where the trials were, the cemetery's Brewster's, um, grave yard. And it's just been incredible and I cannot wait to do more. So thank you so much for joining me today on this podcast. I look forward to the next one where we'll be telling more stories and sharing more at midlife. Monarch.