By Pat Smart
How was I to know how a simple Father’s Day Gift from my Ex-wife, a DNA kit from Ancestry would affect my life?
I thought this would be “neat”. I can find out if the stories I heard as a kid were true or not. So, I sent in my kit and waited, and waited, and waited. Ok, fine. How was I to know all I had to do was sign on to the website? When I didi sign on, I found that the stories I heard as a kid were genuine and not so true, but now I knew. I found out that I did have German Ancestors but I was more “English” than I was lead to believe 75%. Irish and Scottish 14%, I had a little Norwegian as well 2%. Then there was the Native American question. Even though my ancestors lived in the “Indian Nations,” there were no Native Americans in my lineage BUT I do have a speck of Indigenous American blood from Central America. Who knew.
BUT WAIT! THERE IS MORE! My family was about to change. When I was a teenager, my Dad worked on construction, and my family would travel between Washington State and Arizona. I have lived as far south as Yuma and as far north as Page. I spent time in Wickenburg one summer, where I met a girl. It was one of those summers. At the end of the summer, we were no longer together, and I soon left to return to Washington State. I always had fond memories of her and always wondered what her life had become. I was soon to find out. I received an e-mail from a woman some 50 yrs later. She said that she had taken the Ancestry DNA, and low and behold, we were a parent-child match. She gave me her mother’s name and where she was born. Oh, Yeah, we were a match. I went from 4 boys to 4 boys and a girl. My family grew. I now have a daughter and more grandkids and even three more Great grandkids. They all live within 30 minutes or less from me. I now get to take my GREAT GRANDDAUGHTER to Gymnastics class and one of my GREAT GRANDSONS to karate every week. Oh, and their Great Grandmother? She came down to visit. We spent hours catching up.
BUT WAIT! THERE IS EVEN MORE! My family was about to change again. Upon returning to Washington State, where I met a girl. She had a baby girl and gave it up for adoption. I look back and know that I should have been more responsible for my actions but being young, which is no excuse, I was not. I again always wanted to know what had happened to my daughter. Unlike my oldest daughter, which I knew nothing about, I did know about what would turn out to be my second daughter. I never hid the fact and told both my first and second wives that if a girl came to our door and said she was my daughter to invite her in. It never happened. But as before I received an e-mail from a woman some 51 yrs later. She had also taken the Ancestry DNA, and we were a parent-child match. I began to shake. I thought I would never find out what happened to her and if she was OK. I have good news and bad news. The good news is I have another daughter. I have more grandkids and another Great Granddaughter. The bad news is they all live in Australia. But, we do get to talk every once in a while and send messages back and forth, and I get Face Book posts.
As a postscript, I know that there are guys that have “indiscretions.” in their past as I have had. How they deal with it is up to them. I am just glad that I accepted my daughters and their families into my life, and they have taken me into theirs.