[Due to requests for additional updates from my genealogy friends, I am writing a brief blog here concerning a tragic family story that I had shared about twice on Facebook the other day. It was about a rejected relative's background and my subsequent “visit” with her over the telephone. In order to protect her anonymity, I will neither mention her name nor include a picture].
Last week, I had the opportunity to finally reach out to a first cousin once-removed. The family had long suspected that she was probably related to us (more details on that shortly). She is 80 years old now. Her biological father never wanted to acknowledge her existence. He tried to avoid paying child support. His selfishness and complete disregard for his daughter-and making sure that no one in the family had contact with her for years-definitely made her feel completely REJECTED. What's more is that she was, more or less, neglected on the maternal side as well. Just horrible what happened to her! My focus in reaching out to her was out of love and concern and listening-and not so much the genealogical stuff (which is important, but is secondary to her psychological and spiritual healing).
At any rate, I called her and left a message on her answering machine. Given her busy schedule, she finally had the time to call me back. We spoke briefly. I had mentioned to her that I was sorry that she was rejected by her father and was not allowed to meet members of the family on the paternal side. She mentioned that, although she had missed out on all of the family connections and events over the years, that she has lived a full life with her husband, children and grandchildren. What an amazing woman!
The feedback that I received was that her biological father sought to end child support payments, and he thought he would be successful by taking a blood test. It, according to her, proved positive that he was her father. A DNA connection on Ancestry gives us no doubt that she is related to us. She has no idea what her paternal grandparents even look like. So, I told her that I would email some pictures and send a video of her Grandma whom she never knew, but could have met (if the biological father had not separated her from the rest of the family). She was delighted to hear that I would be sending some family pictures her way!
Thanks, again, for all of the previous expressions of concern, thoughts and your prayers. She indicated that she would like to reconnect again in January. If I have further updates, I will be happy to pass them along!