November 11th, 2008

Commute, Woodsy Owl

Birth Family Update

So much to tell.

First, let me introduce you to some members of my birth family:
Mother: Maggie Mcgrath Miller, Lawrenceburg, TN
Grandmother: Ruby Pearl McGrath, Salinas, CA - Mother to Maggie, as well as five other children.
Half-Brother: Joshua Duncan, Bakersfield, CA - First-born son to Maggie. Different father. Also put up for adoption.

When I first talked with Ruby, I informed her that she had two long-lost grandchildren: myself and Josh. She told me that Maggie had contacted her back in 1980, saying that Josh had died shortly after childbirth, and that she needed money for his burial (a real winner, my birth mother). I corrected this information, and let Ruby know that Maggie had kept up with Josh's life to a certain extent. After I made contact with Ruby, she called her other children (my aunts and uncles), informing them of the existence of a new member of the family. They all were enthusiastic to meet me, which makes me feel just wonderful.

Then she contacted Maggie, confronting her with the lies she'd been repeating for nearly three decades. Maggie claims that I'm a liar, a charlatan and a con-artist, trying to bilk the family out of money. She also asserts that Joshua did die, just as she said.

Fortunately, Ruby believes me, rather than Maggie, and the offer to come up to Salinas still stands. However, she called me back and mentioned Maggie's claims. I sent photos to her via one of my aunts, and offered to have a DNA test. I'd willingly pay for it, if it turned out I wasn't Maggie's son. But I'd expect Maggie to pay for it if it turned out I was her son. So far, no response back from Maggie on that front.

Ruby and I have talked multiple times since then, and other family members have contacted me, including my cousin Andrea, daughter of the aforementioned aunt (hi, Andrea!).

On Saturday, I finally made face-to-face contact with Josh. He's much shorter and thinner than I am, but the resemblance is instantly obvious when you put the two of us together. We discussed our lives and ambitions, and I had him call Ruby to introduce himself. It was a very pleasant evening.

So that's about it on the family front. I'll post more news as it comes in.