Friday, July 13, 2012

Reward

This week has been a complete whirlwind of intense emotion and excitement. Chris (you remember, my 1989 make out guy...? He lives in China with his wife and we have had a grand time getting reacquainted in the last month or so) had disclosed he was adopted a few weeks back...mentioned being unable to locate his birth parents for 20+ years even with professional help...he had a few details so I got looking but had no luck...as it turned out he had his details a bit mixed up so once he got the updated info I got to work. I am a bit resourceful in the department of finding things out...especially things that are none of my beeswax. Truth is, I love skip tracing and research and that is why I always did so well at Money Mart with collections..I didn't like calling ppl with no money to ask them for money they didn't have but I loved the process of tracking someone down.

...not gunna lie...I REALLY wanted to find his mom...not just for the ego boost to be the one who did it either...I REALLY wanted to find her for Chris, he watched his other adopted siblings find their birth parents with hardly any effort and he hadn't had leads at all...I was pretty determined...with that being said, on Monday night I poked around online looking up Blaine Lake, SK where his mom Valerie Jean McDonald was from, I had her b'day as well...and knew she was a nurse...being from such a small town proved to be helpful...population 500...smaller haystack. I happened to stumble upon this website that had a book compiled by local historians and residents...I knew I hit the jackpot b/c my Aunty Cathy bought one for me from the Bow River area of Alberta where my grandfather was raised and it is fantastic...so much information on families and local businesses etc. To my surprise this Blaine Lake version (done in 1982 or so) was scanned and available online for anyone to view. I was VIBRATING...I had a very good feeling about it.

Once I figured out how to navigate the site I went directly to the McDonald families...there were a few and then the last one instantly made me feel "electric"...especially the photo...there was a photo of Mr & Mrs McDonald with their 3 daughters...I scanned for Valerie but no Valerie....but this picture...the blonde daughter (quite pretty)...she had Chris's eyes.....by this point I am thinking I might be a little paranoid...wishful thinking you know...the blonde daughter was named Jeanne...hmmmm Valerie Jean...Jeanne...hmmmm...I carried on...read some more about her life...how she was a nurse (ding ding ding), loved music and traveled the world singing -  settled in California and had 3 children...I poked around a little more...always drawn back to that family...but decided to try the next night with a fresh head...went to bed...and thought about it a lot before falling asleep...

The next morning I wake up...check email and there is an email from Chris with some additional info....I near shit. He had been in touch with the adoption registry ppl and got some info...that his birth mom loved music...her father was a mechanic...she was very pretty etc...WELL SHIT...in that online book Mr McDonald had owned a garage...and the 3 daughters all studied music.... (all hair standing up on my head at that point)...I go back to the book...reread it....and see that her husbands name was listed in it...I am still perplexed by the VALERIE JEAN/JEANNE name...I had contemplated a clerical error with the name Chris was given - as I know from talking with Aunty Cathy about her genealogy research that is common and can really throw you off.

I googled the name of the husband she married in California and SURE AS SHIT it says his wife's name is Valerie Jeanne McDonald. BINGO. I guess her family called her by her middle name Jeanne and the info Chris was given was her legal name with the middle name misspelled....OMFG. There she was...right there. Chris's birth mom....unfortunately...I could also see that she had passed away in 1997 which was a total drag. Heartbreaking really.

I started sending all my info to Chris...I was seriously losing my mind...and at the same time I am googling the shit out of the info I have and discover he has 3 - possibly 4 other siblings...one of whom I emailed to confirm she was the daughter of Valerie....so while I am firing off all this info - I am clearly not gunna get to work on time so I called in said I would be in at noon and take a half day of vacation...no biggy...onward I go...I hadn't gotten a reply back from Chris so I was a little concerned he was at home reading it losing his shit...so I called him...in China...(2 cents a min kicks ass) - he had been out and was just reading the emails...
the whole phone call was a flurry of unbelievable babbling...while on the phone I heard back from the one sibling who confirmed she was the daughter of Valerie....so Chris asked me to write her - so I compiled an email of all the info I had and how I came across the results...and introduced her to her "big brother Chris"....afterwards I found all his siblings on FB...and multiple cousins, aunts, uncles etc...total craziness....

Chris's sibling was blindsided...had no idea her mother had any other children....it took her a few days to get her thoughts in order and her and Chris have started talking and getting acquainted and he is getting all sorts of information...turns out his moms parents and sisters did know about the pregnancy...and one of his aunts did attempt to look for him at some point in the 90's with no luck....so basically Chris's whole world has just been shoved in a snow-globe and had the shit shaken out of it...in the best of ways...

It has been absolutely fantastic to be a part of it all...and I cannot help but think this is the reason we reconnected....I have looked for him before over the years to no avail until recently...and now a month later all this other amazing stuff unfolds for him...it is truly humbling and fantastic to give that to someone...I bet it is like how a person feels when they donate one of their kidneys to someone...except without the surgery hahaha SO FUGGING AWESOME. I am super stoked for him and glad he has the opportunity to fill in a bit of that hole in himself.

In the mean time....I am looking for his birth father...

2 comments:

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Wow, what an amazing story. I got goosebumps reading that. What a great bit of news for your friend.

You certainly do have a knack for this mantracking stuff. I suggest you get your own tv show!

~Jen~ said...

The best part is the sister we contacted welcomed him with open arms into their family...so fantastic.

I was certainly destined for MORE than I am doing at the moment...without a doubt.......