Laurie Has Two Mommies, Part 2
Last year, when I began writing this adoptee-finding-family blog, I wrote about how being adopted meant having two Mommies. As I continue digging into my families, all of them, (and they are multiplying exponentially!), I’m not the only one.
If you’ve been reading along, you’ve read about my discovering that my Dad, (adopted Dad, the man who raised me) had two Dads…his biological Dad, and the man who raised him (who, when he married my Dad’s Mom, was marrying for the second time). Funny, but in my rose-coloured, sheltered, idealistic paradigm, people w-a-a-y back then (especially Catholics) didn’t get divorced. Ha! was I wrong. And my genealogical research keeps proving that over and over again. Human nature is ever thus… stuff happens, and family gets complicated. Teasing out the threads of this is part of the journey. Discovering cousins in the mix, is part of the joy in the discovery.
So. Dad had two Dads. My birthMother’s Mom had two Husbands. My birthGrandfather John, whose first Wife, Margaret, died when she was 32 years old, leaving two small children, had two Wives. Then there’s me. My birthFather was married to someone else when I was conceived (in fact, I have a half-brother who is about four months younger then me; do the math). When I look at the lines and dashes, connecting the names and dates, the people and the profiles in just my tree, there are some straight lines, but a lot of criss-crossing match-ups, trying to make sense of complicated relationships bourne out of complicated humanness.
It’s been ever thus.
Where it really gets interesting is when you try to figure out cousin-ship. First cousin, once removed? Second cousin? Fourth cousin, which side? It’s enough to send a strong man to drink. Fortunately, though, Ancestry has a cheat. They’ll tell you, as long as you have the right folk in the right place: “brother-in-law of aunt of second cousin, twice removed”.
The upshot of which, trying to keep this stuff in my head is getting a bit complicated. I’m really glad they invented surnames back in medieval times. (For myself, I’ve decided that anyone with the surname “McManus” in Buffalo, New York is related. There. Done).
The second upshot of which, after a generation or two, no one remembers why any two family members stopped talking to one another. No one. No one remembers why they lost touch. Why one person walked out on another. Why the marriage fell apart. Who’s to blame. Who threw the first punch or had the last word. No.One.Cares. Seriously. In 50+ years, no one really cares anymore. So-and-so is a jerk? Get to know them and find that out for yourself, then. Not a jerk? Then So-and-so, um, exaggerated? To say the least. But, in the meantime, reading about it now, it all seems so very petty. For me, I’m just astounded to find a whole hidden cache of family who are connected, in some way, to a person I love and admire and really miss… a lot. And who have pictures.
Funny, about the pictures. The first thing I want to do and the people I find want to do is share pictures… Which reminds me. I need to figure out, again, how to use our scanner.
Anyway, I have two Mommies. Two Daddies. One who had two Daddies. And a Mommy who had a Daddy with two Wives and a Mommy who had two Husbands. Which gave her a bunch of Grandparents and Cousins. Some of whom I am beginning to discover and with whom I am beginning to connect.
All because I spit in a tube.