I am finally beginning my ancestry DNA journey. I have wanted to do it for many years!
Besides the fact that I love learning more about my family history and finding out where and who I come from… I know extremely little about my biological father. I don’t even know his name.
What I Know About My Biological Father
Basically all that I know (or at least believe to be the truth) is that he was supposed to have had red hair and “looked” Irish. He was supposed to be about 6″7″ (which explains my height, at least before I shrank…lol) and he rode a motorcycle at least at the time of my conception.
They ran off from the Kansas City, Missouri area to Texas a little after my mom had gone through most of her recovery from a severe car accident that she was in. This trip to Texas would have been some time in the Spring or early Summer of 1967. (I was told that I was about a month early and was only 4 lbs 11 oz, so it seems correct.) I was born in early February of 1968.
They rode on a motorcycle. My mom seemed to have a real fascination with men with motorcycles. I remember noticing this when I was a teenager and didn’t understand that until 2000’s-2010’s when I learned about him and her riding on a motorcycle. She never acted on it, but she seemed like a school girl around a few individuals and they both were really into their motorcycles. It was the only thing they had in common.
Anyway, when my mom discovered that she was pregnant with me and told him, he left her alone there in Texas. He didn’t even take her back to her home state.
I predict that he likely is a lot Irish or at least looks like it. His brief description, plus the fact that my mom was SO adament that even though she always said that I was “Heinz 57” (a major mix of ethnicities)…. that I definitely had absolutely NO Irish in me.
I discovered over the years that when she was SO adament like that, she was actually covering up a big lie she didn’t want discovered. Plus, I looked (especially as a young child) very Irish and as far as I know, there is no Irish from my maternal side.
My mom NEVER told me any of this. I accidentally discovered that my adoptive father wasn’t my biological father when I was 12 years old. I do, however, remember standing in front of a judge during my adoption proceedings (probably when I was about 5 years old). I got into some major trouble for discovering it, so I didn’t ask any questions. I had seen who I then thought was my biological father (Donald Irvin Schroeder). I remembered that and some other information about his family. One of the pictures that she ripped into pieces when I asked her who this man holding me was, was secretly put back into my baby book a few years later and before her death (which I believe she knew was coming). It hadn’t been there when I left for college a few months before. A big chunk was still missing, but the rest had been taped back together. She thought that she had my baby book well hidden, but I found it many times throughout the years to look at it, discover, and take notes for later.
When I was a freshman in college, I found Donald Schroeder through the military and talked to him two or three times on the phone. The first time was actually on THE day my mom suddenly passed away, March 20, 1987. It was about noon to 1pm on that day. She had already passed, but I didn’t find out until just after 4pm. This was mostly because I was trying to process that first call and hadn’t returned to my dorm room. I had a message to call home when I arrived at band practice at 4:10. You can read more about that day on this blog post.
I found out during the 2000’s to 2010’s that she had told a close friend of hers as well as my adopted father. They both told me the little bit I knew after I heard through the grapevine that my grandma told someone close to me that Donald wasn’t my biological father after all and some other things. When I talked to my grandma about it, she told me most of this and that an ex-friend of my mom’s (the one who caused the car accident and then switched places with my mom, so it would look like she was driving….) had introduced them.
I later found and contacted Sylvia with a combination of help from my grandma and Facebook, of all things….lol She denied remembering ANYTHING about him or even introducing them. I honestly don’t believe her, even though I didn’t let on that I knew anything about what she had done to my mom. She just sounded like she was lying and I know she had a major history of lying, so there you go. I do think that she knows. He may even be related to her.
I have somewhat recently received a picture of my mom and another man (who doesn’t fit the description one bit) who evidently traveled together. They are pictured beside a welcome to a state sign and holding hands. I really wonder who he was. It’s possible that he could be the one, but he wasn’t much taller than my mom and appeared to not look a bit Irish, so who knows. I’m not totally ruling this out, even though he definitely doesn’t look like he would ride a motorcycle. Besides, they weren’t dressed in something I would wear on a motorcycle.
Fast Forward to a Few Years Ago
Well, let’s fast forward. I had purchased a DNA test one of the many times they were on sale.
After I received it in the mail, I got really nervous about the possibility of learning who my biological father is. What if it goes bad? My mom’s “track record” for picking her significant others didn’t give me much hope that he would be a good guy. I don’t blame my mom at all for her choices, because I honestly feel like she did the best she could with what she had. I do, however, feel that she should have given me some major answers… even if it had to wait until after her death for me to find out. I would have understood this reasoning. Going to the grave as evidently the ONLY person who knows is quite harsh. I think that she likely felt she was not only protecting herself (by not admitting it), but possibly protecting me since she didn’t really understand the way I was and am thinking about the “not knowing”. She likely felt if I don’t know… it can’t hurt me. She always reminded us that if we didn’t have something good to say that we shouldn’t say nothing at all.
Even though I showed respect for my step-turned-adopted father and surely would have to my “legal father” (the man on my original birth certificate who married my mom a month and 2 days before my birth) if he would have given me the time of day (Donald Schroeder)… they both had some serious issues.
Plus, my biological father evidently left my mom alone and a few states away from home when she told him that she was pregnant with me. I therefore do not have a lot of confidence that actually meeting him would be a positive experience. I believe that I would much rather learn about him from a distance (on paper, internet, etc). Yes, people can change and if he is still alive, he would probably be in his 70’s. He MAY want to know about me now. Probably not, though, since I totally believe that it would have been really easy for him to find my maternal grandparents for many years, if he had just tried.
Why Do I Want to Find Out
So given all that… Why would I want to learn who he is?
There are a few reasons:
- It is a horrible, open-hole feeling not even knowing who your biological parent is!
- For a genealogy enthusiast, it’s even worse, I believe, to not know a whole half of your personal history. I don’t know where over half of my ancestors came from and I have a whole half of my family tree totally blank!
- I honestly believe that I very likely have several other half sisters out there somewhere. Maybe brothers, too. I believe that he could have easily left several others in the same condition and have been told throughout the last three decades that I look, act, and sound JUST LIKE a handful of other ladies close to my age in a few different states. My guess is that I will find several half siblings and hopefully at least one knows something. I would also love to have more siblings, because I love family! I would want to get to know them.
- With my chronic illnesses, some of which are thought to be genetic, it would be nice to be able to learn about my family’s health histories. Here again, I can only fill out half of those forms. It makes me feel incomplete.
So where am I now?
I finally found my DNA test (I purchased earlier) last week when working on converting our extra room into my home office. This morning I have been watching a show called “Long Lost Family”. I know… fitting, right? So, I got my kit ready and then watched a video on YouTube about how to do the test. I was nervous, because so much could be riding on this. After watching the video, I started to open my kit and discovered that the blue liquid was not longer a liquid. I called Ancestry and asked them about it and was informed that it is indeed too old and that they will send me a replacement one in the mail. It will be about five to ten business days. I will then do it ASAP and return it. I am definitely ready now; although, I am still really nervous. I am now 50 years old and it’s definitely time to know.
What Do I Expect to Discover Regarding My Nationalities?
Honestly, I think that knowing my luck and the fact that I am SOOO much lighter than my mom and some other family members, that I likely didn’t get much of her Native American DNA. Even though there is supposed to be much less of things like Swedish, Dutch, and Welch in me, I will likely have more of a percentage of those DNA bits from her than the Native American, since I feel I look more like those nationalities. That is really a disappointing possibility for me, but one that I know could turn out real given the science behind getting DNA from your parents.
If that happens, I will want more of my family members to take the test. Especially my mom’s biological brother and youngest biological sister. They both seem like they could have much more Native American DNA than me (as well as my mom’s oldest sister who is really light like me).
If you happen to know ANYTHING about my biological father, please contact me. I’m actually assuming that maybe someone (likely a cousin of my mom) knows more, but doesn’t realize that I do not know and would really like to. If that is the case, please let me know. Feel free to ask other family members or longtime friends for me as well. I really appreciate any information that I can gather.
Have you done the DNA testing? If so, what did you discover? Tell me about it in the comments below.