After I had My Son, I Wanted to Find My Nose
About one year ago, for my birthday, my wonderful family got me the Ancestry DNA test. Little did I know that it would change my life in a beautiful way that was so unexpected, and also add some humor that will be a constant joke in my life, for well, ever.
Growing up I didn’t know who my dad was. To be honest, with the exception of being a child and getting mad at my mom and threatening to run away to go live with him, while putting on my Big Bird raincoat and grabbing my Mary Poppins umbrella — you know the one with the bird at the end of the handle, wow I miss that, anyways — I would then storm out of the house and “go live” with him. Since I didn’t know where he was, I would come back and make up some reason why I was back. I really didn’t give him much thought. There was no feeling of missing something. Father’s Day would be one of the only times I would “miss” him, because in school everyone would make cards for their dads, so I would be a bit sad, but excited to be able to make something for my Grandpa, who I adored. I was content with my life. As I grew up, I don’t if it was just the fact that I was going through serious things — if you have read my past posts, or have heard me speak, you know that the traumatic experiences were never lacking — but there was never this feeling that something was missing. I could probably chalk it up to survival mode, but that is just how it was. So why am I writing so much about how I didn’t really care to find him? Well, that all changed after I had Boaz, and for reasons that I would consider not normal. I didn’t care to find him to ask why he didn’t find me first, or what health issues he had. I wanted to see if he had my nose, and where my nose came from. It is one of my favorite features after all.
When my daughter was born in 2013, I was so excited to see she had my nose. In 2018, when I had my son, he ended up also having my nose, and that’s when my mind started going, and at all the wrong times. When you have a newborn, you are pretty sleep deprived, that actually might be an understatement. When you are SUPER sleep deprived, you function like a drunk person, and sleep deprived texts can be just as bad, and the things you think are good ideas, often are not. So with this sleep deprivation, when I was up in the middle of the night, my friends would get memes sent to them, and texts of love (at least I am nice when “drunk texting”). I would also start Facebook stalking people with the same name as my dad, which is one of the only things I knew about him. There were a few times I thought I found my nose and almost messaged a few of the guys. Way to ruin someone’s life in the middle of the night, but luckily I never did. I would share my middle of the night adventures with my family and they ended up getting me an Ancestry DNA test for my birthday. I was so excited to finally be on my way to finding my nose.
After I took the test, it connected me with a name here and a name there and I was able to find, through lots of research, an aunt and her husband. I sent her some questions and her husband got back to me and was kind enough to answer those questions for me. He let me know I have two half-brothers, and some other info. I asked if he had a picture of my dad because I have never seen one. He sent me the very first picture I had ever seen of my dad, and what caught me off guard was I started crying. It was something I didn’t expect … he didn’t have my nose, but that was the other half of me, which I had never given much thought. I saw who originally posted the picture, her name is Amy, and I was told that she is my third or fourth cousin.
Full disclosure. I had done some recon on this cousin before I was given her name. After I found my aunt, I looked up her relatives on Facebook and Amy stood out for some reason. She is well aware of my adventures now, but at the time, I was really hoping she was related to me. Just from her posts on social media, I could see she was a kind, funny person. There was something about her that drew me to her. She looked a bit like me, her daughter looked a bit like me, and she was a comedian. When I was looking at her profile — please remember I was a super sleep deprived crazy person — I just kept hoping we were related. If not, it was really weird I kept looking at her stuff, which at this point in my sleep deprivation, wasn’t new. After all, I tried to search out random guys, and would compare our noses. My mission felt a bit like the book, “Are you My Mother?” except it was, “Are you my Father, Do You Have My Nose?” Anyways, I digress. I contacted Amy and of course was met with confusion and questions, as well as a warm, beautiful embrace. I found out that she was indeed related to me and was actually my first cousin. There are not enough words to express the love I felt from her. A total stranger who, at the same time, I felt so close to. She then introduced me to another cousin who I have been bonding with, absolutely adore, and can’t wait to meet. I have gotten in contact with other family, which has also been so nice.
I found out my dad passed away in 2010, and that hit me hard. I was on a run when I found out and I just started crying. Again, catching me off guard. Why was I crying over someone I didn’t know? Probably because deep down inside, I loved having the option of meeting him and that was no longer an option. Amy sent me some pictures and she showed me a picture of my dad, who in his younger years was blonde. Again, I cried. Look, I was super hormonal and sleep deprived… remember what I said about that? Boaz has blonde hair, which I always just assumed was from my mother-in-law’s side, but to see that it was on my side too brought up a whole bunch of stuff. Family is huge for me, especially since I feel I lose it so much … stories for another time. To have my littles who are half me, is something I can never wrap my mind around. Arwen is way more than half of me, but there was something so wonderful about knowing that I contributed to that blonde hair. This all sounds crazy, but at this point in my writing, are we really shocked?
Through a lot of messages, Amy was starting to remember some things about my dad having a baby girl long ago and so many other weird connections. Like being at the same place at the same time, and just realizing how many similarities we had. Our similarities make it feel more like we are sisters than cousins. She had taken the Ancestry test so we could confirm once more we were related. I got a call from her on her birthday, January 10th, that our results were in and for her birthday she got another awesome cousin. What was crazier was the fact that when she called she was one minute from where I happened to be, and we decided that was the time to meet … in a Walmart parking lot. For those who haven’t read my past blogs, big things happen to me at Walmart, like when I took a pregnancy test and found out I was pregnant with Bowie, so why not meet my long lost cousin there? From there, we went to Target and I tried to steal some fenugreek by forgetting I put it in the stroller. This happened after I had been mocking her for trying to “steal” something, so she totally bought it for me, while also mocking me. I loved that during our first meeting, we shopped for toilet paper and household items, and talked like we have grown up together. I was so excited.
We have since gotten our families together and it feels like I just fit. All I wanted was to find my nose, which I’m getting back to that, but I found so much more.
Amy has filled me in on some wonderful things and showed me so many pictures. She showed me a picture of my grandma and, low and behold, she had my nose! Well, I guess I actually have her nose.
I am looking forward to growing closer to Amy and our other cousin who I have also grown so fond of, I can’t wait to make memories with them!