March 17, 2017

Looking for My Natural Father in the Mirror
Can You Help Me Find Him?

Do you know a man whose face resembles the one above?

If so I need your help...

He might be the man I have been waiting to meet for 50 years.

One day as she was shampooing me, my hairdresser Ada said, "you should start wearing your hair natural more often."

 Although she’s also a good friend I secretly wondered whether she was saying this because of all the extra effort it takes her to straighten my hair. I was always willing to take the time at home. The main reason was that the natural curls were accompanied by frizz.

On this day as Ada finished trimming my hair she said, “Let's try something new. Let me put some product on you to tame the frizz and then lightly dry it with the diffuser and see what you think...” 

When she finished her first attempt at this technique and turned me around to look in the mirror at the finished product, I started to cry. 
"What's wrong?" she questioned. "Nothing is wrong," I answered through tears.

I explained that I realized I was looking at a part of my natural father.

The father I never knew.

There are parts of me that look like my natural mother, who died in the summer of 2013. But many things about me are not like her at all, and my curly hair is one of those things. She had straight hair and so does my sister. And every day I wake up with this mop of curls unless I take the time to straighten them out. 

I have started wearing my hair natural more often, for reasons having mostly nothing to do with looks. When I see my curls, I feel a connection to the father I never knew

I am not obsessed with my looks.  There are a number of things I’d change about my physical self if I could. And yet at least a few times a week, I find myself sitting in front of the mirror, staring at myself until my eyes go dry.  I scrutinize my facial features inspecting every nook and cranny, surveying the canvas of my face for clues. I gaze at the curls going around and around, trying to make sense of my very face. 

It's the strangest thing ever, trying to make sense of your own face.

People who aren't not adopted have no clue what it is to stare at your face that is half a century old and try to understand how it got that way. I literally look at myself in the mirror and say, "Where did this face come from?"

The easy answer is: "God."

I've been told this all my life.

Please understand, I love God. 

I love Him so much.

And yet I know He got two people's help in making my face. 

I know who one of those people was. 

Who was the other?

I focus in and try to block out my mother's features, making every effort to isolate his features and find his face in mine.

What does he look like...this man I come from?

On the first night of our reunion, my mother told me that I look just like him.  (The photo above was the night we reunited, when I was 27 years old. This picture was taken moments before I knocked on her door to introduce my adult self to her.) She immediately noted my curly hair and the color of it and said it reminded her of him. 

I knew he was Greek because that first night she also referred to him as a “Greek God.” My DNA tests bore that out, declaring me as half Greek.
Gazing at my face in the mirror is all that connects me to my natural father, aside from checking my results at Ancestry, 23 and Me, and Family Tree DNA on a regular basis to see if a new match came in. (I have tested at all three companies and at GedMatch.)

So here's where you come in...

Maybe you are reading this and you have a tie to Richmond, Virginia. 

Maybe you know something that you don't even realize will unlock the mystery that I've waited 50 years to finally know.

Many things that people believe are totally insignificant are the things that unlock another person's mystery and provide the piece of the puzzle they have needed.

So, here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to tell you all that I know, and maybe you will realize that you or someone you know, can help me.   

Your help is confidential. 

The details: 

My natural mother grew up on Kalmia Ave. in the Highland Springs area of Richmond, Virginia. Did you live nearby? Do you know someone who did? If so, I want to talk to you. 

My mother graduated from Highland Springs High School in Richmond in 1965.  Are you a member of the class of 1965? I'd like to talk to you.  Do you know someone who is in the Highland Springs class of '65? Can you please ask them to contact me?

My mother graduated from a beauty school in Richmond Virginia around that time, probably sometime between 1664-1965. I do not know which school. No one in the family seems to know what school. Maybe you or a friend or family member attended a beauty school in Richmond during that time.  If so, I'd like to talk to you.

My mother attended the United Methodist Church in Highland Springs. If you or a family member or friend were a regular attender there during the 1960's, I'd like to talk to you.  

My mother reportedly worked at White Cross Drug Store or another drug store in the Richmond area in 1965.  This drug store may have been in the Highland Springs area. If you know anyone who worked at White Cross drugs or any other drug store in the area in 1965, I'd like to talk to you.

I'm looking for a man of Greek descent who was living in Richmond Virginia in November/December of 1965. 

I was conceived in late November or early December of 1965. 

My grandparents may have never lived in the USA. For that matter, my father may not be a US Citizen. Or he may be an immigrant who later became a citizen. 

His name may have been Gus. (I heard this name as I prayed about it in 2013, and in 2014 a maternal relative remembers hearing that my birth father's name was Gus.)

My mother could have met my birth father through any of these avenues – the drug store, the high school, the cosmetology school, the church, etc. I am looking for people who would have been in these places in 1965 who are still alive today and willing to talk to me.

I am not publishing my mother’s full name here on the blog but I will be glad to share that information with anyone who emails me with a desire to help identify my father. 

Email me at:

I am grateful for anything those reading this can do to help. You are a tremendous help just by sharing this post!

Unfortunately there is no other choice before me at this time but to ask the general public for help. I  have a dedicated team of people who help me search. They have followed every lead that we have received.

My adoptive father is also very supportive, and my heart is glad. Just because I am searching for my natural father doesn't mean I don't love my adoptive father. And, the fact that I am searching doesn't mean I don't live a blessed and full life. I live an incredible life, and still this part of me that is missing - I long to find.

New matches come in on my DNA results all the time. The closest I have thus far is a third cousin match. We spend a lot of time trying to isolate the paternal matches. There aren't many but they are there, and at this time all are distant.  I know one day that big break could come - but my concern is - time goes by daily and my he may still be alive. Thus, time is of the essence and I need to appeal to the public.

No matter which way the road turns, I will always cherish those who have helped me along the way. People like my family, my persevering search team, my wonderful family and everyone who reads here.

You make the broken road a beautiful one

I love you all.  

Quick links:

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March 1, 2017

Paternal Search: Maybe God Doesn't Want You To Know

It’s not a match.

We tested with both Ancestry and 23 and Me.

The man presumed to be my paternal father - the man listed in the adoption agency files -- is dead. So I tested with his brother who is still alive.

I received the result weeks ago but haven’t written about it yet because I’ve needed to process things by myself. This was a bigger blow to me than any other because it didn’t just hurt me, but a family that very much wanted me to be theirs. They were so excited that their brother had a daughter they never knew about. I would have been his only child.

But I wasn't a match with his brother.

They didn't accept the results of the DNA tests.
They still don’t.

They want me to test with other companies, just between myself and one of their family members, preferably one of his sisters who are also still alive.

I am reluctant to do that because I can’t imagine that both Ancestry and 23andMe could be wrong. 

I trust the results. Two DNA companies of such reputation can't possibly be wrong.

The family has assured me there is no NPE in the family that would affect these test results. They would not be lying to me. They so badly want me to be one of them. They aren't afraid of family secrets and would do anything to get to the bottom of this. 

They rejoiced at my entrance into their lives, and they embraced me. 

At the Christmas holidays I received texts with photos of them at their family gatherings saying they were thinking of me. They are Christians as I am, and on Christmas morning they were in church just like I was. They texted afterwards to say that during church the pastor told everyone to get in little circles and hold hands and before they prayed share something each of them were thankful for. They said, "We shared that we are thankful for you." They couldn’t wait til’ my first visit…and for us to share many more things. They were planning a visit to Tampa to see me the first week of March.  Every one of them accepted me from the youngest to oldest family members. It seemed a match made in heaven. 

But ultimately we were not a match, although were brought together in life for some reason. And we still keep in touch. (And they continue to want me to test more. I am still thinking about it.)

One thing we do know…my mother had a relationship with this man. He is the man listed in my adoption agency file. He worked with my mother at the drug store in Richmond, VA.

It seems maybe this (multiple men) was what she didn’t want to tell me about. There was more than one man, possibly even in the same month.  So somewhere in all this mix there is a Greek man. My DNA tests also indicate Balkan heritage. Specifically it points to the area of Tripolis and the Peloponnese area. 

He’s out there.

I just don’t know who he is.


When I first got the results, I wanted to stop searching. It hurt so much. And it all gets too overwhelming at times to deal with anymore.  

My sister and her husband were visiting at the time I got the results. I excused myself for about an hour and went into my room to cry alone. While I was in there, my niece Lexi and my sister Kim headed off to Publix. They got a Marie Callender's Razzleberry Pie for me because Lex knows it's my favorite. They started baking it and when I came out of the room, gave me a slice because they knew it would cheer me up. (Food always does. I've used it like a drug since I was born.) I was depressed a lot the first few days after getting results and ate all the things that usually help me feel better, at first. Now I'm back on a plan and exercising and trying to get it under control.

 My resolve to quit searching was short lived, as my husband said it would be. On the first day I said, “I quit!” but my friend Gayle told me she wouldn’t give up no matter what. Gayle rocks.

One thing that this situation shows me is that a lot of people can want you but it doesn’t stop you from wanting to know the truth. 

My husband and children want me.
My adoptive family wants me. 
My friends want me. 
This family I thought was my paternal family wants me…and still does. 

And all of that means the world. But I still want to know the truth.

 I want to know who He is. 

I want to know where I originally came from. 

And that doesn’t mean the love of all these other people means any less. 

It just means that my heart longs to know. 

Recently a friend said to me, “Maybe God doesn’t want you to know.” 

Is that how God works?

Would we say to a friend whose legs were amputated, “Maybe God doesn't want you to have legs?"

Surely not. 

But people say this kind of thing all the time related to adoption.

Even good friends.

Because they just don't know.

Adoption is in a category all it's own, a world all it's own that many people even in it don't understand.

But back to my question...

Does God work like that? 

Does He not want some people to know who their original parents are?  

It’s a question I ask myself often.  

And I also ask Him..."God, do you really not want me to know?"