I am all about the search. I am all for finding the people with whom you share a blood connection.
I believe that DNA becoming more and more affordable is making DNA testing happen. I have been reading heartwarming stories of people even in their 90's discovering family that they never knew they had, or family that has been lost.
The thing that people do not talk about as much is when family does not want to be contacted.
I have been fortunate with some of the people that I have searched for. I have "new" aunts that I never knew I had. I cherish each and every one of them. I have cousins, I have grand cousins. It is amazing that these warm, loving and caring people are part of my family.
I have also come in contact with people who have not been wonderful. I interacted with a distant cousin who accused me of lying because they did not want to be a part of my family. This person said that I manipulated my DNA to match theirs. Emotionally, I was able to tell that they had a lot of issues, and I did not push. I gave them the space that they needed. It hurt my feelings at the time, because I so badly wanted to have my missing family members. This person (I am being very careful to not identify them) blocked me from Facebook. They blocked me from their phone. How do I know this? They made it a point to share that with me.
Was I overzealous in my actions with them? Actually, I am very proud that I was very polite. I did not intrude in their life. I did not ask a lot of questions. I merely pointed out the match that was on several of the DNA platforms that we both tested on.
If you are reaching out to family members that you do not know prior to your test, the best approach is non emotional. Simply state the facts and go forward from there. Just because you want a relationship with all of your newfound family does not mean that they are even prepared for such revelations. Take it slow. Be prepared to explain how you are related.
If it is a very close match, such as a parent, ask if they are able to talk.
Best of luck!
DNA is a really exciting groundbreaker for those of us who are searching. When you find the person that you are searching for, you want to be happy, approachable and NOT CREEPY.
I may have posted a letter in the past, but as I get good examples, I will continue to share them here for all to use.
Here is an excellent example of a letter to send to a potential parent or child.
Feel free to print this and use it for your own personal use. I have made the parts that you replace with your information XXX for easy identification.
I believe that we may have something in common. I am doing family research and my leads are all pointing to you as the person who would have the information that I am searching for.
I was born at XXX hospital in XXX, XXX. I weighed XXX pounds and XXX ounces. I was born at XXX time. My birthdate is XXX. My name at birth was XXX
My parents were very brave because they made an adoption plan for me. I was placed for adoption through XXX adoption agency.
I was adopted at the age of XXX. My parents XXX and XXX raised me from that age.
I grew up in the state of XXX. I hope that you will get in touch with me because I am certain that you will have the information I need to complete my search.
I have had DNA testing done through XXX.
I have enclosed a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope for your convenience. I can also be reached at XXX mobile phone and XXX email address if that is more convenient.
I look forward to hearing from you.
I write a lot about genetic genealogy, family trees, DNA, and home life as well as the occasional product review. Comments? Email me at CocktailsAndSwagger@Hotmail.com