Filling In Holes: Past & Present

Family for a lot of us is supposed to be about those known to us, those we grow up with and grow old beside. But there are those of us who have massive holes and or questions about where we came from and who we really are. I am one of those people, who has a ton of questions and holes in the family history.

To better understand what I mean by this let me give you a little insight into my family background. I am the youngest of 5 children. My Dad had three from a previous marriage and my mother had 1 child from a previous marriage as well. So, all together we made a blended family as a whole. This family was not meant to last though it seems, my Dad left when I was about 6 years old, he went and moved to Florida in search of a better job since the plant he was working for was closing down. Well, due to some unforeseen circumstances he never came back home. He passed away when I was 8 years old, which left a gaping hole in my life for many years.

When I grew older and was about to graduate from high school, I reached out to my siblings on my Dad’s side and asked them to come to my graduation. This was the first time I had seen my sister in a long, long time. She came to my graduation and there were lots of tears shed but of happiness that I finally got to see her again and sadness at all the time that had passed by us. I won’t get too into the details of why the time was so far in between, there are just some parts of my story I do not feel comfortable sharing, and that is out of respect to others involved. Anyway, after graduation, I was due to get married for the first time to my first husband. I invited all of my siblings to come, I felt that it was the right thing to do, that our father would want us all to connect again. Three out of my four siblings came to our wedding and it made me feel like that part of my life was complete again, for the time being.

After the wedding my new husband and I moved to Virginia , where he was stationed with the Navy. We lived there for several years until I decided our marriage was beyond repairing and feared for the safety of my children. I have written a post previous on the blog, that goes into further detail about how that marriage ended.

The children and I moved back to Georgia, and I had hoped not reconnect with my family, all of them. Time proves to be a very fickle thing for some relationships, even those who are of blood relation. We all had our lives, we all had children, and we tried our best to maintain those lives we had built for ourselves. Unfortunately, for me being a bit of an outsider at this point for three of my 4 siblings, it made it hard for me to figure out where I would fit into their lives. Where I fit into that part of the family. I still struggle with this feeling quite often, but as I said, time can be fickle.

Now, here we are almost 17 years after I was married the first time and 18 years after I had first reached out to my Dad’s side of the family. There are still many holes and questions in my life, but now as an adult, with my children, growing older, I have found the courage to ask questions to find the answers to fill up these gaps in not only information, but gaps in time and finally get some sense of where I came from.

I decided recently that I wanted to make a family tree, not only for me, but so that my children, could also know where we came from, and connect with family through our history and pasts. Granted, there are still some major holes, but my sister from my Dad, two Cousins, one of my brothers, and some other relatives are helping me to get some answers.

We recently found out that there is a high percentage of Native American ancestry on my Dad’s side of the family, possibly from the Cherokee/Blackfoot tribes, and that way far down the line somewhere we are related to General Sherman. Things I never knew, which caused me to become very excited, upon finding out this information. I have been reaching out to cousins as I said above, many of which either never knew who I was or I never knew existed. [That falls back on the part I am not willing to go into more detail about] Anyway, through the power of social media, we are slowly but surly finding one another and talking. The gaps are starting to fill in for the most part and the holes are too. For the first time in a very long time, I feel like I am getting to know a part of me that I thought was forever lost, lost in secrets and lies.

Now the information on my Mom’s side of the family comes to a VERY abrupt halt once we reach my Grandmother’s father… There is some debate where he was actually from. Some of the public records list him as Syrian in birth and others list him as Lebanese. So there is a lot of questions from many of us wondering exactly what the truth of his origin is.

Years ago, my Grandmother, had reached out to her uncle’s wife who lived in New York, they had talked about her father and his brother. The aunt began to tell her a story about how the two brothers spent all their family’s money to come over to America and escape Lebanon. This is where the information ends on that portion of the family. Which can happen, especially if all the family that once knew the information has long since passed on or has ceased communication with one another.

Which leads to where we are today, all of this has me really wanting to do one of the DNA tests to once and for all answer some of these questions, to an extent. Knowing the percentages will help us to figure out a direction to keep looking in. If I do the DNA test, I will be sure to tell you all which one we decided to go with and what the results where. Also, I will keep you all updated as I find out more information.

Have you ever wanted to do a DNA test to figure out your origin? Or have you yourself done one? What was your experience with them if you have done one in the past? I would love to hear some of your experiences and stories.

If you have a story to tell me about your family and where you came from you can send me a message via jess@unconventionalmomma.com or send in a message via the contact page.

Should someone happen to be reading this and wants to help me find out more information, the family name we are stuck on is Nader, that was my Grandmother’s maiden name and the name of her Father was Louis A Nader.

This is a picture of my family, I am the baby in the picture.
This is my family, I am the baby that is front and center of the picture.

Until Next time,

U.M.

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *