Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Where the heck does time go?

So much has been happening! The most exciting is my new brother, Dean! New brother? Yes! I was adopted at birth. In 2003 I registered with an online adoption registry, never really thinking that anything would come of it. Well, a couple of weeks ago I got an email from a man saying that he thought we could be siblings or at least half siblings. Aside from my birth mother's name and the city of my birth, I didn't really have a lot of information about my family of origin. Well, Dean who was also adopted, was born two and a half years later to the same woman in the same city! He's been much more proactive with his search and as a result of his efforts, I have so much information now about where I came from.

First of all, there is Dean, who is awesome. He is just one of the sweetest people I've ever met. And the strange thing is, I feel like we connected immediately. In many ways we are very unalike, but it seems that at our heart, we are very much in sync. He's a creative type too, but his creativity is in his music. He plays many instruments and sings in the San Francisco -bah! What is it, Dean? SF Choral What? Anyway, it's impressive (unlike my sieve of a mind!). When I spoke to him on the phone I felt like I was talking to an old friend. I'm really hopeful that we'll get to meet in person very soon. He lives in the bay area and we grew up about 20 miles away from each other! Also, it was really fun to compare genetic markers! We have the same knobbly earlobes!

The other cool thing about this has been learning about our mother, Alice. From what I've learned so far, she sounds awesome. When Dean and I was born, she was in the midst of a divorce with two tiny children already. She began dating someone who she felt was going to become her next husband. Apparently the relationship didn't pan out. Imagine being a young, single mother in the early sixties with nothing but a high school education. Bless her heart. She did what she hoped would be the best thing for us. And truly, I have to say that Dean and I grew up with opportunites that Alice could probably not have afforded to give us. Happily, she did meet the love of her life in 1968, Edward. They married and had almost 30 years together and from what I've learned, he was very, very good to her. She was an artist and apparently she loved to paint angels! Dean spoke on the phone to Edward and thankfully, he knew about us and was really gracious with Dean. He's going to be sending photos to us! The saddest thing is that Alice died in 1996 of lung cancer. She was only 58 years old. I regret that I never tried to find her. I always felt that it would hurt my adoptive mother's feelings if I did. From what Edward told Dean, it sounds like she was a really loving, cheerful person.

Ironically, my own life has mirrored hers in some ways. In 1995, I became a single mother with little more than a high school education. I was widowed instead of divorced and in my lonliness I rushed into a relationship and became pregnant within a year of losing my husband. I wonder what Alice's reaction to my situation would have been? Would she have been sympathetic and supportive? Or angry and disappointed? I did not make the same choice she did, but I recognize her choice as having been a way of loving me. I chose to have Max. And married his dad and have worked hard to make a relationship that is loving and authentic with him. Of course, it helped a lot that Earl has never wanted to give up! But we truly do enjoy the fruits of our hard work now. We went to Tahoe earlier this month to celebrate our 9th anniversary. While we were playing blackjack together, the dealer gave us one of the nicest compliments I've ever heard. We told her we were celebrating our wedding anniversary and she said we seemed like we had been married longer because we were so peaceful with each other! We both kind of looked at each other and said, "We haven't always been!" So, I'm feeling blessed. And a little sad when I think about my birth mother having to give up her babies. I was too selfish to think about that option! I wish I could thank her. (I hope I get those pictures soon!)

Also, there was Easter! We didn't do a lot, but we did go to my stepson and his wife's house for a get together. We also celebrated the one year birthday of his youngest daughter, Annika. Of course, I had to make her a play doll! And since I had missed her brother Grant's one year birthday mark, I had to finish his play doll! And of course, since the princess oldest sister, Alisa, wouldn't be getting a doll (she did get her one year doll a few years ago!), I had to make her an "unbirthday" gift! So I made for her a little scotty dog with my scotty dog fabric and dressed both of the dolls in the same fabric. I had to pick this fabric because their daddy, my stepson, is named Scott! Anyway, they all turned out pretty cute, but I only have one picture to share of them.

The little doggie is kind of hard to see, but look closely, he's sitting between the dolls.

Writing that paragraph really illustrated to me just how convoluted my family tree is! I have three stepchildren from my marriage to Jerry. Two are very close to my age, Scott and Kelly. The third is ten years younger than me and in many ways she was my first baby as she was 10 when we were married. That would be my doo-doo, Heather. All three of my stepchildren have children so that makes me a step grandma eight times over! All of our children have grown up together and I feel fortunate that even though Jerry is gone, all of his kids and grandkids are close to one another.

And to add a little further confusion, but I have to share my delight, one of my stepsisters, Sweet Michelle has written to me about making a doll for her son Brayden who is turning one next month! How pleased I am that she wants me do this! She also has a pretty little girl named Morgan for whom I made an EFA doll for her first birthday. But now I want to make her a sturdy play doll like Tammy and the "scotty" dolls. It's just a great shape for hugging and having adventures with.

Okay, that was more typing than I usually do in a whole day at work! Hopefully I will be a little more regular in posting so I don't have to write a book next time! BTW, if you do not have a boutonniere from Alicia, you are missing out. I am wearing this one right now and I feel like a jaunty spring day! Happy spring, everyone!

5 friends said....:

  1. Wow, that's some news!
    And lovely dolls!

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  2. I'm so happy for you, Bettsi! Josephine

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  3. Wow! Bettsi, you are too cool. And I felt the same way too when we talked on the phone. (It's the S.F. Choral Artists, by the way.) I am really tired and am actually going to go to bed before 12:30 am! More to follow... give Carmen, Eric and Max a hug for me.

    --your brother Dean (a.k.a. Dino)

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  4. Congrats on the new family members, Bettsi. Love the dolls and Scotty dog.

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  5. Wow, that's some tremendous news!

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