I sat under a shaded canopy, under the blazing sun and the stench of urine in a parking lot of Downtown LA. The heat intense. We are in holding, on set, for a commercial.
The scene surrounding me are multimillion Star Wagons and trailers for talent, a catering truck and air conditioned portable bathrooms. A chain link fence and a security guard separates us from the liter and tents lining the sidewalks on the other side.
Two different worlds existing together, yet separate. Same place while experiencing two completely different realities.
This is fucked, yet reality. Not sure why or how I ended on this side of the fence. When I have experienced the other side. Maybe not in a tent, but without a home. When I am aware there once was a time I had no control over which side I landed. But beyond grateful I have landed where I have. Feeling, seeing, knowing its my luck while recognizing the misfortune of the others.
I sit here aware there could have been many different realities for me. There still might be as I continue this journey. This life.
It’s been weeks since I’ve heard anything from my only known relatives.
I really could be at a dead end… we’ll see what ancestry says… but… fuck….
It doesn’t look good.
A little back story… I had written my cousin, Joel, who referred me to his half-brother, Andrew, to find out more about their biological dad who would be a sibling to one of my biological parents. All communication has stopped. I even reached out to Andrew’s wife on Facebook.
Its been weeks.
Now, under the hot sun and shaded canopy, I get a notification… from Andrew’s wife.
Whoa. She replied.
OK… I think to myself… I could stay calm and collected. I could wait and think of a well thought out, diplomatic response, attempting not to scare her off by my excitement. Or, I can be raw and eager, blurting out my elation with nothing to lose.
I sit to ponder for about 3 seconds… then I blurt…
"Hiiiiii! Thank you so much for getting back to me!" (I fill her in on my connection to Joel and her husband both being my first cousins) Then, not holding anything back, I write:
(Not my classiest moment... my desperation seeping off the page... But blunt, to the point... eager (embarrassed emoji)))
As I nervously wait and wonder if she’ll respond, my mind almost goes on rewind to the night Joy and I first came across Andrew’s page.
We went down a rabbit hole. Looking for possible family members and connections.
Joy sent me a text that night saying she had been searching. She came across a cousin of his named "Jamie".
“You look like her…. Her face… there’s something there!!!!”
Minutes later she sends me a picture of a profile and says "LOOK! Who is that?!?!?!"
I went to the page…
There was a woman, with red hair, ( back story: one of the only things I know about my birth mother is she had red hair and blue eyes) around the age my birth mother would be now, sitting with an elderly woman. The cover photo was a picture from the 80s of the same woman and all of her siblings. She had red hair, a 70s hair style, holding a baby who was tagged as “Jamie”. I looked at the photo but since we had no clues, no evidence, no leads, there was no proof or no way to know who I was looking at.
We could be go down rabbit hole after rabbit hole, thinking everyone resembled me because I wanted them too. But basically, we would just be running around like chickens with our head cut off.
I wanted to wait until I heard back from Andrew to build connections. But that day never came.
Until right now.
His wife replies... sending me the first names only of Andrew’s father’s siblings.
I tell her how old my mother and father were when they had me and how old they would be now.
“He (Andrew) thinks Regina is that age. “
I then ask for her last name.
She gives me what Andrew “thinks” it is.
Did I just get my mother’s name???
I hit google. HARD. Nothing. Facebook. Nothing. White pages. Nothing.
The last name must be wrong.
I reach back out to her.
“How about the other siblings? Same last name as Andrew?”
“Yes. Same last name.”
“Can I ask where they live now?”
She gives me the states.
I find a woman on FB with a sibling's name, in her supposed state. I screen shot her picture. Sending it back to Andrew’s wife.
Is this Renee?
“No. I’ don’t think she’s on Facebook.”
Fuck. Ok. No problem...
I hit the white pages under her state. I scroll through names and relatives, until I see relatives that match the other sibling names. A “Regina” is listed as a relative with a different last name.
I look on white pages under Regina and the new last name. Her age matches my birth mother’s.
Her relatives match Renee’s… as well as a few more relative names listed.
I search Facebook under the same name.
A profile pops up… with no personal pictures.
I go to her “friends.” The first friend listed is Jamie. The same "Jamie" Joy had sent me in the beginning.
I click on her page. I look under her info at her relatives. She has her grandmother listed.
I click on it.
I am taken to the same page Joy had sent me the first night I got Andrew’s Facebook page.
I look at the woman tagged in the photo… it’s Regina.
I then look back at the 80s cover photo. The woman holding the baby is Regina… the baby is tagged as Jamie. Regina is the only sibling with red hair.
I screen shot and send it to Andrew’s wife.
I go back to the 80s picture…
Am I looking at my birth mother?
I get another notification on my phone:
All unfolding at once...
I sat for a moment breathing in the heat and the scent of Downtown LA under the shaded canopy and hot sun.
I going to stay in this moment. I think to myself. Right where I am. Noticing the both worlds around me. I’m going to wait to get the ancestry results… while also working on an email to Regina… taking the time to think what I should and want to say and how I want to ask if she is, in fact, my birth mother while hoping for some confirmation from DNA.
We’ll see what happens… and I’ll keep you posted.