Thursday, June 26, 2008

Family! Again!

In the past twenty-four hours Göran and I have laughed, wept, offered prayers of thanksgiving, and just been amazed. We are quite overwhelmed in an excellent way.

As I have discussed elsewhere, Göran's mom was very secretive about her family and about his origins. She took whatever she knew about those things with her to the grave. Finally, last summer (almost exactly one year ago!) we located his birth certificate, which began to give us some answers to these questions.

It took time for Göran to get up the courage to try looking up his father -- the man listed on his birth certificate. He was not sure what the outcome of such an encounter would be. At first, he wasn't even sure he wanted to do it, but over time he gradually realized that he had to. He did some research and found a man with his father's name living in Memphis, Tennessee, the place where he was born. A month or two ago, we together drafted a letter to send. We wanted verification it was received, so we sent it certified mail.

After several weeks the certified letter was returned to us, and we were told that it couldn't be delivered. A co-worker encouraged Göran to send it again, but this time by Fedex (so no one would have to sign for it). He did this on Monday.

Yesterday, he got a phone call from a woman he's never met.

"Is this Göran?" she asked (mispronouncing his name "Juron").

"Yes," he replied.

"I'm your cousin Nikki," she said.

He called me immediately. I was taking Glen to a meeting. When he told me what had happened, and told me that he had also spoken to an Aunt, we both wept together. I wanted to be with him, but I couldn't until after Glen's meeting was done. Göran spent the entire evening on the phone, talking to his cousin Nikki, his aunt Dottie, his father, and his younger half-brother and half-sister. He would have talked to his grandmother too, but she couldn't speak. All she could do was cry. She is 82 years old, and she has been praying to God to find her lost grandchildren (Göran and his sister Gay) before she died. They had been searching for him for a much longer time than he has been searching for them, but he had been harder for them to find since he legally changed his name in 1992. But they had never given up hope trying to find him and his sister. His grandmother kept their childhood pictures on a little altar.

Thanks to the marvels of the Internet, we soon had pictures of his new clan -- pictures of his dad, his half-siblings (there are three of them), his aunt and his cousin. We wept again, as we instantly recognized the family resemblance.

In the letter we sent, Göran mentioned his "life partner." They were full of questions about me. Göran told them about our upcoming wedding in California, and his Aunt Dottie immediately said she wanted to come. They all wanted to meet me, to meet us, meet our foster son. We have begun making travel plans again. This time to Memphis, Tennessee.

I went on-line, found a good genealogy program for Mac, and started mapping out all the relationships and names.

Last night as we lay in bed together and cried more tears of gratitude, he said, "I have a family too. I have a place in the Universe."

This story is... to be continued! For now we are simply astonished and happy beyond belief.


Maraiya said...

Wonderful! God is good! I am so happy for Göran! This is just simply amazing.

Anonymous said...

it's great to end the day with a happy ending... or beginning

Beck said...

This is truly inspiring! What a "tender mercy". You're being blessed and you recognize these events as blessings!

May the story continue...

GeistX said...

I also wept tears of joy when Goran sent me the email saying he found his family. Both myself and Nerdwife were so happy for him, and for you.

J G-W said...

Thanks everyone... Yes, happy endings, happy beginnings. The story keeps getting better... More later.