Thursday, December 11, 2008

Getting Ed and his brother together

I posted several times over the past four months about my Project M research. In the last post, I mentioned that I had found Ed's step-siblings and that I was trying to set up a telephone call between them. I wrote then "I have a feeling that this adventure in finding and contacting living people and ancestral information isn't over yet."

The first phone call finally happened today. Ed talked to his youngest step-brother today, and they spent an hour talking about their memories and their lives. I tried to take some notes of the historical information. They talked about their lives, which are very similar in some ways (locality, struggle with an absent father, church work) and different in their present circumstances (mainly due to age and health). They both told stories about the last time they saw their father. It was fascinating to see them settle into a camaraderie - they both thought that their father was a "scoundrel" for deserting their mothers and themselves.

When I posted about this earlier, I was told by some colleagues that "you've done the job he asked you to do - you found the siblings - now let them deal with each other." That was obviously a voice of experience talking - it took over two months to get this telephone call done because I was acting as an intermediary due to Ed's illness. In hindsight, I should have told him "here's the phone number, why don't you call your brothers and sister and ask them about your father?" But then I wouldn't have heard some of the funny, and sad, stories, that these brothers exchanged today.

Learning my lesson, I gave Ed a list of his brothers' and sister's phone numbers and addresses, and threw in the information for a cousin too - since he apparently knows quite a bit about Ed's father.


DearMYRTLE said...

May Ol' Myrt here be the first to congratulate you on your persistence, and in following your HEART not the best advice from your colleagues? I’ve been in on a few adoption reunions, and the results were not nearly as wonderful. This is perhaps the best gift at Christmas for both of these gentlemen. THANKS for going the extra mile for your client, Randy.

Sasha Mitchell said...

Congratulations! In my experience, I prefer to be a buffer, just in case, and if it all goes well, I am a grateful witness to a heart warming reunion, as you were today. I'm so glad that they were able to have this reunion, and for the joy you have found in bringing it about. That's wonderful!


I think it is a delicate balance, knowing when to step in and knowing when to step back. It sounds as if you navigated this passage beautifully. Congratulations.