• Tonya

31 days in a Minivan

On June 29th our family of 5 and our family dog set out on the adventure of a lifetime. We left Los Angeles at 6am headed east. It was something we had talked about for a while, taking the girls on a road trip to Michigan but they are 12, 9 and 4 I thought they were too young to be expected to be good in the car for hours on end. We had driven back and forth to Seattle and a few other little trips and once the "how long until we get there" stared we were doomed so I had said "no, not yet" every time my husband brought it up. Then, one Sunday in January I got a message that I had a new AncestryDNA match. The email said it was a 1st cousin. I was intrigued. I emailed the person saying "Hi! it looks like we are cousins!" thinking I could maybe get a little family history out of them. I had been put in foster care when I was 18 months old after being passed around and who knows who was taking care of me because my biological mother wasn't the care giving type. She just didn't have it in her. So when she found herself overwhelmed she left and someone called social services and I was put in a foster home. That would turn out to be the single best moment of my life. The day I was brought to Carol and Don VanHorn's home was the day I was truly born. When I clicked on the AncestryDNA match and looked Dan Maryott's family tree I instantly knew this wasn't a cousin but a brother. His father was Harold Lee Maryott. I had heard the name Harold Lee numerous times when I was growing up and I knew that name as the name of my biological father. So, after 46 years the final puzzle piece was finally right in front of me. I just needed to add it to the puzzle of my story. I was so nervous, my hand was literally shaking. Luckily I was at work in the church office when the bomb was being dropped. The pastor at our church calmed me down saying, "It's not like you are standing on the doorstep knocking, saying Hi there, I'm your long lost sister." That is exactly what if felt like though. As far as I knew this family didn't know a thing about me and here I was digitally knocking on their front door. What came was completely unexpected.

Here we go!

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

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