So, after many years of denial, my a-brother has shown an interest in his bio-fam. His DNA failed. Twice. It’s really weird . . . and rare. He submitted his saliva sample to 23andMe. But it was a failure. Jeezus. My poor brother. We tease him that it means he’s got alien DNA in him. Weirdo. I like this analysis. He doesn’t.
This was the explanation: “If necessary, the lab will make multiple attempts at all stages of the process in order to provide results; however, due to biological variability some people simply don’t have a high enough concentration of DNA in their saliva for our technology to process.”
So . . . he’s considering submitting his saliva to Ancestry DNA. In the meanwhile, I decided to help him try to find his bio fam. He knew his bio mom’s last name: Traxler. Thanks to the California Birth Index, we were able to confirm the name Traxler and find his bio father’s name: Noble.
After some research, I think I found his bio mom. it’s not my story to share, and we’re not sure we’ve struck gold at this point. We believe his bio mom may have passed several years ago, but we were able to find several potential half-siblings. I drafted a letter to them. Here it is. Comments are encouraged and welcomed!
My name is Laureen Pittman (Laureen Hubachek). You don’t know me, nor do you have any reason to know me, but I have a story that may interest you and I hope that you will continue to read.
I am an adoptee. I was born in December 1963 and raised by two wonderful adoptive parents. I also had (and still have!) an adoptive sibling. Thomas Allen Hubachek (I call him Tommy, or Tom) is two years older than me, born November 19, 1961. He was born in Los Angeles County. His biological mother’s last name is Traxler. His biological father’s last name is Noble. He’s an amazing man—a good brother, husband, and father of 7 children—all now grown and successful. He has 7 grandchildren.
Tom is a mature, well-adjusted man, but he still has questions about his identity and his origins. It took Tom a long time to decide whether or not he should make an attempt at discovering his roots. When he decided to search, I offered to help him. I have helped several other adoptees find their biological family—most with good results and happy endings. I do understand, however, that not all findings result in “happy endings” and that even mistakes can be made in the process of search and discovery. I hope that you can assist Tom in finding the truth.
We have reason to believe that your mother, ________________ Traxler (born in San Diego and attended high school at West Covina High School) is Tom’s biological mother.
We provide this information in an attempt to reach out and make contact with family. Tom only hopes that, if the relationship can be confirmed, information can be shared, and perhaps relationships can be built. It is quite a conundrum being an adoptee—coming from two families: having one biology, but two familial connections. It results in an infinite wondering of how nature and nurture really work.
I understand that this may be a lot to take in and it may be quite a surprise—I have no idea what your mother may have told you about her past. But please understand that we would not be presenting this information to total strangers without a good amount of research that points to your family as relatives of Thomas Hubachek.
I hope that you feel compelled to contact me to discuss your thoughts. If we can confirm that Tom is the son of ________, we would be happy to take the contact as far or as limited as you desire. Tom would love to have some information about the family. He would enjoy building sibling relationships, as well, but he understands that the family must make this decision.
Please take some time to think about this and feel free to call or email me. You can also find me on Facebook and you can message me there, if you prefer.
“…..but he understands that the family must make this decision.” This is the only part of your letter that I question It seems to me that this is a decision to be made by each family member individually – not as a family group. There may be some siblings or nieces, etc. who resist the idea of making contact, while others may be thrilled to meet your brother I hope he feels entitled to make contact with each family member out there, and that if some of the family resists contact, your brother would not feel obliged to pull back from contacting others.
Yes, Dana. I agree. If he is rejected by one, that doesn’t mean that another won’t want to reach out and perhaps get to know him. This was the case with my bio-mom. I have never met her, but I reached out to her siblings and all have been wonderful. It’s really a person-by-person thing. It will be taken slowly . . . as he wants to move forward. A little at a time. Thank you for your response and positive input!
Hi Laureen 😊 Many search angels believe the adoptee should ideally be the one making first contact with their birth family. People are more likely to dismiss or distrust a third party, and it is a weighty responsibility for the third party especially if it doesn’t work out. If your brother doesn’t feel he can express himself as well as you can, perhaps you could also include a short note written by him with his contact details? Including a photo of him is also a good idea. Good luck!
I totally agree with Helen! As someone that helps adoptees to search for and reunite with birth family, I whole heartedly agree that the one searching should make first contact. There are several reasons for that, but two of them are, it may be their only chance and it is much harder to reject the family member, then it is a 3rd party. If your brother is struggling with what to say, you can always advise him, but allow him to reach out. I will pray that all ends well for him.
Thanks, Helen. I wanted him to make contact, but he asked that I act as an intermediary. Yes! A photo is a great idea! Will do that! Thanks for your help, Helen!
A beautifully and well-written letter. Wishing you luck…. and I think it’s a wonderful thing what you are doing for your brother. Sibling love… blood relationship or not… is a strong binding love.
Thank you, Angelika.
I love how you are helping others find their truth.
Thank you, Lisa!
Does he want you to be the intermediary to soften the blow if it turns out to be a negative experience? Good luck!
Perhaps that’s part of it. I’ve been through it all with my own search–rejection (from bio mom), anger, denial, and acceptance, (from bio dad) welcoming and love. I just want to help him navigate.
What a range of experiences you went (are going?) through! My kids and my brother are all adoptees. My brother found his birth family, but decided not to make contact. My kids are from Korea. Son not interested and daughter kinda-sorta thinking of trying to find birth parents in the future.
Hi Cousin Laureen,
Thanks for sharing your journey. I do have some feedback on your great letter. I agree with Helen about you vs. Tom writing it, and also I suggest: Lead with something like “We have reason to believe that your mother…” The way it is now, it sort of sounds like “You don’t know me, but I’m Nigerian royalty and need you to help me get my money out of Africa” or another generic scam. Starting with the key specific that they’ll recognize and then backing up will, I think, ensure that the rest of the letter is read, especially if it’s in that “fake handwriting” font vs. a plain font or hand-written (best).
Just my two cents as a writer/editor.
Hi Andy! Thank you for your feedback. You’re right about the lead in. I’ve revised it accordingly. And that font is not what I am using in the real letter–that just happened when I tried to make the letter stand out on the blog as separate from the post itself. Not ideal for the blog, either. Hope all is well and the move is going smoothly for all of you!