My recent discovery of my birth family has caused several revelations that I did not expect.  I have 4 half siblings that I never knew about, nor they did not know about me. I always wondered if I we met would we have an instant connection. Kelly Marie and I had that immediately the first day we talked on the phone. We have had completely different lives yet we had some common bonds, similar habits and lots of stories to tell. It will likely take us the rest of our lives to “catch up”,  if we ever do.

However, my brother Ed and my sister Deena are my life long siblings. We have a deep connection. They have more dirt on me and can push my buttons like no one else.  You see, my parents adopted me and Ed because they thought they could not have children.  2 years after I came home, my Mom had surgery and magically my sister was conceived! Still, our parents loved and treated us all the same- fairly.  They loved us beyond words. We were not wealthy, but my parents worked hard. We had all any child could want or need. We were a complete and happy family unit. Oh, there was drama, mostly caused by me. My sister, Deena has all the dirt and can bring up things I’ve long forgotten.  Deena and I share a love of horses that began when I was 5. She, being 2 years younger, followed me, and fell in love with horses too.  It all started when Daddy brought home a pony in the back of a pickup truck for my 5th birthday.  We named her Daisy.  I would not say I was spoiled, but my Dad loved doing things like that for us, because he could.  We enjoyed daisy and he built a little barn for her and my Mom’s horse, Dolly.  Dolly was too big for us to ride so eventually we got more horses and started showing them at our local barns.  Deena and I would spend summers at the barn from dawn to dusk. All of our friends rode horses. Dawn and Colleen were another pair of sisters who rode together and we are still friends today.  My brother, Ed and I also spent time together but he was not an outdoor kind of guy.  I give him full credit for my love of music and my “geeky side”. I say that with true affection.  I am the middle child. We are all 2 years apart. I always had someone to play with or hang out with.  Ed had us playing board games & card games. He collected records and we would play them all the time. Some over and over again. He spent his summers reading books and watching TV and he always had Star Trek or sci fi movies on. He found the most interesting things to watch on TV because he always had the TV guide. None of us ever got to look at it. He carried it around with him constantly.  Ed is talented- he has a beautiful singing voice.  We used to do duets in the car on family road trips. He engineered skits for us and we did “shows” for our parents. All three of us would perform something silly for them after dinner on the makeshift stage in the basement.  Our parents took us camping. We ate dinner together every single night.  I can say without any regret, say my childhood was amazing!

So, as all stories go here is the sad part……In 1991, Daddy passed away from lung cancer. I was 22 years old and my Mother was a widow in her mid 40’s.  My brother and sister and I we were all over 20 years old,  but still very close. Losing our Dad was the single worst experience of our lives. This man raised us and loved us without measure. He adored and treasured his children. We were very close. The loss only strengthened our family bond. The four us leaned in and held on tight. Mom is a rock, an angel and the most amazing person in the world. She taught us so many things.  How to grieve, deal with that huge loss, then how to live life.  She adopted two children and made them her own. She continues shaping our lives, even to this day. I speak with my Mom on the phone every single day.  There’s always something to share or enjoy with her, or advice that I need.

Ed and Deena and my Mom are who I am, and who I have become.  They might not share my DNA but I would go to the ends of the earth for them, and they would for me.

I very much look forward to meeting my other half siblings, Ryan, Corey and Doug. I am curious about their summers growing up, and what they learned and who they have become.

Deena, Me, Ed, Mom in 2015                            Deena with Daisy, Me with Slippers

The Ring

Kelly and I have to go by nick names since it gets a bit confusing with two sisters named Kelly. So, I am Kelly Louise and she is Kelly Marie to the Aunts and Uncles and family.

After her Mother passed away, Kelly Marie mentioned that she found this Mother’s ring while sorting out Linda’s things.  Kelly Marie wore it for several years without connecting the fact that there were four stones but there were only two children, she and her brother, Doug.

Kelly Marie knew three of the stones – Amethyst was for Linda’s birthday,  Ruby was hers, and the Emerald was her brother Doug.  She said she never knew about the Sapphire or why it was there.

Kelly Marie told me that just after Aunt Jeanne connect the two of us by phone and she found out Jeanne and I share a birthday in September….. it clicked.  Kelly Marie ran home and pulled open her jewelry box to look at the ring again. There it was! That September Sapphire was for me.

Another piece of the puzzle in place. Linda wore this ring. It represented all of her children. I know she can’t be here to speak for herself, but the ring says it all.



My Father’s tale

On my Mother’s side, I found cousins and my Aunts and Uncles. I have one half sister and one half brother (have not met him yet).

I have connected with my biological father and he’s alive and well.  He did not even know about me, but they welcomed me with open arms. We have talked several times on the phone and through Facebook.

I connected with him through my ancestry cousin and my half brother Ryan. That’s a great story. I will post soon but I would like to see them and post photos to go with the story of this side of my family.  On my Father’s side, I have two half brothers and more Aunts and Uncles. Wait for it….more to come!

All the Aunts and Uncles

This weekend was “the weekend” for meeting my newly found family.  After 4 weeks of chatting on the phone and facetime,  I finally got to meet Aunt Jeanne. She and her husband Cecil arrived on Saturday evening, just after Kelly and Morgan headed home. Jeanne is the youngest of the four siblings. Again, her eyes are like mine and we have similar features.  Jeanne and I have the exact same birth date in September. I always had a feeling my birthday was special- now I know it truly is because I share it with her.  I see myself in my Aunts and Uncles.  I’ve never been able to look at someone and say “I have their eyes, cheeks, nose or build. I have that with these three and Kelly and Morgan too.  Victor is a professional ballroom dancer and an amazing artist. Check, I must get some of my artistic side from him and my Grandfather. Snookie.  Snookie was also a great golfer (I am not but I love it so I’ll take that I got it from him).   Aunt Martha is spiritual and intuitive. We can talk on the phone for hours about many subjects. She has a great sense of humor and we connected immediately. I did with all three and see bits of myself in each.   Jeanne is an early riser who goes like the energizer bunny from dawn to dusk and a “get it done” kind of lady. Check. Now I know where I get that. They tell me Linda was also an early riser with lots of energy.  I look forward to many more visits and calls. Each time we talk I learn something new and amazing.  037

Aunt Jeanne and me!

Facetime and Drive

It is not safe to text or Facetime while you drive!

2 weeks ago on Saturday morning, I got a Facetime request while driving to an appointment. I knew who it was- my Aunt was meeting with my half sister for breakfast to tell her they had found me. We all did not know how it would go. They did not even know if she knew about me.  Imagine my surprise to get the call while driving down Rt 7. I had to pull over to take the call. I saw an image of myself on the other end of the phone. I was strange and amazing to see my half sister, Kelly! Dark pony tail, dark brown eyes just like mine!  Aunt Jeanne setup the call. The meeting went well! Kelly already knew about me. She and her cousin had secretly searched for me with no luck. She was overjoyed that they found me! I was overwhelmed but we chatted for about 20 minutes and exchanged numbers so we could catch up later. Kelly and I have talked, texted or emailed every day since.

This weekend, we met for the first time. Kelly and her daughter, Morgan, came to see us. We had an immediate honest family connection. You can see from the photos…..

We crammed 50 years into a day and a half – no sleep, lots of food and visiting with Aunts and Uncles. It was like we’d known each other all our lives. Funny details. – Kelly and I use the same eye liner color and we both don’t like having our photo taken. Morgan took the photos and could not get us to behave.

We will keep in touch until we can visit again. For now, there’s Facetime!

Meet Vic & Martha!

Friday two weeks ago, we met Uncle Vic, Uncle John and Aunt Martha. Uncle Vic is 12 miles from us. All this time, he’s been right here driving by our house. We probably passed each other in the grocery store at some point!

Mom, Steve and I went to their home for lunch.

Uncle Vic hugged me then pushed me back at arms length to look at my eyes. “Yep, you have Marchand Eyes!” he said. John came in and he looked shocked. He hugged me then said he could not believe how much I resemble Linda and Kelly (My birth mother and my half sister).  Martha and Vic and John entertained us with family stories and photos. We had an amazing afternoon visit that ended all too soon.



Uncle Vic, Me, Aunt Martha


Linda Marchand- my birth mother

Hello, it’s me.

Almost 4 weeks ago, I was reading my Ancestry messages and one of my cousins responded to my note. We chatted about me being adopted and her knowing a cousin who “might” have some information. I did not think anything of it. Nothing ever comes of it.  Later in the day, the cousin sent another note that I would get a call from Martha. Ok. I totally forgot about it. After dinner we were sitting on the couch and my phone rang. It was 9:30 on a Thursday night. I did not recognize the number. The caller said “Hi, this is Martha. Your Mother was my sister and we’ve been looking for you”. Imagine the drama. My head was spinning and my knees went week. I went down to the floor as she rattled off my birthday and a few other facts that not many people would know.  I was crying and could not focus on her words but I tried so hard to listen.  I put the phone on speaker so my husband, Steve, could hear. He was truly alarmed not knowing who was calling and seeing my reaction.  Then, we quickly realized that my birth family had found me. Evidently, they had been looking for me since I was given up. Many secrets were kept and only a few people knew about me. Martha gave me the name I had been looking for. Tracy Dawn Marchand. I never knew that name. They only knew that name and never searched for me as Kelly.

My birth Mother, Linda, had passed in 2010. I had missed the opportunity to meet her. However, I had 2 Aunts and an Uncle and a half sister, named….Kelly. As we talked we started to realize so many strange coincidences. My sister’s name was my name.  My Middle name, Louise, also my birth Mother’s middle name. Aunt Jeanne and I share the exact same birth date in September, only 10 years apart.

The only people who knew about me were Martha and Victor- my Birth Mother’s sister and brother.  The secret was kept for many years but Kelly found out while she was in high school. Everyone was instructed not to try to find me. All to protect me, not to disturb me or uproot my life. I completely understand and appreciate that. The time was not right, until now.

Martha’s son, Mark,  is my age. She said she was reminded of me when she saw Mark and she continued to search. After Linda passed in 2010, they did not continue the search to honor her wishes.


Ancestry is amazing

My search was stalled. Unless I could find out my birth name, I could go no further.  Through my research of adoption in Washington, DC in the 1960’s, I found out that you have to petition the court to open your records to give you any detail about your adoption. I filled out the paperwork, had it notarized and sent it in. They sent it back to me no less than three times as I missed a date, then a signature. This process went on for weeks then finally, an official court document arrived that said I had a court date to unseal my records. This is called a “break seal”. I worked through the DC Family Courts and my contact assured me they would call me with any news. Every 6 months the court date would get postponed. They said that they would only give me my birth name when they contacted my Mother. My Father was listed as “unknown” on the birth certificate. They dripped out a few more details such as her age and that she was healthy and working then no more. The court date was extended every few months. I would get the notice in the mail and just put it in the file.

In 2015 I was lucky enough to work with a pro-geneology professional at Ancestry. Michael Miller. Michael worked through my DNA and built my family tree backward. He and his crew did an amazing job. In December of 2016, I received a 12 page report. There, I had the names of my Grandparents, Great Grandparents and their children. The report revealed that my DNA markers showed I was the child of Marchand on my Mother’s side and Guillet on my Father’s side.  The level of detail- names, addresses and phone numbers, was truly outstanding. However, I let the report sit for a bit. I needed more detail. I still had no idea who to call or ask for help. Those people might not know about me and I was not about to start disrupting lives.

My Sister’s Name is Kelly (also)

I always knew I was adopted. From the time that I could understand the meaning, my parents tried to help me and my brother, Ed, know that we were chosen to be in this family.  Loved, cherished and adored. We felt it and I never doubted the love my parents felt for me and my brother and sister, equally.  This is a very difficult and emotional story to tell so please bear with me.

The hardest part about being adopted and searching then finding your birth family is the guilt. You feel horribly guilty like you are cheating on someone. I know in my heart who I am. I am the very proud daughter of Don and Pat Lynn. Sister of Ed and Deena. They made me who I am in every sense of the word “Family”.  They are mine, no matter what.  But who am I in DNA? What will my future health reveal? Some health concerns made me push a little harder to find the answers. I was not desperate. I had no “need” but curiosity and my drive to finish a project kicked in.


My entire life I’ve dreaded going to doctor appointments and filling out the forms. On the page where they ask “family medical history” I have only ever been able to write “ADOPTED”. This is all I had to write. Next page….

I was adopted into my loving family in late Fall, 1966. Born in Washington DC Hospital, the courts sealed my records. A sealed adoption is difficult to “unseal”. I never really cared to do anything but my Mom always told me and Ed she would help in any way she could.

In 2010, I began looking at online message boards for people searching for adopted family members.  That search was a dead end. I joined Ancestry in 2014 on the recommendation of a friend who had success finding her birth family.  I sent my DNA sample in. In about 6 weeks, the “cousins” started to appear in my DNA feed.

I was happy to connect with blood relatives but I was only seeing 4/5th generation cousins.  I would message with them and they would ask me what my last name was. I could not tell them.  I had no tree and no way to start one. My records were sealed and I never knew the last name of my birth parents. So I kept looking at the cousin’s trees and hoping something would jump out at me. Nothing did and days and weeks went by and I ignored it for a while.

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