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April 20, 2021 10:06 am
Tim Williams had a little sister, but for 60 years he never knew she existed.
Feel on the season of Mr. Stillman's opus. I'm spending some time interviewing my clients here at Rosewood wealth management over the years I've had the chance to work with a lot of different people and a lot of them have really interesting stories to tell. Maybe they have a really neat job you have accomplished something very impressive work. Maybe I just had things happen to them in life, good or bad that make for interesting stories today. I'm talking with Tim Williams as he shares the story of meeting the little sister that he never knew he had.
After his parents divorced and went their separate ways when he was a toddler and his mom ended up pregnant. Shortly after that, his baby sister ended up being put up for adoption and he never knew she existed until recently. Here's my conversation with him, so all is started.
Basically when some lady reached out to your cousin and said hey I might be a DNA match with your family. So walk me through how that all unfold.
Oh well, I have a cousin who does a lot more Facebook than I do.
Got a call from her one afternoon and she said she'd like to come over.
She had some information that should like to share with and she never really comes over that way to call me and tell her to stop by so she stopped by. She sat down the couch and said she had some she wanted to share with me and I said okay but stop. She starts to cry like and what is going on here and so she says I can't really tell you I'm just going to give you the email that I got so she sends me an email and it has a ladies name in there from home society and has some information on it and I get to reading it home. Society is what it's it was basically a place that you can give up a child wants us born in the for adoption or an agency that did that back in the 60s and they may still do that today and on the information in there. I got to reading it because she just sent me an email and it was couldn't quite figure out what was going on and I get to read more and I see that the birth mother a lot of the information there starts hitting home at some hidden home as in well I got birth mother is my mom exactly Anna had stuffed to the point that it said that her father died at 39 years old in a farming accident while my grandfather died at 39 years old and a farming accident and try to turn around so and then she had three siblings and I get to reading about the siblings.
They are matching up with my aunts and uncles and so this is all win-win. This girl now this lady had been surrendered to the home society. The mother who surrender had provided some back family background information that I guess she hadn't had access to until recently yes evidently when you go in, you have to they want information about your health and substance information about your family.
I guess to just make sure that if there's any kind of underlying conditions or something they know something about that. They don't surrender that owner of from talking to who this lady was my sister is very hard to get that information it's it's not easy, especially North Carolina. They try to protect that just for everybody sake and so you're limited on what you can get in.
This was the sort of a general information and then while she did that her adopted mother had just passed away from ovarian cancer and assorted got her thinking no man, I don't really know what my history is you know maybe I need to research this and her father was her adoptive father was all in agreements to to doing it. Sure, you definitely need to do that so she she went from there and at that point that's where she went to the DNA resources at that time, which were several different ones, ancestry, and then there's 1123.
I think she used them all so just to be sure and understand the time when she realizes okay I need to check out my my medical history then she did the ancestry and then she liked gets the whatever she can from the home society about the family history that leads her then to your your cousin, as she found her cousin on Facebook yet in your cousin reached out to you.
Okay so from here.
Your dear cousins crying in the living room of you might have a cousin or sisters. If so, then you do what well at that point I read this information. I'm saying you know this this this ad not planning on seeing stuff here that makes sense to me and know for my grandfather and his age and everything set up.
But then there's one glaring thing of this would be an a sister that's younger than me.
How could my mom have had a kid that I didn't know about. After I was born exactly. And so when my cousin came over. She brought my aunt which is my mom's sister, and they're very close in age and they until my mom had passed away at this point. Unfortunately, in the so the sister was the immediate information file. At this point.
So when I got this read I looked I looked up at her and I said Jane was my mom pregnant at this time and she said yes she was in you would've been howled at this when I was pregnant I was so in that 3 to 4 now this at this time when she was initially praying out of been three years old turn for right before my sister was born, so your parents had gotten divorced when you are baby yes okay and so then mom gets pregnant.
You're too young to understand what's going on exactly she puts the baby up for adoption. None the wiser until 50 some years later correct. Actually yeah six about six years later and am united. Not really talked to my sister initially at that point either. So I have a lot of feelings about that because first of all a lot of strong feelings you you have a sister you never knew about and now I have. I don't have a lot of family in it except for my mom's side because of the divorce was a not a smooth divorce and so as a child I was kept away from birth father's family quite a bit didn't know them that what I do know one mom enough reached out over the years but he's passed away. So to find that out is a big thing, but I still had questions you know you still because this person it it's a lot of things there are not, but then when she's cemented sort of, that she was pregnant. Then the first thing she's having the year she can't. She says she can't remember your people sometimes I cannot day the things were a lot different than they are now.
I know people don't talk about that and it was like taboo thing you didn't do things out of wedlock and it was a shameful thing for your family. Things like that happened. And so it was kept quiet and it was really Quiet because nobody is ever mentioned to me in the so I was asking her a lot of questions she so I can't really remember exactly that because I just can't remember. And so I did reach out at the after that point and not I did talk to my sister and she we we have a lot of catching up. Do we talked for 60 years of catching up that maybe three and half hours on the phone in the and what's her name Catherine. She goes by Kathy and she's wearing a she's in Aiken South Carolina.
She she was adopted and the family lived in Roanoke Rapids at the time and then they moved a few times moved to Charlotte but her adoptive father or father really mean he's her father and my number one question for her was how was that because I grew up and I had a good life in a grown-up and that to be a bad situation for her, but she had a good adopted family. Yeah.
Went out with her and they were great. She grew up in. She had a great-so everything worked out good but she's very know she she had no problems that she just wanted to find out you just like every byword in that case you you know you want to find out things in. She's very she said she was very thankful that my mom went through the pregnancy because it was the time that it was tough to do. And you thought I try to hide that from people you know.
So anyway, we talked and then get will so when you you find out you have a sister you didn't know about 60 years later you what do you talk about what you talk about another three hours. Well, we we talked a lot about things that each other did and how she progressed in the family should grope web and some of the things that she had is that I have.
It's really weird that a lot of the things that you have in common. You know the little things that you do like, I don't have my wife's always picked on me for years about not having upper lip will have an upper lip. So I asked her about that yet. She has that in common know that a lot of the genetic things that you would expect for in common and also sort of just her process and in her life and how things happen and that unit things were good for her. That's what I wanted.
If it hadn't been that would've been tough and really tough but it wasn't you know it, and so we talked about.
She's a schoolteacher and she went Presbyterian's fee things would probably talk about a prohibition sale here by the this area, but to anyway. We we had a lot a lot of the things that we have that we think about were exactly the same you know that was really weird I will say politically we were in a grievance and that was one thing, because in this climate you like oh my God, you know just yet. He didn't bring that up but anyway and then the other things were was.
She was not sure. One thing we talked about she was not sure about her birth day. You know she got information, but you don't really get a birth certificate so I guess it was some. She wondered about because her family which was pretty cool. They always had her special day of when she was actually adopted of a lot of adoptive families were going to coming home today. Yet that's really what they celebrate his birthday yeah and that's how she did and she always had her special day in which happens with is really weird which happens to be on the same time a day is my wife's birthday so it's a lot of weird things that happened in there like that and then a guy that my wife went to school with his her cousin by her adoptive family inside like while you have an my wife and him knew each other very well. You know it was like that is so you see all these little things that you've touched so close before, but you never know.
The puzzle pieces never came together so and so she was asking about that initially said, well, yeah. And I've always wondered about, so she has not a lot of questions, you know, she said right what was mom like Sue.
We spent quite a bit of time talking about that and you are able to help her figure out what the birthday was right yeah because your uncle had some memories of yeah so what my next step was I wanted to help her out with as much stuff as she had questions about and then my family had some questions to that got answer because people knew that coming in my family who never said anything to me about the knew she was adopted never knew anymore what happened after that point in areas so like a separation at that point. So anyway, so the the birthday was one thing that came to mind and and so I have an uncle who is pretty sharp and this will be your mom's brother correct my mom's brother. Yes and because basically, in discussing this and find a little bit more doing a little bit of detective work amongst myself.
My father, who had she had divorced his family knew nothing about the whole thing. Ami Nate heard things you know but it was always like she hid it pretty well from them and so they did know a lot of details about it, but anyway so one afternoon I go over to my uncles and him asking was I got a question for you. I found out something and I had gotten some results back from us and infer ancestry and I got back in and we were definite that you know it was we had the same mother and said, but I found out some information that I have a sister I was on what you knew about that he said he said yeah so I know about that and I said well I said I know if I ever have a secret that I want to keep. I can tell this family because I said for 60 years you been able to bring this up in the he said well you know your mom didn't want it told and she said she wanted you to know that she wanted to be the one to tell you so we kept it that way in the saucer. Well, I don't have a problem with Alice that I was no got a couple questions I said one thing my sister really doesn't have a solid date on her birthday but she got some paperwork that it was a certain day and I was wondering if you knew what that was and he said sure on exactly what was in the Civil War and I was little confused because what sure how he would remember something like that and he said well specific made some of many. Yeah we haven't thought about in decades. Yes, exactly.
So I was sort of curious and he says well I it was January 19, 1963, and on this paperwork that I have. It says she was born on January 19, 1963 in a civil how the world do you remember that or how do you know that he said well he looked at his wife and this is because me and we were sender were married on that day and I said you to be kidney so here is another thing that pops up that's in the story you know that just water. My mom could go to her brother's wedding is on the baby's right exactly so was one thing he never forget know and she was very apologetic later on about that, but yes she had had to go to deliver my sister so that he is a day he they were married the day he will never forget.
So that solidified the date for the for her birthday so we now celebrate her birthday at her special day so so what's your relationship right now mean you've you've known her. Now, for how long.
About a year and 1/2 now. It was around April of last year so you were looking about a year and 1/2 so you talk occasionally got together at least once right yeah I took a little while for us to to get together but it's a long drive in the it was spent a couple things that happen in the meanwhile, that no we were going to do it and couldn't do it. Her actually her adoptive father passed away and I was really torn on what to do I really want to go down but my wife and we discuss this later but my wife, a senior well in the first time you met doing that. I know you like to go and be supportive but you know she's can be so busy and you know sister very tough time for it may not be good. You know to to try to do that so I didn't do it anyway.
We ended up took long we ended up talking on the phone a lot coming with yeah we are and have just like the old force going to spend like peas and carrots and I we fell in the place really quick. It was very easily talking. She's a great person very great person so it's worked out very good.
So we we finally met in the same may which is close to her special day and at the beach because we met there a kid and I we met in North Myrtle Beach, which is another part of the story this really weird she's a big shocker loves beach music. Mom was big shocker loves beach music.
She has a brick down on the boardwalk down there. Stuff like if she was in that so you know they always went down to the same place, North Myrtle Beach state state real close to us so we have the volume bumped into each other before you know it never knew it.
So that was interesting. But anyway we met down there in Manhattan had a big time and with the virus and things hitting we just really haven't had a chance to really get back together are the rest the family meet in a bit. That's this plan we just had been able to do it from her and I mean do you think it felt like she doesn't harbor any ill will toward your mom and simply she's grateful that she was born in given to a family will take good care of her. Yes, as best you can tell there is no resentment toward you or your family know now you know you wonder about those things but she was really want to find out information and you know she is more so I think thankful that you know at that point know my mom was was young it was in the you know the 60s a lot of times families know it was a in a while she hid it was you know not every day thing then and so she think she's very thankful that my mom went through the whole pregnancy. You know you have to go through that we've even talked about that got brought up to somebody that you know maybe that's why we have such a still a connection because I was older and I was around her all the time now may have been in a she probably heard my voice a lot and I said it so something to think about, but it's amazing to me and I guess this is good.
Goes to show how much your influence by what your parents tell you because I think of you know my son is for now and if Molly had been having a baby a year ago, he would've obviously known that her belly was brilliant. She was pregnant, and so on one hand it's crazy to me that you at that age were completely oblivious to the fact that your mom was pregnant but I think that is goes exilic if mom doesn't talk about it. If she doesn't mention it, a four-year-old isn't going to pick up on know and I have an eye was the same way with that question and she asked me if I remembered it, but I don't remember anything about it and I've asked other people who were around my mother that Harmon and her sister and they said that she hid it really well. I mean she wore things that maybe she what she picked up a little weight.
Things like that but she didn't gain a lot of weight with the pregnancy so it was not notice whelming people knew but no close in the community, but if you just saw her somewhere in his heart immediately to Vegas so that you would really notice. I think September, sharing his story and some of his family history. It seems that wife worked out for Tim's mom and his long-lost sister of doubt as well as it could have sintering circumstances which wasn't always the case in similar circumstances. In the 50s and 60s. I haven't read it, but there's a book called the girls who went away. That tells the stories of young women who accidentally got pregnant and were sent away from home by their families until they had the baby and were forced to give it up for adoption even if they didn't necessarily want to, they had to do that before they could come back home. By the way, a quick update from Tim since we recorded this conversation he plans to meet up with his sister at the beach again this summer. Perhaps it will become an annual tradition for the family. Thanks for tuning into this episode of Mr. Stillman's opus will talk with you again soon