Maury finds his half brother and three sisters in America!
Now I begin to tell you another chapter in my story years after my first book, Child of Woe was written.
I had been thinking about my late father, whom I had never known and I remembered talking to his younger brother who told me that my dad had children in Indiana. He cautioned me against contacting them, feeling they wouldn’t handle it well. I often thought it would be so interesting to meet my father’s family. I just didn’t know how to go about doing it and wondered what they would think if I did. Sometimes thinking too much can be your worst enemy. My wife Bev had suggested that maybe I should make contact with them but I just couldn’t seem to get the time to do so and wasn’t sure that I even should.
Many times friends would ask me about my American family and I would say that they live in Indiana but I have no contact with them and they don’t know I exist. Many people who have read my book ask me if I have ever thought of finding my Dad’s other children and by doing so put the final touch on my story. I guess some of my hesitation was because I was afraid of how they would react to me, this complete stranger, appearing in their lives. Bev and I continued to discuss it and through the Lord’s guiding I felt compelled to go for it! I am very thankful for the help of our dear friend, Chris. She was so excited about my searching for my American family, after having found her own, that she offered to do some Internet sleuthing.
After many days, and long tedious hours of hunting for Blair’s in Indiana, she was able to find out a great deal, that actually located my three sisters and a brother! She found a kind, helpful archivist on the Blair Clan website, who sent us things such as my Dad’s marriage application, and obituaries of other members of the family! It was a marvelous experience, and I surely thank God for using Chris (and Irv the archivist), and for her tireless efforts in assisting me. I finally found the answers to my ancestry, after knowing so very little, for so very long. I had many questions running through my mind during this time and Bev and I talked them out. How do I contact them? A phone call? A letter? An email? Or should I have someone else do it for me? I wanted to do it in such a way as to assure them that I wanted nothing from them materially but just wanted to touch base and share our lives and experiences.
Bev helped me draft up a letter and then we had close friends read it over and make suggestions that would help us express ourselves properly. The letter was finally completed and I felt that it was expressing my hearts desire. Now the question, who do I send it to? Which member of the family? Do I send it to one of the three sisters? Perhaps I should send it to my brother? This was going to be a difficult decision. I finally decided to send the letter to the oldest member of the family who’s name is Maureen. I sent it with all my contact information and much prayer. Maureen shared my letter with other members of the family and contact came within a week. I was in shock! I was so excited as email came from family members welcoming me into the Blair family. During this time I was traveling and Bev was receiving emails daily. She would call and fill me in with all of the wonderful news. Some of the initial contacts I will never forget. Like the one from my younger sister sue. Her email started like this. ‘Hi my name is Sue, how do you do?’ There were emails from Pam, the middle sister, Maureen and Richard , all of which were full of love. This wonderful reaction from the family is something I could hardly handle. I was being welcomed into a family that had never met me and yet they were accepting me just as I was. What a marvelous experience!
Time went by, emails flashed to and fro and I decided to send my family members a copy of my book Child of Woe. Soon plans were being made for a Blair gathering in Indiana. A hotel was booked and we were to go down and meet my family for the first time in South Bend Indiana. Bev and I drove down for that momentous weekend of March 23rd to 25th 2001. We arrived in South Bend and checked into the hotel. The staff at the front desk informed us that we would be notified when the Blair family arrived and were ready for us to come down. I will never forget the time waiting in the room, my mind full of thoughts. How will they feel about me after they meet me? The family informed me that they were very affectionate people, how would I handle that? Hugging and kissing? How would I react to all of that? I felt anxiety and doubt but it was too late to turn back now. Bev sensed my concern and asked. ‘What’s wrong honey?’ ‘Why are you so quiet?’ I told her that I hoped I could handle all of the reactions and that I would be able to respond well to all of it. The phone rang and we were informed that the Blair clan had arrived and were waiting for us to come down. Bev took me by the hand and down we went. What a marvelous reception! What a wonderful family! Maureen, Richard, Pam, Sue and all of their family members welcomed and received Bev and I graciously. I was hugged and kissed like I have
never experienced it in that kind of setting and enjoyed every minute of it. All of the questions of being received and accepted all faded away as I enjoyed my beautiful newfound family. My sister Sue and her husband Dave invited us to leave the hotel and go home with them for the rest of the weekend. Pam and her husband Dale live right next door so we had quite and exciting weekend which I will never forget. The couples live on a beautiful piece of land in Indiana. Maureen and Richard and their families also live very close so we got to enjoy a great visit. I love to take walks on their beautiful farmland. It reminds me of when as a child I would be sent to my uncle Lud’s farm as he had a large property as well, but oh the circumstances are so different.
Oh so different. On uncle Lud’s farm my life was in constant jeopardy because of his hatred and his drinking problem. On Dave and Sue’s farm there is wonderful peace and wonderful family fellowship, what a difference. Bev and I have been down for visits over the past few years and have had such great times of fun and fellowship with my new family.
All of us have a story and I have heard from so many people who have read my book who have had similar experiences to mine. It is my personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the love of my wife Bev, my girls Lisa and Laury and all of our family and friends that have brought me healing for my broken past. How about you? What’s your story? What has been the answer for your life of pain? Are you a victim or a survivor? I am a survivor today because of God’s love and I have had the privilege of taking God’s healing message through Jesus Christ to many countries of the world. You need to know from personal experience, just like I have, that your past does not have to determine your future. Jesus Christ makes a difference in a broken wounded life. I look forward to hearing from you.