Monday, September 21, 2020
Sunday, September 20, 2020
Saturday, September 19, 2020
This is the first family tree I put together some thirty years ago. At the time only including my Portuguise connection
Friday, September 18, 2020
One day in 1976ish Bill called me and let me know that he had found and looked into his sealed birth certificate at the Alameda County courthouse. He also saw mine but he didn't unseal it at the time. I subsequently headed to the Bay Area as soon as practical. We never got into trouble for this violation but since then they have moved all archived records to Sacramento.
On that foray into my hidden history I did confirm my Bio mom's name and address at my birth in 1944. There was No information on my Bio father.
Armed with her full name, Helene Ann Vincent(e), I embarked on a search of marriage records(none located in California) and birth records which did yield her parents names and location. Of course they had long left the ranch they lived on, in Benicia, before the bridge was built. Years later, when I did find my Bio grandma(Amelia Costa) she told me about watching them build the Carquinez Bridge(1922-27). Of course, on Helene Ann Vincent(e) birth certificate the name Amelia Costa was not listed and her maiden name was DeSouza.
So for the time being I just looked in phone books of the Bay Area under the name Vincent or Vincente. One afternoon in 1984 I spoke with a cousin of Helene's. He remembered playing with her as a child and he thought she had married, moved away, and since had passed away...But he thought her mom, Amelia, was living somewhere in the East Bay. Soo...I started seeking out DeSouza's in the county. I found no listing for Amelia Souza or DeSouza or Vincente. I finally did connect with her sister in law in West Pittsburg(California), married to her brother John. She took my story and said she would call Amelia(unlisted phone) and get back to me. Within the hour she called me back and said Amelia would like to meet me. I headed over to the Antioch address she gave me with no small degree of trepidation!
Here I go to meet a lady in her 80's, claiming to be her illegitimate grandchild from forty years ago. I feared I would give her a heart attack.
My fears were relieved when she opened the door. It felt like we were connected at once, It just felt like we were family. We spoke for over two hours during which time she told me of my Bio mom(who had passed away in 1970), And my three half brothers in Seattle, And her widow, Howard, who Amelia had No love for! I left and drove North to Ashland on Cloud 9 or 10.
To Be Continued:
The Bob Story
I am trying to put down my story as it seems the older I get, the more I forget ...And the more I am finding out. This genetic time line has taken many twists along the path but in spite of dead ends and lost links it has been very colorful and fruitful over the past forty plus years. Soo here goes. Most of this connection is recorded in other formats but primarily now on Ancestry.com utilizing the family tree function. A seeker of DNA components to their past could use other companies. However it is a fact that these guys have the biggest database to work with and when searching the world for answers that size does matter. It can also lead you astray as there are many rabbit holes out there. I should probably title this “The Bob’s DNA Story”...However..it is very important that anyone seeking information as I have to realize that there is so much more in your makeup than DNA. DNA is very important but culture and nuclear family are at least as important. That is why I wince when people use terms like “my Real parents”. Jack and Virginia were my real parents as were my bioparents, and Bill is my very real brother.
The conundrum to be known as Robert Michael Vlach was born on October 7th 1944 at Providence hospital in Oakland, California. At birth I was adopted by John Tormey and Virginia Mary Vlach. My first home was on a ranch near Port Chicago in Contra Costa county owned by Jack’s parents John Douglas and Loretta Vlach.
In August 1946 my parents adopted another boy from the same hospital, William Patrick.
We lived on the ranch until my dad passed away in our mid teens, from heart valve failure. A result of Rheumatic Fever in his early years. Probably one of the first of many ironic twists in my life’s journey was that a couple of years later they invented the artificial heart as well as the use of replacement heart valves from pigs.
Following the passing of my adopted father, Bill, mom and I moved to Sacramento to be closer to her brothers. We both finished high school in Sacramento and then I went on to Sacramento State College to graduation. Bill went to San Francisco following high school, going first to San Francisco State and then on to a very successful career in the mental health field. Our mom never kept our adoption status a secret but she had very little information in her records and neither Bill or I really pursued our histories in earnest until many years later,
To Be Continued:
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
This blogsite has been handy for me for many years. The most useful function has been mostly as an online journal, helping me to reflect on many subjects from the loss of Sherita to the continuing journey of myself in the realms of philosophy, spirituality, politics. Alot of the most recent posts have been related to the practice of labyrinth facilitation and construction. At any rate there have not been many posts on here since moving to Kauai. Maybe that is because I have felt that my point of understanding and comfort has been approached....That may be somewhat true but I still am desirious of finding that symbiotic companion to suppliment my life over here. And I suppose after the last Presidential election I have kind of gone into hiding in the hopes we, as a nation, get our collective head out of our collective Okole!
Having just returned from Palmdale, California visiting Michael and Garret I am now on quarentine in my home in Kalaheo for two weeks because of the concerns over Covid 19 virus. This seems the ideal time to reconnect to this blog...The primary need to do this now is to codify the most recent developments in my adoptive journey. Much of which has actually come to light in the past few years. And this transitionary post has as its pictorial heading a book I am reading and which our centering prayer group are sharing weekly. "The Universal Christ" is one of the latest books by Fr Richard Rohr. I call it his Magnum Opus or his greatest work. If you have ever read a book and find it difficult to highlight significant passages then that describes this one. All of this is significant and Kind and Loving and Transformative. It truly encapsulates the essence of most of his work, and that of others as well, from the past fifty years. Not to even try to compare my feeble work on this site to his but my point is that for me I have pretty much put that which is me out here on this blog. From here out I am kind of fleshing out little things like my DNA and adoptive history. Pax et Bonum! RV