In 2000, after 20 years of not knowing my real father Vernon, my mom helped me look him up. We started out just talking on the phone, and then in December my mom, boyfriend and I decided to take the trip down to Arkansas to meet him and his family.
When we got down there it was the beginning of the first major snowstorm they had had in 18 years. No one down there new how to drive in the snow. We were seeing big 4-wheel drive SUVs in the ditches and everything. Very interesting scenery, considering I grew up with snowy winters. But speaking of scenery, I had never seen mountains up until then either… so the Ozark hills were breathtaking!
|Me and my father the first time we met.|
We all met at a hotel a ways away from their home. When Vernon came in, I hugged him right away. I was very emotional. I had been watching those reunion TV shows for years about people finding their long lost relatives. It was everything I expected it to be. With Vernon I got to meet his wife Earlene, and his sons Jonah and Jake. I was excited to learn I had brothers! We all had burgers together and celebrated Jonah’s birthday.
The next day we all got up and headed over to their house. We hung out there for a little while, and then started out driving down to Louisiana and Texas to meet more of the family. In Louisiana we met Vernon’s brother Floyd, his wife Pat, and several cousins. We had some amazing food and spent the night in their home.
|Helen, me, Vernon, Jonah and Jake|
The following day we continued our drive down to Texas to meet Vernon’s mom Helen and her husband, MC. Helen was in poor health but was very happy to meet and spend time with me. She was a very lovely woman.
Once we were finished meeting new family members, we drove back up to Vernon’s home and spent another night there, complete with grilled steaks that were mouth-wateringly delicious! It was an emotional farewell because we wanted to spend more time together, but we said our good-byes and found our way home.
We all kept in touch over the phone and we had other visits after that. But I’d have to say this was definitely my best trip ever!
Day 10 – Best Trip Of Your Life
*written for the 30-Day Blogging Challenge.