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Old 10-13-2009, 03:43 PM
 
10 posts, read 21,927 times
Reputation: 24

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It was dark, around 2:30 in the morning, and my wife was shaking my arm. She stated that she had just heard something. My comment that it was probably her stomach didn't go over too well so I slowly got out of bed, grabbed a flashlight and proceeded down the hallway. She was right behind me with a phone in her hand asking, "What's the number you dial in case of emergency?" If there was an intruder within hearing range the guy would have died laughing. A quick search of the house and grounds were negative and it was back to bed; however, as I was already up I thought that it was a good time to check email. I responded to a few work related messages and went on to gmail. There it was...a message from Family Tree DNA. I opened it and began reading. The results were completed and the formal report was attached. I began reading through the long list of comparative results and finally hit the bottom line. There it was...Errol (Thomas Jr) was the son of Thomas Sr and half brother of George and Diane with a degree of certainty that was close to absolute. What a great moment! I just sat there and said, "Well it was all worth it." All the work that you and I have put into making this a success story had paid off. I immediately sent off a message to Errol and Diane congratulating them on their new, extended families.

I then went back to bed and passed the good news on to my then half asleep wife. She screamed with happiness and we decided to immediately call Errol...we knew that he would not mind the call at close to 3:00 in the morning. Before we called my wife stated that maybe the noise was from Thomas Sr in an effort to get us up to check email. I didn't want to go there so we called Errol. He answered the phone which, he explained the next day, was very unusual for him as his wife was the one who always did this when he was sleeping. Needless to say Errol was overwhelmed and expressed his thanks. Errol then got his family together and explained the wonderful news. They sat around talking for so long that it was too late, or early, to go back to bed and they continued on until breakfast time.

The next morning we received a call from Erna, our neighbors and Errol's cousin, explaining that Errol and his family would like all of us to get together that evening for a celebration. We were all to meet at Erna and Horst's house which was just across the street. Errol had gone over to France during the day, only 40 minutes away, and came back with a tremendous assortment of cheeses, meats and other delicious foods and beverages. They were a bit crazy with happiness when we met them there. Before we sat down to eat we stood in a circle and went over the details of this entire saga from beginning to the present. It was just over a year ago and in the same room in which we were standing that Erna asked me if I could help her cousin who was looking for his father...thus the journey began. We went on to celebrate well into the next morning.

One thing Errol asked of me several times during the evening was to thank all of you who had a part in helping with the search. He was constantly amazed that people who had no vested interest in his life long search would rally behind his cause and help with either kind words or actions or both. Errol and his family are deeply appreciative and wanted me to forward their very sincere message of appreciation. I explained to them that this was an example of the real character of Americans and that our country was full of good people.

What happens next between this newest of families will be interesting to watch. All have exchanged multiple messages since receiving the DNA results and a flood of pictures and family history is beginning to be exchanged. All of you and I have helped in this good news story and that warm feeling we developed through helping others is a special reward in itself. If you would like I will provide a follow up in several months or so. It has indeed been a sincere pleasure working together - thank you.

Bob
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Old 10-14-2009, 04:03 AM
 
1,320 posts, read 3,158,689 times
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What a great story! It is amazing how some city data people here will help those in need, when they don't even know you! This speaks volumes (of good) about people. I personally have been helped by many posters on this site. I really appreciate this, and hope I can provide some help to anyone in need.

Bob, I am sharing in your happiness. Chris.
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Old 10-17-2009, 10:13 AM
 
Location: northeast PA
808 posts, read 1,169,991 times
Reputation: 578
All I can say is, WOW. I read this story from beginning to end, and it has really made my day. I am so happy for these families!
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Old 10-24-2009, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Center Point Texas
7 posts, read 9,055 times
Reputation: 14
This has been an amazing (to say the least) journey for all of us. We are so excited to welcome Errol and his family into ours! I've wanted to continue to learn German and now have a good reason to. Errol has said he is going to brush up on his English so we can communicate easier. Luckily for both of us he had his daughter and Bob to translate and I have a friend that would translate for me.

Aunt Beth is so thrilled and wants to be a part of everything, which is wonderful for me. Living in Texas with her in PA has dampened our communication. That has picked back up and we converse at least twice a month now. God totally works wonders in this world and I thank Him for bringing us all together and for Bob and his assistance. We have gained a friend in him as well.

Thank you to all of you for your help and support during this time. I love PA and will certainly be visiting very soon. God Bless each of you. It is a wonderful story with a very happy ending.

Again, Thank you all so very much,

Diane and George
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Old 03-27-2010, 07:57 PM
 
Location: Center Point Texas
7 posts, read 9,055 times
Reputation: 14
Just an tiny update. Errol and family will be in Texas the end of July. They will be here for a week and a half then drive to PA. I will have to fly to meet them because of my job constraints at that time of year. We will then fly to our respective homes on the 20th.

We are all linked on Facebook so we get to talk nearly weekly (because they are 7 hours ahead of me we get to chat on weekends). He is applying for his American Citizenship. Still seems like a dream at times. Once we meet face to face and spend some time together we'll see how things continue. Promises to be another exciting summer for all concerned.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Easter. God Bless all that helped and have kept this thread active.

Diane
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Old 03-28-2010, 07:05 PM
 
2,833 posts, read 9,784,003 times
Reputation: 1658
I am so glad I subscribed to this thread to hear of the updates! I'm so excited for all of you....glad that even though Errol didn't find his father, he has found family who love him and have embraced him and are excited to have him in their lives.
Keep us posted!
Donna
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Old 08-27-2010, 07:05 PM
 
Location: Center Point Texas
7 posts, read 9,055 times
Reputation: 14
Well, the story continues. Errol and family arrived in Texas on July 30th. We picked them up at the San Antonio Airport and took them to dinner since it was so late. My Aunt on my Mom's side invited them into her home for the 8 days they were here. What a grand time we all had! Errol is truly a part of the family, looks, mannerisms, likes and dislikes. Amazing!! We had a Texas style BBQ on Sunday after they arrived and they got to meet the family and close friends. Christine (Errol's wife) cooked a couple of days for us and the food was magnificent. She can come cook for me any time!! They toured the Pro Bass Shop in San Antonio, chased (and caught) an armadillo, toured Bandera and the Hill Country version of a German town -Fredericksburg. They swam in the Guadalupe River, roasted in the hot Texas sun and bought cowboy hats and boots.

On day 9 we went to my brother George's at Lake Tawakoni. 104 degrees with heat advisories. Too dang hot! We stayed in the lake for 2 days. George had another family bbq, we ate at Red Lobster where Michael (Errol's son) had his first lobster. What a fun time we had with that! Errol and family stayed until Wednesday with him and we came home to work on Sunday.

On Wednesday, August 11th they headed out on their road trip to PA. They visited Knoxville, Nashville, Washington DC (got a parking ticket for parking too close to a fire hydrant, LOL!) and came on to Scranton. They stayed in Dunmore at the Sleep Inn thanks to a German family friend of Aunt Beth's. Dragon and Errol had several international conversations setting up the dates and reservations. It worked out well.

They arrived on Sunday August 15th around noon. The weather was cold and rainy and I had to buy a sweatshirt. This girl that's lived in Texas for 30 years got a little cold! I loved it! It's been so hot here. We spent the rest of the week getting reaquainted with family and learning even more about each other. My cousins were so gracious, a PA style BBQ by one and an Italian style dinner on my birthday by another. We toured around Scranton, went to the American Candle Factory and swam in a cousins pool. The last night they were here we went to an Italian restaraunt outside Moscow. Errol and family went back to Germany on Friday and we came back to Texas to scorch a little more.

Errol and family will be coming again in a year or so. He will be coming to Texas to hunt in December, then maybe again in May or June to visit.

Thank you to all that stayed tuned in and helped get the families together. It's truly been an amazing year. God Bless you all!

Diane
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Old 09-20-2010, 02:22 PM
 
527 posts, read 893,490 times
Reputation: 546
WOW- Gotta say I just read this thread from beginning to end and WOW- this was like a freaking mini movie! This was great! Such a happy story
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