Tuesday, February 24, 2009

We Have a New Son!

***Jen, Zak, Vivian, Lucas, Randy, Bob, Isabella, and Jess***

In mid-January of this year, just about five weeks ago, Bob got a heartfelt email from a seventeen-year-old girl telling him that she is his granddaughter, one of the children born to his son whom he's never known. She explained that her dad is Randy Raasch who was given up for adoption by his birth mother back in 1965 and who is now married with a family of his own, a family who wants to know Dad and Grandpa. Bob was thrilled to learn he has this family - a son, daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren, two girls and a boy, and I was equally happy and excited to welcome these wonderful people into our hearts and home. Over Valentine's Day weekend they drove over five hundred miles to come visit us and what a fun time that was. Our other son, Patrick, and his wife and two children came up to meet and get to know their new family. We are now exchanging emails and phone calls as we learn the details of their lives and they learn about us. Our next gathering is planned for Easter weekend - how exciting!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Annalee Auwen, my Smith family cousin

William Franklin Smith had just one brother, John Alvin Smith (1868-1953). John Alvin married Minnie May Culwell and they had seven children who lived beyond childhood, Nolen Brinkley, Julie Addeline, Adah Dovie, Annie Veria, Jimmie Nannie May, John Edgar, and Frank. The photo shown on the left is a rare photo of the entire family taken at a family reunion in California in 1939. (Click on the photo to view a larger image.) This photo was recently sent to me by Annalee Auwen, the wife of Alton Auwen, who is a son of Julia Addeline Smith Auwen and John Johnson Auwen. Annalee has generously shared several of her very special family photographs with me and I'll be featuring them on a separate website very soon. I'll post the link when the site is up. Thank you very much, Annalee.