“Crazy Tree, Crazy Apple” a direct quote from my mother.
The same mother who cultivated the crazy apples. 😃
Because I was adopted I never really felt like I had a place anywhere. I drifted through life very aware that I was alone. This reality prompted me to start building my family tree on Ancestry.com. I began with basic information that I had pieced together over the years. It wasn’t much but thankfully I was able to get more information from my little sister. As the years rolled past I would add information here and there but usually it was nothing more than a passing thought. That was until one day I receive a message from someone who was looking for her dad’s biological family. It turned out that her father was my uncle who had also been adopted as a young boy. The ancestry fever was ignited in me at that moment. I became obsessed with finding out more about my family and where I had come from. I knew all along that I was Native American and Polish but nothing beyond that. Before I knew it I had located several members of the Kasper clan and I finally started to feel like I was a part of something bigger. Even though I had never met them I knew I belonged and this fact calmed my obsession with the family tree slightly. That was until I submitted my DNA for testing. I was chomping at the bit while I waited for the results. I already knew who my parents were so I’m not really sure what I wanted to know. Maybe it was because I had attempted contact with someone who I was positive was my cousin and was rejected. It didn’t really hurt me or really shock me that his response was “We never heard anything about her.” Therefor I didn’t exist to him. That was his answer to the young lady I contacted as a go between since he would never respond to me personally. His answer only made me want to stand tall and prove it to not only him but to the rest of the Kilgore clan. I would not be silent and invisible any longer because I am a Kasper first and we roar! Within a few weeks my DNA results were in and I was so excited to see the results that linked me to so many different people. I’m currently trying to make all the connections as I search through the thousands of very confusing hints and facts and it’s safe to say my fever is renewed. (I’m not entirely sure that the fever ever went away.) All of what I have written up to this point now brings me to what has been rattling around in my crazy head for some time now. Some of you may or may not know that I spent several years in foster care and other various juvenile facilities. Those years were some of the most heartbreaking years of my life but also the most life changing for me. I learned things I shouldn’t have but never learned any lessons. So as I’m going through the DNA results I start to fill in the gaps of my family tree. I’m excited to follow the path of my ancestors but then my heart begins to feel heavy again. It’s strange how simple names or words can affect everything you have felt up until that point. The names of the people I was adding weren’t so familiar but the locations were. Menomenie, Escanaba, Rapid River and the most heart wrenching for me was Poplar, WI. These are just a few of the places that I lived in foster care or in a group home. I know it’s silly and unrealistic but I often wonder to myself how come no one knew? I’m sure it was written all over my face that I didn’t belong. Did you walk past me on the street or bump into me at a store? I was so close to my blood relatives yet I was completely invisible to them. I was just another juvenile delinquent in the eyes of everyone around me. How could they have ever known though? No one on my paternal side even knew I existed. It’s not fair for me to be upset with them when I was just a mere ghost floating aimlessly through life. I still can’t help but fantasize that maybe if someone had known they might have saved me and my life would have been very different. It’s weird what you learn through your family tree and how it can affect you. For now I will remain Kasper the unfriendly Ghost as I hang from my crazy apple tree.
Kelly Kasper ❤ 2017