Meeting the Family I Never Knew

If you have been able to follow the story I have been telling  on FB this summer (Turning 47), you know that I was able to go on an extraordinary journey, one that answered questions I had been asking for 47 years.  

The story goes like this: In July of 1971, I was born in Denver to a mother I never met. Three weeks later, I was adopted by a young couple who became my parents, raising me with love along with all of my subsequent brothers. Still, I had no real inkling as to my heritage; my birth mother, father, did I have siblings, am I some lost heir to rock and roll royalty? I had no real clue, other than the non-identifying information given to my parents when I was adopted. 

This Spring I had the opportunity to teach for a semester as an adjunct professor at Wheaton College, my alma mater. Being there, I was able to meet so many friends I hadn't since moving to Sweden in 2002. One of these friends told me that he had had his DNA checked and found out he had a cousin that his family had never known about. That got the wheels turning for me. I ordered a kit immediately. 

Now, I had done a little bit in the way of trying to research my origins, but nothing was ever concrete. Sending my DNA away to be analyzed seemed like a much more potent way to put out a feeler. So, I sent it away and waited the requisite 6-8 weeks for the results. 

The results came in just as I was making the last few grades for my courses. The information both confirmed my ethnic background and altered the percentages of those I had known up to this day, nearly 47 years. My name, data, and profile were now on the board for other "relatives" to see. And I could see them. 

The next day I received a message within the service from a woman who told me the story of giving birth to a beautiful baby boy in Denver, July 1971. "I think you may be my son, " she wrote. Those words I was reading, never guaranteed to ever read, were right there in front of my face. 

Without going into the entire saga, I will tell you that within two weeks of receiving that message, I was able to meet her face-to-face. I am still not entirely able to process or describe the emotions. Somehow, I am keeping a lid on it, though I have been rather spacey since. 

SO, here's the point of this GO FUND ME: Along with my birth mother, I have three younger half-siblings I had never known about, who I am now in contact with.  They are Charlie, Jodi, and Dana. Jodi will be turning 40 on September 22nd, and though I have had to forgo so many occasions back in the US due to my being in Sweden, I thought I would make an attempt to crowdfund a trip back the US for her 40th birthday and meet the family I never knew I had. 

The trip will take me back to Colorado, and I really do not know what to expect, BUT it will certainly mean a continuation of the story I have been posting on FB this summer (the publishing of which/physical book is in discussion). If you have been able to read it, I am grateful. The response was simply overwhelming to me. I had no idea when I started writing that it would touch so many people.

This is my first attempt to crowdsource, as I would never be able to afford the expense, (as a freelancer, I am usually only able to cover my home basics, very little in the way of disposable income).  If this is something you would like to conribute to, please consider it. 

In addition to meeting my newly discovered family for the first time, I would also like to see my family-family, the ones who took me in as an infant and raised me up, my mom and dad, my brothers and their families; a full circle journey. So, this would be an all encompassing trip with several flights. Time being short, I will be needing to book my tickets immediately.  Also, if anyone else would like to meet, should this come to pass, please contact me.  Perhaps WE TOO can have adventures and conversations while I am there. That would be GREAT!

If I am able to reach my goal, I would like to send contributors a Swedish kitchen item I believe you would heartily appreciate, so please send me your addresses. PLUS, more chapters to the story. Of course. 

Much love, 


P.S. The GOAL amount is in Swedish Kronor ( $1.00 = 9.1 Swedish Kronor) So, 20,000 SEK = $2200 (as of today's exchange rate).  
This means, if 90 of you, my friends pitch in $25.00 USD, I will be able to reach my goal. Please consider! 


  • Phil Madeira 
    • kr226 
    • 46 mos
  • Kerry J Haps 
    • kr250 
    • 48 mos
  • Philip Liljenberg 
    • kr50 
    • 48 mos
  • Bruce Copeland 
    • kr450 
    • 48 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • kr1,000 
    • 48 mos
See all


Kurt Lightner 
Göteborg, O, Sweden