If you ask Lawrence Louis why he took his Ancestry DNA test he will tell you he was looking to make connections with family he knew was out there but had never met. Lawrence was raised by a single mother and never really knew his father’s family. He found out as a young man that the man he thought was his father had a brother and he was curious to know if he could find his uncle or Father or any cousins or siblings that might exist through DNA. Additionally, he knew his mother had cared for his grandmother’s sisters after her death in 1982, but never knew any of their children. He had been raised with one brother, who was 15 years older, and longed to make connections with any other family members that could be out there.
So, he tested himself, and he tested his mother and when his test came back and mom wasn’t showing as a match, he called Ancestry. The answer he got was to “give it some time”, so he did. He gave it well over a year before he realized there was something that was “wrong”, and that’s when he came to DNAngels.
Lawrence is an avid San Diego sports fan. He loves the Padres, the Chargers and the L.A. Lakers. He played both football and baseball in High School and Junior College, but baseball is his true love. He also loves fishing and often goes to local lakes or down to El Centro to fish for Blue Gill.
Lawrence knew he had been born in Japan, and that his parents were a Marine soldier and his wife who has worked for the military. He never questioned his parentage. His father was not around as a child, it was just he and his mom, and his older brother. His brother, Charlie, wasn’t around a lot because he was 15 years older than Lawrence and off living his life. He isn’t sure how he came to be in his mother’s care. He knows his biological mother went to Japan, to tell he husband she was pregnant and that he was a medic. He wonders if maybe the man who would be his “step-father” may have known his adoptive mother or father and helped place him.
At the time Lawrence took his DNA test, he was caring for his aging mother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s. There wasn’t any good way to get the information he needed out of her. He did ask once, if she wanted to tell him about who he was and who his mother was. He said she just looked at him, then at the photo he has on the wall of Jesus and said nothing.
Lawrence turned to DNAngels, and met Laura and Kelly and they were hot on the trail of his family, who seemed to be mostly from the Oklahoma/Kansas area, far away from sunny San Diego where Lawrence had grown up an still lived.
Within a matter of days, the duo had found his Uncle Tony and knew that one of Tony’s sisters was going to be Mom. Lawrence picked up the phone and called. Because the circumstances of his birth were so unique, the team was sure that Tony would know which one of his siblings had been in Japan. While he was working on calling his uncle, they worked on finding Dad and realized quickly that the Coleman line (Dad’s line) and the Allen line (Mom) intermarried at several points, meaning that Lawrence would have several cousins that were related to both mom and dad. Lawrence reported back with the name of his mother and when she was contacted, she confirmed which Coleman brother was Dad. He unfortunately had passed away but now Lawrence had gone from being essentially an only child to having 2 maternal sisters, 2 maternal brothers, 1 paternal sister and 1 paternal brother, plus a host of aunts, uncles, cousins and other family that all wanted to meet him. He is the baby of the family on Mom’s side and the middle child on Dad’s side.
Lawrence and his wife flew to meet them and was met at the airport by his paternal siblings, whose response to seeing his beaming face was that he looked more like their shared father than they did! Both sides of his newly found family have embraced him with open arms, welcoming him warmly into their lives and their hearts. His mother seems to have a special spot in her heart for Lawrence’s grandson – her very first great grandchild, a handsome little guy they call “Baby J”. Lawrence would share these words of wisdom to those who, like he are late discovery adoptees, “Expect the unexpected! Be prepared for anything! We all know things can happen, and these days it seems like they are happening quite a bit.” To the adoptive parents and biological parents who have kept their secrets he says, “Just tell us. Whatever happened was a long time ago, nothing can be changed, but at least give us closure, we need to heal too.”
Lawrence never expected that when he went fishing for family with his Ancestry DNA test that he would find a family as big and as warm and loving and close knit as both sides of his biological family. He counts himself as extremely lucky. His family has grown in more than just his biological family as he counts his Angels as his family too.