Saturday, September 20, 2014

An open letter to my Uncle

Dear Uncle,
You do not know me. You may not even know that I am your niece. My grandmother died with you as her secret, and only an accidental slip by  her sister led me to knowing you existed, though I always had a suspicion.

You are 66 years old. You were born sometime between February and September in 1948, and given the other facts I know, I suspect you were born July-August of 1948. Given that there was a hospital a few miles from where my grandmother was living at 2310 Alma Street in San Pedro, California, you were probably born at the San Pedro hospital in Los Angeles County, California.

You may not even know you are adopted. I know you were raised Catholic, that whether the adoption was private, or through the Catholic Charities, my grandmother had to agree that you would be raised Catholic.

Your birth mother was Dolores Barbara Hinds, born March 10, 1927 in Syracuse, New York. She was petite with blond hair and blue eyes. She was artistic, and rather fragile. She was prone to what was then called "nervous breakdowns." She worked for your father for a while, though I am not sure how long, I know she didn't graduate high school but went to work during World War 2. From our conversations, I assumed it was with the law firm your father belonged to. She was always proud of that career.  She died in 2000.

Your birth father was Saul Kauffman born in 1893 and died in 1975. He spent his life in Syracuse, New York, where he graduated from Syracuse University and became a lawyer. His obituary lists no other children, only his wife and some of his siblings. He was involved in the Jewish community from the newspaper articles I found and he was the child of Russian emigrants. He was 55 when you were born, while your mother was only 21. He was married, and he did pay for her trip to California to have you.

You had two half brothers who died before they were forty, and a half sister who is my mother. You have four nephews and two living nieces, and even a few grand nieces and a grand nephew.

Before I knew about you I was looking for my mother's paternal half brother, now I search for you as well. I realize you are a man full grown, with a lifetime belonging to another family. You may not want to be found, and that I can understand. For myself, I just want to know where your are. Did you have a family? Do I have other cousins? What became of you?

Finding an adoptee from 1948 will be hard, when I don't know the exact date you were born. An average of 3500 males were born in Los Angeles county each month from February to September, so  I can only hope that someday you find this, and you ask yourself if this could be me? I have had my mother's DNA tested, for genealogical purposes, but also in the hope that by some miracle, you or a child tests and she matches. To make it easier, I placed her on gedmatch a free service that has matches from more than one company.

Until then, I will continue to search, and hope that eventually I will find you.

Your Niece,


  1. What a beautiful letter to your Uncle. I have a half brother that I do not know and I wish, like you, that I did. I wonder the same things. Does he have a family? Did he know that we think about him? Did he know that my Daddy loved him? I may never find him but I hope that his life is well led......

  2. I have a half brother also, whom I have never met. My father had a child with a German girl while he was stationed there in the 60's. I don't know his name, and my dad has never told me anything about him. The whole thing is very hush-hush.