Dazed and confused

Wait, what? She Thinks She’s My MOTHER, and She Doesn’t Want to Get Ahead of Herself?!? At this point, I knew I was part of some online scam. I called my brother Jamar and told him what happened. He agreed that I was part of a scam and suggested that I call our mother to sort it out for sure. Mom was a bit busy when I called and could not explain why my DNA didn’t match. I now know she was terrified and didn’t have enough strength to tell me the truth. I called my brother back, and he offered to take a test. I reached out to my uncle, and he agreed to take a test too.

My mind was spinning as I tried to figure this all out. Meanwhile, I began receiving friend invitations from LinkedIn and Facebook from a David Maren. I clicked on the invites, and I could not figure out why this white guy who looked like a sales manager from Best Buy wanted to be my friend. But right before I put my phone down, I received a text.

Okay, what in the world is going on? Who sends a text like that? How did he get my phone number? Shoot me a text? I am your half brother? A WHITE guy? My head began to spin. I felt like I was thrown off of on a merry-go-round at a playground. Dazed and confused, I became incredibly scared and sick. What have I done? I asked myself. I sat my husband down and told him about the email from Jeannie, the DMs from Catherine, and the text from David. Ron became very angry. He said that he understood that I missed my father and that I was trying to sort out my emotions, but now I’ve probably comprised my DNA to scammers. He said quite clearly, “Do not call David Maren, and you have to figure out how to fix this.” I felt so alone. I was in over my head.

I logged back on the Ancestry and DM Catherine.

Hi Catherine,

I heard back from Jeannie. She claims she might be my mother. As you can imagine, I’m confused. I figured she was going to say something like this as I see stuff like this on t.v. all of the time. Jeannie didn’t give me anymore details. Except that she’s going to take the test. Can you give me the back story? As to why she believes this?

Much appreciated!


I can tell you what I know but I have a bunch of meetings today and I am driving back and forth. I’ll send you information either late tonight or tomorrow.

A bunch of meetings? On a Sunday night? Who has a bunch of meetings on a Sunday night? At this point, I knew I WAS part of a scam and that Catherine, Jeannie, and David were trying to figure out the next steps. However, I was on to them, and I was going to call David Maren despite my husband’s request. Game on, scammers. Game on!

I had a birthday celebration to go to for a friend and decided to call David on my way to the party.

“Hi may I please speak to–“
“Janeen?”, he said sobbing.
“Uh, yes? David?”
“I can’t believe we found you!”
“What? How did you get my phone number?”
“I purchased a background report on you.”

WTH?? I pulled over. I was so frightened and could hardly breathe. I began to hyperventilate. David then tells me a story about a baby girl named Jennifer, that his father’s girlfriend gave up for adoption when he was a teen. David said that he and his sisters have been writing letters to the adoption agency for years to get my whereabouts, but they wouldn’t tell them because the adoption was sealed. He would not stop crying.

I became very defensive and angry. I couldn’t believe that this guy thought I was foolish enough to believe his story. So my plan was to outsmart him and his other to Musketeers. “David, it seems that you miss this little baby a lot. Unfortunately, I’m not her.”
“But what about your DNA? Have you noticed that it doesn’t match with anyone from your family?”

“See, that is where you are WRONG. I DO match with people in my family!” (yes I lied)

“But it can’t be?

“Well, you’re wrong. I’m matching with EVERYONE!”

David was confused and couldn’t understand why I was so defensive. But I was on to him and his crew. They can’t outsmart me! “David, let me help you get to the bottom of this mystery. Give me the adoption information, and I’ll follow up with the agency tomorrow.” I gave him my email address. That evening I received the following email from him”.

Subject: Adoption agency information
Date: Sunday, April 8, 2018, 7:12 PM

Hi Janeen,
I was shaking after our conversation today and I truly cannot imagine how you must feel. I want you to know that my family and I care very much
about you and do not intend to hurt you in any way through this communication. As I said over the phone, I’m a human being and I’m sure that my communication will not be perfect but I’m making a very conscious effort to be thoughtful, kind, and courteous to you. I also should
mention that there is a very real sense of vulnerability that we feel in communicating with you and it would be good to keep in mind that we, too, could be hurt by you pretty
easily. I’m not sure that there was a dry eye in the whole family today. We are very excited to know that you are alive and well and overwhelmed with the prospect of possibly getting to know you.

Based on what I know at this point, it appears to be extremely likely that
you are the biological daughter of my dad, Samuel A. Maren, and Barbara “Jeanie” Brooks. Sam and Jeanie had a daughter who was born on (your birthday) who was adopted. It is my understanding that this baby was in some kind of foster care for a short period of time (not sure how long) before she was adopted. The adoption agency through which this baby was
adopted was: The Children’s Home Society of New Jersey
The best contact for you to reach out to there is: Patricia “Pat” Faiola, Background Search and Reunion Specialist​​ (email and phone number).

My dad, has been in touch with Pat off and on over the last 25 years and she is familiar with your case. In fact, Sam reached out to Pat within the last month or so to update the birth parent profile that they have on file for him. It is my understanding that they have your records under the name of
“Jennifer Brooks” since that is the name you were given at birth.
I’ve attached a scanned image of the one photo that my dad has had of his
baby over all of these years. He got the photo from the baby’s mother, and I know very little about the photo. I don’t know with 100% certainty that it is of
their baby but that is what I am told.

Baby Jennifer

My dad told us about you from a very early age and has always loved that little baby that he was unable to raise. I think it might be meaningful to you to know that due to his love for you and his hope of
reconnecting with you one day, he has stayed in touch with the Brooks family over all these years and has been involved in the African American community in many ways. He leads music at the primarily African American church that he attends and is even involved in NAACP.

Please let me know when you get this email.
Sincerely, respectfully, and excitedly,
​David Maren

What? I open the attached image. What the fuck. Is that me? How did he get this photo? I quickly closed my eyes and mentally went through the baby book my mother made for my brothers and me. It couldn’t physically grab it because it was in Virginia at my mother’s house. As I thought, it was then when I realized that I’ve never seen a newborn photo of myself. I then mentally went through my brothers’ baby books, and I remember seeing their newborn photos. Oh my goodness, what was happening?!? I then remembered that I had a baptism picture of myself around 4 or 5 months old on my bookcase. I quickly grabbed it and compared the photos. Yikes! I think it’s me! Oh god! I snapped a picture of the two images side by side and texted them to Jamar.

Comparison photos

Me: Jamar- Is the b/w photo a photo of me?
Jamar: Very funny. I’ll call you tomorrow.

Instantly, I broke out in a cold sweat. I could tell by Jamar’s response his answer was, “Yes”.

3 thoughts on “Dazed and confused

  1. Whooowooo. Take a deep breath.
    Why do our parents not tell us about such matters? I think, now as an adult, that it’s too heavy a burden to carry for a child, And it’s never the right time to discuss such a life changing epoch.
    But when you asked your mom, I know she wanted you in front of her with loving arms.
    But coming out of the blue with this question? ShockX40

    And congratulations!! you just increased the depth of your memoirs: )

    Liked by 2 people

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