On the Father's Day, his daughters bought him a set of genetic testing, a gift that helped Drees collect his past. For example, he learned that the heart disease goes in his family.
The set sold by the DNA testing company "23andMe" came with a note from their daughters:
"So you can find out where you came from".
However, Drees could contact his biological family. After all, he revealed his connection with the long North Dakota line
Drees, his birth family welcomed him to his open hand.
Drees' first brush with genetic research dates back to 2001. , more than a decade before the "direct consumer" technology.
23andMe itself was not established by 2006
2001 Drees asked his identification agency Fargo after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. The report, which is often performed for medical reasons, provides basic information about the family of the adoptive parent, but "nothing you can really trace to the person," said Drees. In the report, he told him that his mother's father had been supervising the meat department in the supermarket.
This information was of great importance to Drees's and to his mother's birth.
After many years, after Drees sent a saliva sample to 23andMe, he was informed that his grandfather was Martin Syver Stenehjem
Drees then reached Allen Stenehjem, one of Martin's grandchildren. According to some other studies, Drees believed that Sister Sister of Allen was his mother. Sue died, so Allen was the best person to ask.
But Allen didn't think it could be.
Then another relative contacted Drees in blue with a different idea: Sue wasn't his mother, but maybe Sue's brother Stephen was his father? The cousin also claimed that another woman, Carol Martenson, was Drees' mother of birth.
Because Drees did a little more of his own research, the details started. At the same time, Carol and Stephen went to the same school. Stephen was a descendant of Martin Stenehjem, Drees' grandfather.
The road seemed promising, but the Drees journey was not finished. He wanted to contact Carol to confirm that she was indeed his mother.
More research Drees found Carolis had a younger sister Anita. He couldn't find a job by phone Anita, but he tried another thing: Facebook
In his report, Drees said to Anita that he had some genealogy studies and had some questions.
she answered and asked what the questions were. Drees asked Anita what her father had done for life in the 1960s. Anita said her father owned the SuperValu meat department in Bismarck.
"I thought I knew I had the right person," Drees said. So he asked Anita if she could give him information about Carol.
Anita's first answer was not. After that, there was a brief pause, and Drees worried that he had given too much information or frightened.
Finally, Anita replied and gave Drees a mobile number to Carol. He called the number for no use. He even tried to send the text and did not receive any response
At first he didn't want Drees to contact Anita again. She looked at the numbers and realized one major mistake: she was off one digit. Then Anita sent the correct number and Drees gave the ring.
"I called Carol and she waited until I tried to call the wrong number," he said. "I said," My name is Steve, and then I couldn't say anything. She said, "You are looking for your mother and you have the right Carol."
Drees and history can be inspiring, but it is not typical.
"When you have an elderly, it may be more difficult to find biological parents because they may die," said Scott Hadly, 23rd spokesman. "Amazingly, he could watch them."
But do-it-yourself DNA kits can direct something to cousins and other previously unknown relatives, Hadly added.
Drees said that adopters wishing to learn more about their background
For some adoptive relationships with biological family members, formation may be difficult.
Drees said he was happy that his biological family was receptive.
"It was a wild, wild ride," Drees said. "But it was extremely positive."