A Family Reunited
DUBUQUE– After 50 years, a local man has finally reunited with his biological family.
Paul Bosveld has attempted to contact his biological family before. But having been adopted at just a week old, it was difficult for him to find any information.
“I tried to get into the [court] records,” he explains. “But I kind of came up onto a block there. So it kind of went on the back burner for a few years while I raised my kids.”
Though the connection was delayed, Paul still wondered about his long lost family.
“When you’re adopted for as long of a time, you just kind of feel a gap in your life…my dream out of all of this was just to meet somebody who looked like me.”
It wasn’t until earlier this year that Paul finally made a breakthrough. He received an Ancestry DNA kit as a Christmas gift last year. And though he got some results, it wasn’t easy making the connection. Paul’s son spent hours searching through hundreds of potential relatives.
“It came up as a blank pretty much… My son was working tirelessly trying to work through those trees early on and he just didn’t have enough information.”
Just when it seemed like the answers weren’t out there, Paul’s relatives on the other side made the connection.
Myra Broadbent, Paul’s aunt, recalls the conversation she had with her nephew when he noticed the Ancestry DNA connection to Paul’s son Tyler.
“When the son called me and said “Did my dad have a baby before he married my mom,” and I started to explain it, I got chills.”
Though Myra’s family knew that her brother Jack had fathered a child, the baby was adopted out before any of them got a chance to meet him. They didn’t even know who the mother was.
But after 50 years of wondering, the answers finally came together when Paul’s niece reached out to Tyler and started doing some research. Paul had matched with his biological family.
“[It was] overwhelming actually. I’m still a little overwhelmed on this whole situation. It was just utterly fantastic. I’ve never felt a sense of joy like that. It felt like a hole was closing in my heart.”
Since first contacting the family, Paul has finally discovered the identity of his father, brother, step-brothers, aunts, and more. This summer, Paul even traveled all the way to Bentonville, Arkansas for a reunion.
“It was beyond cool, it was like we knew each other our whole lives, it was just so warm and inviting.”
And this connection meant just as much to them as it did to Paul. He now keeps in regular contact with the family through text, phone, and even video messaging.
“It was just so exciting, and I kept tearing up,” Myra explains. “I would hug Paul and say “I feel like I’ve got my brother back… It is a miracle.”
Unfortunately, Paul’s biological father, Jack Bryant passed away before getting the chance to meet Paul. But he likes to think that his father was guiding this reunion.
“He’s bringing everyone back together for us… It’s a family coming together. I still can’t believe it’s real. I’ve always dreamed of this even when I was a little boy.”
Though this journey has been a fulfilling one for Paul, there’s one question that hasn’t been answered.
“I’ve still got to find my mom… so it’s not over. I’m going to keep looking, my son’s going to keep on tirelessly looking, and it’s going to come together, I can just feel it.”
While the search continues, for now, both Paul and his newly discovered family have found peace.
“I think… he had a hole in his heart and now it’s being filled because he’s got family what really loves him and we just met him, and we still love him! We just love him already.”