Family Twist Episode 20: Catching Up with Family Twist
Welcome to Season Two, Episode One of the Family Twist podcast. In this episode, Corey and Kendall Stulce, your hosts, reflect on Season One’s episodes, including the stories of finding Kendall’s birth family after 47 years. Three of Kendall’s half siblings guested in the first season. We also shared many astonishing adoption and DNA magic stories from our guests. This episode is also a sneak peek at the episodes coming soon in Season Two.
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Welcome to season two of the Family Twist podcast. I'm Kendall, and it was my adoption and found family story that led us to start this podcast. If you missed it, last season, we introduced you to three of my six half siblings, whom we discovered in 2017. Might have to do that again.
Yep. Stop. Come on. Far light out you. You cute. You're just trying to make yourself know none.
I'm just gonna hold it. Okay. Welcome to season two of the Family Pit. Welcome to season two of the Family Twist Podcast. I'm Kendall, and it was my adoption and found family story that led us to start this podcast. If you missed it, last season, we introduced you to three of my six half siblings, whom we discovered in 2017.
Yes. The first couple of episodes of the podcast really dug into Kendall's story, um, being adopted as an infant and what it was like, uh, you know, growing up with his adoptive parents. And then we kind of teased, I think at the end of the first episode how we discovered your. Birth family. Right. Which, um, this is not a spoiler alert anymore, but, uh, we give a lot of credit to ancestry.com because had it not been for that DNA match, I don't know that I ever would've found my biological family.
Right. And so when we decided to do this podcast, we thought, okay, well let's, let's tell Kendall's story. And it just have it be sort of like a historical significance, you know, for us to kind of, you. Have a, have a record of this journey. But then we realized, well, there are some other people out there that have really interesting stories too.
So we had some really remarkable guests in the first season. We did, we, we, in fact, we were just commenting to each other this morning that all of our guests have been so good that we would have any of them back. Uh, you know, not necessarily doesn't have to be during this season, but just in general, we want to keep up with them.
We wanna hear more of their story, um, as stories as they unfold. Um, I think, I think most of you will, will agree that we've, um, happened upon some really interesting, uh, stuff. Absolutely. And so we thought for this kick, blah, we decided to kick this season off with sort of a recap episode, just kind of, um, Going back to the very beginning of this first season and kind of taking you through, um, each episode, but we've already recorded several episodes with some really, really interesting guests.
Um, I'm very excited for season two. Me too. Okay. And keep, try to keep your mouth in one. You keep going like this. Yeah. Stevie Wonder. Okay. Just try to focus there. Okay. All right, so it probably made a lot of sense that our second episode of Season One focused on the very first conversation I ever had with any of my biological family, and that was with my, my brother, Chris.
Um, he's a great guy. We now live, uh, physically close to them, uh, him and his wife and their kids, and it just made a lot of sense for us to start the story there. Absolutely. Yeah. It's, and, uh, Kendall and Chris, really, they, they get a little bit emotional talking about that, that first encounter. And I, it is sort of surreal just thinking about, it wasn't that long ago that you made that discovery and we first visited and, um, Chris and Karen's three kids were like kids when we first met
Yeah. Met the airport and now they're all in high school. I think they're all taller than us. Well, maybe not Mia. Maybe not Mia, but you know, odds are she'll get taller than I am, but maybe not. Right. So it's just really cool that we've, you know, been able to start this journey with a phone call and then now we're able to, you know, be there in person when the kids have their, you know, football games and basketball games and softball and baseball games, you know?
Yep. It's exciting. It is. It's something. Never thought I'd have, but you know, I was so fortunate back in 2005 to become part of Corey's family. Uh, you know, but then in 2008 we moved away from them. You know, we moved to San Francisco from St. Louis, and, um, I had some guilt associated with that. I was not only taking, you know, Corey away from his family.
Them away from him, you know, So it's, um, but not that Corey Corey's a good son and a good brother and a good uncle, and he goes back, you know, as often as he can, and which I've wholeheartedly support because it seems like, um, the least I can do for letting him, you know, move across the country twice with me.
Uh, but with that being said, you know, I, back when we moved in 2000. To San Francisco was probably as difficult for me too, because I felt such a strong connection after having three and a half years with Corey's family. You know, it felt weird to me to lose those people. Um, I mean the physical, you know, proximity.
So, you know, I never imagined that I was gonna find, you know, nieces and nephews and brothers and sisters and parents and, you know, so it's. . It's been wonderful. And really for me, as Kendall mentioned, you know, I try to visit as, as much as possible, but it's about equal distance between San Francisco and St.
Louis as it is New England and St. Louis. So , right. It's not like I'm, uh, the flights have gotten longer . Right. Good point. That's the nice thing about having St. Louis and our. First family be right in smack dab in the middle of the country. Right? Yeah. Sort of the hub . Yeah, exactly. So it was actually Chris who helped, uh, Kendall discover the other side of his birth family, his mother's side.
And uh, we had on our third episode, the guest was, uh, Kendall's half sister Stephanie, who these two have become just like peas in the pod over the last few years. It's been really wonderful to see that relationship blossom. Right. And just to remind, uh, listeners, because I know my family dynamics are confusing, Chris that we just talked about is my father's son, and then Stephanie is the, the sister that Corey just mentioned is my mother's daughter.
So, um, while they, those two know each other now and enjoy each other, it, it's, you know, it's interesting because, um, I'm, I flipped right there and started talking. You know, the second side of my biological family, but Corey is right. Um, I feel really close to four of the six of them. Um, and, you know, that's, that's great.
Uh, but physically pro with proximity, I'm physically closest to my sister Monica and my brother Chris. And then the sister that Corey just mentioned, Stephanie lives in, um, Arkansas. Not around the corner, but she has been a trooper and has come to see us several times since we, uh, found each other in 2017.
I don't remember what was next. Let's see.
Yeah. Even meant for me to skip over that. Okay. Maybe with my mothers and then the, my, my two dads or, uh oh no. Oh, yeah. Okay. To edit this stuff. Yeah, go ahead. I don't know what I wanna say about that. You might have some, Oh, So we thought it was interesting. Let me start that over. So nature versus Nurture has been a big theme of, uh, season one, and I think we'll continue on into season two.
And so we really dug into that with a couple of episodes. Uh, one of them talking about Kendall's three mothers, his, uh, adoptive mother, his stepmother, and his birth mother. And just. Not really comparing and contrasting, but just kind of talking about the whole concept of nature versus nurture and you know, how that has played out in Kendall's life.
Yeah, and you know, still to this day, people tell me, people who knew my adoptive mother Betty, people will tell me how much, you know, I remind them of her and then other people who, who know my stepmother, my adoptive father. Second wife Joyce, um, will often say that she and I seem so similar too. So there's your, your nurture side of the equation, the, the argument, you know, to be made.
Um, and then I think I look a little bit like my, my birth mother. Um, and you know, I, I haven't gotten to know her, but I'm always curious to hear new stories. Her, um, mannerisms, her, you know, uh, speech pattern, you know, all of those things are really fascinating to me to see how I might be similar to people and her family.
Right. And we also did an episode sort of, um, talking about their nature versus nurture side of your two dads, uh, your adoptive father, ruble, and your birth father Scott. Um, Has guessed on the, uh, the podcast in a roundabout way. Yeah. Yeah. And, um, just for the listeners, both of my adoptive parents are, are deceased, so of course, you know, we won't get to, you know, experience their voices except through me.
Um, but, uh, and you know, hopefully other guests who knew them, uh, will, will, um, agree to be on because I'd love to hear. Other people's impressions of the, the two people that raised me and I feel made me the person that I am today. Uh, two of the three I want to give due credit to my stepmother Joyce. Um, as well, she was, you know, instrumental, uh, in my upbringing.
Not only but when she married my dad, uh, but also before that, uh, because I've known her all of my life. And so, I called her Aunt Joyce before, you know, she was my stepmother. So it's, it's a crazy small town where I'm from, uh, where those things can happen. But she, she was a mighty influence on me as well, for sure.
So I think a lot of podcasts probably tend to lean on people they know to maybe kick things off. And so we did invite a couple of of people that we know to. Guests and to share their stories. Um, the first one was, uh, a woman who's like another mother to me. And, uh, she talked about, um, what it was like to have children and then adopt the child while, uh, living overseas in Japan.
And it's, um, really fascinating, heartbreaking, uh, definitely worth a listen. And, uh, yeah, it's, I, I thank her for. Really sharing that story. Mm-hmm. . And then this is kind of interesting and I think it because it's, um, Sorry, what, what is this next one, Sarah from? Uh, Rachel. Oh, okay. Rachel, thanks. Okay. I'll let you, Well, did you, did you end the Mrs.
Killian thing? Yeah. Okay.
Yes. In episode six of season one, we met a woman named Sarah and her story is interest. Really interesting. I'm gonna say that again. Okay. Um, in season, here we go. In episode six of season one, we met a woman named Sarah, whose story is really interesting, you know, different than mine, in that I still believe about myself.
As soon as I learned about my birth family, I needed to speak to these people. You know, I needed to be known. I needed, um, to, to get to know them. And she's somebody who purposefully, you know, took a few years to, to make that, you know, first connection. And I, I'm always. I'm always interested in, in that and how that happens in someone's mind.
And her story was really interesting. I sort of understood her approach, um, and what she needed for herself to feel emotionally prepared for those meetings. So, um, I, we really appreciate Sarah, we, we do want to revisit her story and see, you know, what has happened. If anything, since we spoke to her last, so we're hoping to get her onto this season as well.
Right. She was really just sort of at the beginning of her journey of, um, getting to know, uh, her birth family. So it would be, Yeah, I, I, once she's, uh, had that opportunity to maybe have some in-person meetings, obviously the pandemic has, has, uh, slowed a lot of that for people getting together, you know, in person across the country.
But, Yeah, we'll definitely check in with Sarah and, and hopefully have her on this season. Yep. Uh, episode seven of season one was the episode where we introduce you to my local sister, Monica, and, uh, and you, you get to hear about, um, her and my, and Corey's. Love for Halloween and, um, Halloween's almost upon us again.
And so, you know, I, I love that she and I connect, uh, on that level and that Corey and she do as well. And, you know, I, I just think, again, it was fantastic to have, within those first seven episodes we had three of my siblings. You know, it's just, it, it warms my heart. That they were all, um, you know, available and willing and, uh, interested and interesting, uh, because they're all, you know, great people and, uh, very charismatic.
I do think on both sides of my family, we have that going on. Um, for sure. And if we could get the other three on in season two, um, we would happily do so. So we'll work on that . Yeah. So the next two episodes, it was a two parter, so eight and nine. Uh, I find to be really interesting because of some, the episodes were very polarizing.
We had some feedback. People say, Oh my gosh. Uh, you know, Michelle's story was, was so, um, Sorry, I wanna say that again. Yeah. Uh, what do I wanna. Yeah. Um, Michelle's story was so raw and she did such a wonderful, um, job of telling it and she really opened up some about some, you know, some past family wounds and, uh, I've heard a couple people say, Ah, that's my least favorite episode.
So, you know, there's gotta be something really interesting in there for it to be people's favorite and for it to be others, let's say not favorite, Well, it could be triggering, right? I mean, you know, um, And I think that's okay. I think that, you know, she spoke her truth and, uh, did it eloquently. And I don't think she has any misgivings, uh, about it.
We definitely don't. Um, you know, we would, we would, uh, open the door for others who felt affected by, by that story and her family to, to tell their side of the story as well, you know? Right. So, uh, we want this to be. Friendly, you know, and, um, and helpful. So, but, uh, disclosure, I mean, Michelle is another one of the people that we previously knew before the, uh, before the podcast.
Yes. Um, you know, Michelle is one of our dearest and she now lives in Europe and we're planning to go and visit her next year. And who knows, maybe Kendall and I can. Visit a couple of spots that, uh, pop up in our ancestry and maybe visit, you know, distant relatives, who knows, Right? Yeah. Maybe that could be an episode.
True. For sure. Do you wanna talk about that one? Yeah. Okay. I don't know much. Okay. It's episode 10. 10, Right. So episode 10. Uh, a lot of fun because Got to interview, uh, Nick, who is, uh, one of the genealogists from the pbs. Finding your roots. And he was just chock full of really interesting information about, um, just how DNA works and what he, what he does to help people find their roots, essentially.
And so, you know, he does it for the show, but he also does it for individuals just trying to find their family, trying to find some answers. And uh, he actually helped us with, um, One of the other guests are sets of guests for another episode. I say that again. No, you, You were fine.
There's the dad. Yeah. Well, you talk about that one. You did it. Did I tell you what did? Mm-hmm. Not really. No. We talked about you drove with him. Oh, okay. Yeah. Yeah. All right. I don't know. I mean, I can't, Yeah. Talk about that very well. What's next? Well, you've already talked about that. Yeah. So the next couple of episodes I already mentioned a little bit earlier, but that were really about, you know, Kendall's, uh, two dads, and then also me kind of interviewing his dad, Scott, about, you know, how Kendall was conceived.
So, um, yeah, that was, I that was an interesting conversation. . Yeah. And you. For those of you who haven't heard those episodes, again, it sort of goes back to that na nature versus nurture. Um, you know, discussion about how similar I am to my adoptive father. And then, you know, the similarities that I found with me and my dad, Scott, uh, there, you know, he's very laid back.
I, I wish I had a little bit more of him in me. Um, you know, as far as that's concern. But, uh, just both men are, were, are, and we're just very nice guys. So, you know, uh, it's wonderful to, you know, compare and contrast and, and, uh, find similarities too. You know about them.
13? Mm-hmm. , She.
So episode 13, um, I got the chance to talk to two sisters who were united after 48 years. Michelle and Trish were a hoot and a holler . Mm-hmm. . And, uh, just after coming together and getting to know each other, they um, quickly discovered that there were both, um, Love real estate and they've become, um, sisters selling Vegas in Las Vegas, and it's kind of become their hook.
And, uh, yeah, it's just, it's a really fun episode. One of those where just like I got chills hearing their story, that happens time and again, though, it's, you know, even though I know a little bit about, um, Kendall and I know a little bit about, you know, what we're gonna be talking to our guests about when you really hear the details, I mean, It hits home.
And you know, even if it's, you're not experiencing, you know, if you didn't have a, you know, an adoption or found family in your past. I mean, it's just, there's, these stories are really touching. Yeah. And I love things like that, that come to the surface. For instance, like with Michelle and Trish, that their children graduated from the high, the same high school at the same time, years before they knew, you know, that the other existed.
It's. fantastic and crazy, and I love those things.
That's the recap itself. Yeah.
Okay. That's episode 15. Mm-hmm. , do you want us talk about Stormy? Was I even on that one? I think so. Weren't you? Yes, yes, yes. Yeah. I've forgotten what she looks like. Oh, here. Yeah, so episode 15 of season one. What, uh, the, I'll do it again. Episode 15 of season one focused on our guest, Stormy, who was a really good storyteller, as well as some of our other guests have been.
And, um, it's, her story was, um, tugged on your heartstrings, but not, not. Way in which she wasn't, she wasn't garnering pity for herself. She was very pragmatic about what she'd learned, you know, from the things that she'd lived through. But she, she'd been in foster care and had been in 28 homes before she found a permanent one.
And her story was just really interesting. And, uh, so I, if you haven't listened to that episode, definitely check it. Her strength was really inspirational for sure. And I think Stormy, as we mentioned, we wanna have, you know, some folks back. I think Stormy is definitely one that will be, you know, back either in season two or another season.
You did that one. Yeah. Mm-hmm. Christ. So, you know, it's hard to say like, which episodes are really going to, um, explode for people. For whatever reason, and we haven't figured it out between me and Christina and Eileen, who are the guests. Um, but that is, this is by far our most, uh, downloaded episode, uh, finding full sisters after 50 years.
And again, this is another one where it's like, it's just a lot of wows, uh, throughout. I think you hear me say wow a lot just because , I'm getting hit with these details of just like, I can't believe this happened. Um, but again, two wonderful ladies. Um, Great to speak to and you know, they're kind of at the beginning of their family adventure too after 50 years.
So we will definitely check back in with them, not just because it's the most popular episode.
you did that one by yourself too, didn't you? Didn't I? Yeah. What was that number? 18. Yep. So episode 18 was interesting cuz we, I really wanna start getting into talking to folks who. Are these, uh, they call them DNA angels who are helping people find their families. And so Christine, um, you know, has her own wild, you know, family story, but she's now helping law enforcement, uh, get trained to solve cases with dna, which I think is just really fascinating.
Um, she was wonderful to talk. And then this one, I wasn't even sure if we'd be able to, um, get this interview because this was the, the subject, uh, was, you know, a bestselling book and a, you know, a high profile docu-series. But we, uh, were able to talk to a man who, um, searched for his birth father and realized that he may, in fact be the Zodiac killer.
Um, great, great, great guy to talk to.
Well that would you need to do that part over cause that sounded strange. Okay. OAC killer. Yeah. Um, yes, uh, we were very curious to see whether Gary, uh, our guest was going to be able to, you know, talk about things that he talked about either in the book or on the docu-series. And he was so, We appreciate his candor and his opening up to us and, uh, really, really was a very kind and, and warm guest.
Absolutely. And, you know, I think what we've heard, and, you know, we're not doing this for the, the thanks or anything like that, but a lot of our guests have, have thanked us just for doing this podcast because it's an outlet for not only them to tell their stories, but hopefully to like, help others down this path and maybe help others with healing.
And so I. Gary had only done one other interview post, um, the docu-series, and so very, very cool that he was willing to take a chance on us. Absolutely. And too, you know, he is another guest who. Whose story isn't complete and you know who we would like to reconnect with. Absolutely. And so, as I mentioned earlier, I think we've already recorded, um, with five guests, four season two so far.
We've got, uh, several more lined up and we're also gonna continue telling Kendall's story. We're really working on getting, um, some of his family members who might have been a little reluctant talk to talk to us in the first season. , um, you know, just to let them know that, hey, this isn't a, uh, we're not doing a gotcha type show.
It's really just, you know, trying to flush out this story and, you know, I don't know. What else. So there, what, what do you got? I don't either. I'm trying to, Yeah, I, I think it'll be really interesting if we can get, uh, not only. You know, another one of my siblings on, but also, you know, cousins and my auntie and my uncle.
And, you know, I would love to, to have more people just so those of who actually know me, um, you know, might really get a kick out of, of hearing the voices, at least, of not seeing, you know, video of people that are in my biological family. Um, it still warms my heart and I hope it, I hope it speaks to a lot of.
And we are still actively looking for guests, but if you know of somebody who has an interesting story, please, please share the podcast with them. Um, share our contact information. We'd love to hear from them. In fact, one of the folks or one of the, the sets of guests that we interviewed a couple of weeks ago just happened to find us while doing research on how to handle, um, a found family situation and stumbled upon, stumbled upon family twist.
it's a great story too. So just, you know, , I know that there are a lot of stories out there, uh, and we wanna share as many of them as possible, so please reach out. Thanks. And thank you for listening, uh, to us, uh, you know, you can probably tell by our starts and stops and pauses and ums and os that, you know, this is not scripted.
Um, that's not our intention. Our intention is to, to really just reach out and, and have people reach out. Absolutely. So again, uh, thanks for listening and, uh, let us know what you think. A season two kicks off. Thank you. Bye now. Bye.