Kevin Kieschnick was born Raymond Joseph Jones. Over spring break he and his family got to meet the woman who gave him that name. The Nueces County Tax Assessor-Collector had great success with the Ancestry DNA test his wife gave him for Christmas. When his results came in, he was matched with a first cousin. He messaged her and that led him right to his birth mother, Bonnie Lee Phillips. Kevin said, “It’s pretty quick on how it all came about. Once we got the results, in literally within 3 days, I made contact with my birth mother, and this happened in January.”
During his trip to Springfield, Missouri, over spring break, he was able to spend time with his birth mom and two sisters, Ricky and Gina. “It feels like it was just natural. It was like we’d known each other and hadn’t even skipped a beat, so it was amazing,” Kieschnick said. “I did mentally prepare myself to find something I didn’t want to find because when you do something like this you don’t know what you’re walking into.” He was surprised to learn that his birth father died the same month and year as his adoptive dad.
Kieschnick was born in Kingsville in 1972. When he was 4 months old, Bonnie Lee Phillips placed her son with a family, feeling that she could not properly care for him due to the domestic violence she was experiencing in her life at that point. “She was able to find a family member to take care of my two older sisters, but unfortunately, she could not find anybody to take care of me, so that’s what led up to my adoption,” he said.
He tells others not to be afraid to take some risk. He explained, “I am really proud I did it. Even if the outcome hadn’t been good, I would have known that I had made my effort to let my birth mother know that she made the right decision.”