Oh, my kids have hundreds of cousins, 2nd cousins, and many cousins-once-or-twice-removed. Keith was 3rd youngest of 12 (11 surviving to adulthood) and most of them are pretty prolific! Since his older sibs are so much older (15+ years), a lot of the "removed" cousins are actually age-mates to our girls.<quoted text>
I have a tremendous amount of cousins. Over 30. While I don't see them very often, I will admit it's nice to know they're there. If I had issues where I needed their help, I believe many of them would not hesitate. I'm lucky.
About our similar situation: Between his divorce from Debbie (late 1970s) and getting together with me (1984), Keith had a brief relationship with another woman (also named Debbie, for whatever that's worth!) They broke up; he got sober; life went on.....fast forward 25 years, and Debbie 2's sister shows up in meetings. Debbie 2 herself wanted NOTHING to do with anyone who didn't drink and I never met her. Anyway, Sis eventually tells Keith that Debbie 2 gave birth to Little Debbie (confused yet?) and she is his child! He came home and told me right away and we wondered what to do, since she was raised by loving grandparents and was doing OK. We ended up waiting till after Debbie 2 died (Little Deb was 29 or 30 then) and her auntie arranged the meeting. She's a lovely young woman and we can't imagine not having her in our lives, no matter what the circumstances of her birth or what her mom did.
I just changed my avatar; LD on the left, Serena middle, LeeLee on the right. Sisters!