If you haven’t yet read my post entitled ‘I am trying to find my sister’, please read that first, as this is a continuation. Thanks!
It is happening to me, and even I don’t fully believe it myself. The shock is starting to wear off, but that surreal feeling still hits me every morning when I wake. There hasn’t been one day in the last 42 days that I haven’t replayed that night in my head. It echoes in my mind multiple times a day. And I still cannot fully wrap my head around it.
Once I opened the door and gave him the allowance he needed to investigate further, he asked if I was adopted, and eagerly provided me documentation of the long lost family member he had been searching for.
And there it was. In black and white. My life, wrapped up into 2 very short sentences, and less than 50 words about my family. And yet I stared at this page for what felt like an eternity. My mind filled in the blanks with a million words and 44 years.
‘The following is non-identifying information on your birth sister, born July 1974, and her adoptive family’
Birth sister…. birth SISTER. I don’t know why, but I never expected to see those words together. I mean, I always thought my birth mother had gone on to have a life and a family of her own. But I always thought of it in terms of HER and not me. They would be HER children. Not MY siblings. If that makes any sense, at all. It is hard to explain, but I never thought I had a right to take ownership. I never thought that I would ever be included in that part of her life. I never thought my life would have an impact on anyone else.
Oh my God. I think this is me. THIS IS me!
I tried to look for something, anything that didn’t ring true. I scanned to see if just ONE of those words could prove that maybe this wasn’t happening to me at this very moment. I felt like I was in a dream sequence on a movie screen. The edges were blurry, like a vignette. The sound around me faded, and I was watching myself as if I was sitting on the other side of the room. This couldn’t be real.
But it was. And it is.
Yes, I was that blonde-headed, round blue-eyed baby with the fair complexion. I don’t know if I would have referred to myself as bright and responsive, but, sure, that probably described me then. I cried when I got to the few lines of information in regards to my Mom and Dad. It felt wrong to see their lives edited down to a few words. They were, and are so much more than that. Nonetheless, they were words that carried more meaning than anyone else could understand in that moment. Anyone, besides Landon and I. I can only imagine what it must have been like for him to get this paper in the mail, and have a tangible reminder that I existed.
I realized that I was probably leaving him hanging, so I replied ‘Hold on, I am SHAKING.’. I didn’t know what else to say. The all-too-hard-on-myself perfectionist that lives deep inside me wanted to be composed, put together, and eloquent. Yet the shock was far too great, and I am far, far too human. And I WAS definitely shaking. I couldn’t stop my hands from trembling. Strangely, I held them in front of me, trying to will the vibrations away with my mind. No such luck. I hugged myself tight, and gritted my teeth to stop them from chattering.
I collected myself long enough to respond and told him that yes, everything on that document from The Department of Human Services related to me. We went through the list, Yes, that is when I was born. Yes, my mother is English and my dad is Welsh. Yes, you share the last name of the woman that I was told gave birth to me. Yes, I was told he came from Saskatchewan to have me. Yes, yes, yes…. I checked each one of these facts off in my head with a big red check mark, like it was a test that I had been studying all of my life for.
It took less than three seconds for Landon to reply –
I think I finally found you!! OMG!
I needed him to say it. It seems funny to me now, because it was all in black and white in front of me. But it was far too immense to process. I needed him to tell me what I already knew, so maybe it would make more sense. I asked him if he was my brother, to which he responded ‘Yes Ma’am’. Landon was my brother, and he had been looking for me for quite some time. He then told me it was a long story, and he could explain, if I would just call him. He gave me his phone number.
It had been 28 minutes since I received that first message.
28 minutes since Landon told me he was looking for a long lost family member.
And in 28 minutes, my whole life had changed…
– Jolene 💜