>So far, I’ve only hinted at just how complicated my family is, but today is my long-lost sister’s birthday, so today this is just about her.
I was given up for adoption as a baby, and adopted by my parents when i was 7-8 weeks old (well it took a year for the adoption to be finalized, but I don’t count that). Until I was 18 or 19 or so I knew nothing about my bio-family, because I didn’t care to. I just had no interest. When I was in college, my mom passed on a little info to me (at her insistence, I still didn’t ask for it) such as my nationality and a few facts. But not until I was 27 and thinking about conceiving a baby did I really have any interest. So in June 2007 I asked my mom for all the paperwork she had and did a little internet searching and made a few phone calls and came up with nothing. I put an ad on the internet one late night, but didn’t hear back. In early December 2007 I got pregnant with my daughter, she was born in August 2008 and my life became so busy and so consumed by her, I forgot all about the ad and the search, and mostly stopped caring again. But in August 2009, just about two weeks before my 30th birthday, I got an email from someone who saw the ad and was claiming to be my birth mother. Because this isn’t about her… skip forward to her being very vague about me having a sister… skip forward to the adoption agency confirming the match… skip forward to her giving me a few details about my sister and me finding her pretty easily on the internet. But my birth mother begged me not to contact her, that even though they were estranged and hadn’t spoken in 12 years, she wanted to be the one to tell her. So she made some attempts to reach her via email, a mailed letter, and through family members to pass along the message but she never heard back. I respected her wishes for 2 or 3 months, but when I finally understood that my sister was never going to respond, I told birth mother that it was my turn to try to reach her. And so we eventually connected through Facebook and email. I’ll call her “MR” here to keep her privacy if she’d like it!
The funniest part is initially, when she received an email saying “you have a sister” (she was raised as an only child), she wasn’t surprised. As is turns out, our birth father (who raised her) had a son and a daughter probably a decade before us but wasn’t in their life, and MR found out about them later in life (but never contacted or met them), so she knew she had a (half) sister. The surprise was, that I was a different sister, we were full siblings, and we were born just 10 months apart.
I’m the one with the doll at six months old, she is the other, I’m not sure how old, but she looks somewhere around 7-11 months old? When I tell people about her, they always ask, do you look alike? Growing up as an adopted child, I never “looked like” anyone, not really at least. Well, the answer is yes. You can tell us apart as babies of course, but we look like sisters. Still do. It’s strange and new to me.
So we spent a few months getting to know each other, having late night chats on Facebook… as well as you can get to know someone, I suppose, just chatting on the internet. The funny part is, we had/have so much in common. It was a series of “no way, me too”‘s from both of us. We’d be an interesting experiment in Nature vs. Nurture. And even stranger, is that in 2000 or 2001 we were even in the same room on at least 1 occasion, maybe more (at a crowded record signing in a crowded record store, but still.)
I never had any desire to meet my birth parents really, or my decade-older half siblings either, but for some reason this feels different. I never once for a moment wondered about the what-ifs in reference to my upbringing, or resented the adoption. I had a wonderful, loving, and priviledged childhood and couldn’t have asked for more. But for some reason, discovering I had a sister, and one so close in age, sat differently with me. For the first time, I felt like I had missed out on something. And as strange as it is, sometimes when I think of my own childhood memories now, somewhere in my mind is also wondering, what was she doing then? We had very different upbringings, but how parallel did our lives run at times?
Above photo is my sister, MR (she’s the one IN the pool), taken by her parents (I think) and used here with MR’s permission. The below photo is of me and my brother. We don’t have a date for MR’s photo, but they are most likely the same summer.
The other question people always ask, is “have you met?” No. We live almost 1200 miles apart. I’d like to, I would if I had the means, but it hasn’t happened yet. I think it’ll be super weird, but I think it’ll be fun too.
So, anyway. Here is MR’s introduction. And I wish her a very happy birthday today. 30 isn’t so bad, I promise.