May 31, 2013

Adoption is Another Word for Love - My Siblings and I

Prompt courtesy of Mama Kat's Writing Workshop
Share a story about a sibling that still makes you smile.
 I was adopted when I was a month old and I grew up as an only child.  People ask me if I remember when my mom told me I was adopted -- I don't.  For some reason I can't pinpoint the exact age at which she told me, I just know that I've always known.  My mom was never secretive or closed about my adoption, she always passed along any information that she knew.  I was always allowed to ask questions and as soon as I became a teenager, my mom told me that if I ever wanted to find my biological family she would be in full support of me.

Right before my 18th birthday I became nosy and snuck into my mom's room when she was at work.  I was on a mission to find my adoption papers to see if there was anything she had not told me.  You know, as a teenager you think your parents are always being deceptive.  Well, I found the non identifying information that my mom had and I found out some information that my mom had not shared because I never asked.  Seeing the information right in front of me in black and white gave me this strong desire to find out who I was and where I came from.  

I don't remember how I brought up the topic of wanting to find my biological family, but my mom was in full support of me.  To make a very long and drawn out story short, in June of 2003 I met my biological mother, grandmother, sister, brother and two nieces; it definitely wasn't the fairy-tale reunion that I had always dreamed of, but it was part of who I was.  There was just one thing missing, my biological mother had another daughter two years before me who she also placed for adoption -- the social worker at the adoption agency was having a very hard time finding her.  I felt almost complete, but had to find her as well. 

I was in college when my oldest sister and I decided to hire a private detective who specialized in adoption reunions to find her.  Surprisingly, it took just a day or two for that woman to find her, and she called us with all of her information.  She asked if we wanted her (PI) to contact our sister first, or if we wanted to be the first call.  I'm not sure if my sister or I decided, but we said that we wanted to be the first call to her, I guess because we didn't want her to run away if the PI called her first.  

Sitting in my dorm room, I remember calling her and not knowing what to say.  The first thing I said when she answered the phone was, "I think I'm your sister."  The worst part?  She had no idea that she was adopted.  Her parents never told her, I don't know why they never told her, but I was the one who told her she was adopted.  I felt horrible.  After she talked to her mother about it she called me back and I remember talking to her for hours.  We really got to know each other and found out that we had something else in common -- both of our adopted names were KRISTIN -- spelled the same way. 

Now, 10 years later; Kristin, Shirley and I have a great relationship.  We are definitely making up for the missed time we didn't have each other to depend on.  Kristin and I get together for lunch, dinner, shopping or movies at least once a week (or so) and Shirley and I get together once every two weeks for lunch, since we work near each other.  I never want to take for granted having my siblings in my life because I didn't have them for the longest time.  We now have to catch up on 18 years, and that's hard to do.  My sisters are incredibly important to me and any time I spend with them makes me smile.