At the age of 6, I was taken from my birth family, sent to many foster homes and then adopted by my amazing parents at the age of 8. All 8 siblings were taken by the State of Texas because of the severely abusive situation, the immense poverty we lived in and a mom with a mental illness that was detrimental to us all. I left behind 6 brothers and a sister, a mom, a dad and a dog names Brown. Having been a frequent visitor my entire life to foster homes, I did not grasp that this would be the last time I would be a permanent part of my birth family. But it was. I was adopted and lost contact with almost everyone.
At the age of 12 I was told that my mother died, most likely by her own hand. At the age of 15, I decided that I would balk at the rules of my adoptive family who had put so much effort and love into making me theirs, and traveled to meet my birth father. My idea was that I would live with him. A few days there told me that it was not a great place for me so I traveled back to Texas, moved in with my then boyfriend’s family and tried to build a life. A few months later, his parents helped me sign a lease for a tiny efficiency apartment and I was on my own. I have been ever since.
Over the years I have heard news on my birth family. I knew when my dad died, a lonely, sad man. I heard about weddings, moves and accomplishments through the grapevine. I was encouraged by my adoptive parents to find and talk to them but I always declined. My reasons were numerous but the most common was that I did not want to relive my past. I had done that, over and over again, in therapy throughout my life. Seeing them would bring back too many memories, too much sadness and too much loss.
I am 41 now. I am a single mother with three kids, the owner of this website which supports us all and a little more on the emotionally mature side. I am a wonderful mother, a trusted friend and a loving and deeply appreciative daughter.
I am also the sister to six brothers, a sister, two half brothers and two half sisters.
Who I am finally ready to meet.
It took some time, I will admit it. My first real contact was with my closest brother who had always been there for me. He protected me when I was young, showed his undying love and commitment to rebuilding the family over the years and gave me the space to come to my own conclusions about when I was ready. He was the one that did the research to find everyone. Made the phone calls, sent the emails. Persisted with patience.
We reconnected almost a year ago and our bond is now as strong as it was when we were kids. It is invaluable to me and I am indebted to him with all of my heart.
A few months ago he told me that he had reconnected the bottom 5 kids. Him, me, and then three more younger brothers. He even found the baby who was only 6 weeks old when we all were taken. Talk about dedication.
He was in contact with all and they wanted very much to meet me. I protested often, declared I was not ready, was still reeling from my nasty divorce and just did not see myself ever wanting that connection to be made.
And then one day I watched my daughter’s play. I watched them interact and smile at each other and love each other and I wanted that back. What was lost so many years ago was now attainable and I wanted it desperately. So when I got an invitation to surprise my second youngest brother on his 35th birthday and to meet my baby brother and another brother and their families, I took a deep breath and said yes!
The day I met my birth brothers, my life came full circle.
All of the pain, the sadness, the loss, the confusion, the questions, the lack of identity melted away as I embraced the second time in my life that I was part of my family again. Now, I have to admit… talking about the re-connection is hard as I have a deep love and respect for my adoptive parents who have endured so much with me. I can not quite comprehend how to talk about my connection to my birth family without taking from them. But it was a magical day.
It was as if no time had passed and yet a lifetime had. One brother is the spitting image of my dad and I often have to do a double take when I look at him. The baby of the family is definitely ours as the resemblance to one or the other parent is obvious in us all. I think I threw a few of them because I look the most like my mom.
But the real shock and awe moments were with our kids. For the first time in my life I saw the same features in my kids in someone else’s. The same mannerisms, the same smiles, the same genes. That multi-generational connection that so many take for granted was gifted to me and my children.
As we all sat in a living room talking wildly in excitement and a natural comfort, we solidified the bond between us with very little effort. The joking, the making fun of, the good nature teasing all came naturally. It was truly amazing as I stood with my brothers for pictures, fell in love with my newly met Nieces, watched my girls adoringly follow their new cousins around and breathed in deep this moment of true life affirmation.
We have become involved in each other’s lives now for about a month. There is almost no day that goes by that I don’t hear from a member of my old family that is new again. I am still in awe at the sudden life that has been blessed to me. These people who all understand that beginning that is so hard to explain. These people who all know the stories. That all know the details.
All 5 of the youngest kids were adopted out to different families 35 years ago. All 5 kids have different stories about their lives. All of us have tragedy and joy, pain and elation, smiles and tears. All 5 of us understand each story.
Maybe one day we will write them all down so we can share the incredible journeys we have been on only to find one another again.
The day I met my birth brothers is a new chapter in my live and the lives of my children. I pray to God above that I never lose them again. That all of my families can blend together and that I have enough love to go around. That I can get used to having 4 brothers that are suddenly protective of me and my girls. That are here to help in a heartbeat. Here to listen at any time. Just like they should have been all these years.
The day I met my birth brothers…. just…. wow.