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.
That is awesome and truly encouraging. I have an older sibling out in the world somewhere and have felt an urge to find them. Life is so fleeting, I’d hate another day to go by when my family isn’t whole.
Thank you so much! It really is an amazing experience!
What an AMAZING story Lori!!! I was just reconnected with my older brother last year that I had never known! It’s so great to bring family back together. We only live once!! CONGRATS to you!!
Thank you so much!!! I am so glad you met yours- it’s a weird awesomeness!!
I am truly touched Lori, sitting here with tears in my eyes. I have had to endure my own hardships, with my daughters, that pale in comparison. You are now officially my hero… honored to call you friend. Thank you for sharing this amazing story. xo
Thank you Ted. Your words are amazing :) and… Look whose talking! You are pretty impressive as well!
I am so gald you were able to reunite. I could not even imagine what you had to go through.
This post is so beautiful. I am fighting a tear that is trying so hard to escape. From your pictures it looks like you all just fit right back in and became a family. It is so wonderful to hear stories like this because it gives me hope. That someday I’ll be able to face my past and all of it’s uncertainties. And one day those uncertainties with blossom into something beautiful and sure. Thank you for sharing your story.
You are so welcome, Tami. I will pray for your too. Facing all of this definitely gave me a happy ending as I wish for you!
Thank you so much for sharing this. It definitely warmed my heart and it looks as though you had a wonderful reunion with your siblings. I hope that you make many memories with them in time. I bet it feels great to have them in your life!
This is such an amazing story. I am so very happy for you and your brothers. You deserve this happiness your family brings you.
What an AWESOME story. I am so happy you were able to reconnect with your siblings. There are many people that never end up being able to track down their birth siblings. so that is great that you were able to reunite.
I am so happy you were able to REmeet them. The fact that you have someone who completely understands your situation is invaluable.
Thank you :)
This made me all weepy! I’m glad you were reconnected and I hope it’s all happy memories from here on out.
What a beautiful story. I love that you were able to reconnect with them. I have a few nephews that have been adopted, but thankfully their adoptive parents keep in contact. We are going to see one nephew this weekend. Thank you for sharing. It brought tears to my eyes :)
Such an amazing story Lori. I am so happy you are reconnecting with your birth family . I am sitting here with tears of joy filling my eyes. Love and hugs to you! :)
Awe thank you sweetie!!! Miss you tons, btw
What a wonderful, happy and very inspiring story! I have a teen daycare kid that shared her adoptive story with me.. Heart breaking! I hope one day she reaches out and meets up with her sibling and half siblings.
I hope she does as well!!
What a moving story. It took courage to share and even more courage to reach out to the family you missed out on being a part of growing up. Glad you were able to connect with your brothers!
Thank you so much!
This is a really moving story. Thank you so much for sharing it. I am so glad you were able to reconnect.
Thank you :)
That was an amazingly touching story, Lori. I can see how your past is weighing into your strong parenting values today. Good luck and I’m glad you were able to have this experience.
Thank you so much Jessica! I so appreciate your kind words
I have tears. This is the most amazing story ever. Thank you for sharing it. I have a half brother and sister that do not even know I exist. I have carried around this secret for a very long time and have often felt I should reach out to them. Sadly, I am very short on self esteem these days and just cant seem to do so even though I so desperately want to meet them. I feel someday I will, when the time is right.
Just make the call – time is short.. I am learning
I would, but the only way to get to them is through my biological father who made it clear he never wanted to tell his family about me. So I am not sure how to even begin to find them.
How amazing. So glad you and your brothers are making the commitment to spend time together. The bond of brothers and sisters is pretty amazing. I can sit right next to mine and communicate with them without even talking. I enjoyed your story a lot.
I am number 12 of 14, I was taken away at 2 weeks as were all of my siblings except for my bio mother’s sets of twins in which she took one home and gave the other ones away. From what we understand it was when you could still sell your children. After we were all taken away my bio parents had two more who were taken away at the ages of 4 and 5. I have met some of my siblings and am still on the hunt to find the others. So far it seems like me and my sister who is two years older then me are the only ones who aren’t mentally challenged. I have been reading your blog on and off through my emails and this one caught my attention because it hit home.
You have more success. I am so glad that I finally found them. It had been life changing
What a touching story. You had my eyes welling up with tears. So happy for you to have this gift of a new/old family.
What an amazing story. It’s great that your brother was persist in finding as many of you as he could and that you got to reconnect with them.
This is an amazing story. I can relate so much, I met my half brother and half sister a couple years ago after finding them on facebook. None of us knew each other and my father had passed away years ago.
That is amazing. I am so impressed with your brothers perseverance in finding family members and impressed with your bravery to open yourself up to a relationship with them again. Family can be the biggest blessing, I am happy you get to have them back in your life.
That is a great story! Just amazing! Reuniting with family has to feel really good
What an incredible story! It’s so amazing that after so many years and different lives, you still have the bond of family.
Wow, this is an incredible story! I’m glad that you got to meet your birth brothers!
What a beautiful, wonderful story you’ve shared. I’m so glad for you (and everyone else involved) that you said yes to the surprise party. What a lovely happy ending (the very best kind!!).
What an amazing story. I’m deeply touched and I’m glad you finally had that inner courage to meet them. I’m sure they were just as afraid as you were but taking that first step meant a lot to you all. Thanks for sharing your story.
That is such a lovely story that you have shared. Forgiveness is so powerful! That is awesome you have reconnected.
A beautiful story. I am so happy you found your birth family.
Holy cow… what an amazing story. I am so happy that you had the chance to reconnect.
This is such an awesome story! I have a friend who just recently met her birth brother.
That’s so great! I’ve got goosebumps! Love that you were able to meet them all and it helped to round out your life :)
Oh, sugar. <3 <3 <3
What a heart warming story. I teared up a little.
Wow Lori! That’s awesome! I didn’t see two of my brothers for 10 years…because of our father. I treasure every moment now
This makes me smile and gave me goosebumps. What a story, and so glad it has a happy ending. What a lovely family you have! xo
This is an amazing story. Thank you for sharing such a personal story with us.
You are so welcome!
my grandmother was split up from her brothers and sisters when they were really young because her mom died. I don’t think she was able to find many of them back then. Your story brings hope to many.
This is so special. Congratulations to you that you got to meet your brothers again. So many people are searching and it’s wonderful to see a reunion.
This is beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing it! Look how much they already love your family! So special – or as your brother’s shirt says… Cool Story Bro!
Such a beautiful story ! I’m so happy for you that you were able to reconnect with your family :) God bless!
I can’t even imagine! What an amazing story and so emotional.
wow lovely story. I have had a similar experience when I met my birth sisters, not quite as eventful as yours. Thanks for sharing http://kambabe.blogspot.com/2011/06/secret-sister-saga.html
What a touching beautiful story. So happy to see your circle complete in life, and I’m sure your adoptive parents feel that same love and support for you as well. I know someone who reached out to locate their brother, but as it turned out, he does not know they even exist, and the mother never reached out to connect outside of providing this information. Tragic. And I am the mother of two adopted daughters, now 25 and 22, since they were three and four months old.
Hi Lori- I found your story after searching reconnecting with birth siblings. I was adopted as a baby and just recently tried to make contact with my brother. My story is a long and complicated one similar to yours but I am so glad I also made the jump and reached out. My birth brother and I had an immediate connection and are so similar in some aspects it’s crazy.
I also struggle with sharing my news with my adoptive family. My birth brother is now such a large part of my life, and something I’m excited about, but I don’t know how to share it with my family without it hurting them. I think it’s a guilt that although I try to work through, I will always struggle with.
I’m so happy for you and your reconnection. You deserve the happiness of having your family together again:)