It would seem to me that there is enough drama, mystery, and suspense within every family to make a good story for any Hollywood Blockbuster. Mine, while unique, is certainly no different. Filled with twists and turns, joy and pain, there are events that have happened in my family that I wished had not, but also pleasant surprises that I'm glad did.
My father's death 12 years ago is one of those events that I wished had never happened. A parent should never have to sit down with their child and share with them the news of their father's passing, especially trying to find the words to explain that their father had committed suicide, but that is what my mom and step dad had to do when I was eleven years old. Somehow when they sat me down I had a sense of what was coming, I knew something terrible had happened to my father. I remember crying, hugging my parents, and soon after they told me falling asleep for a nap in my bedroom. Later that night I asked my mom to rent a movie that my dad and I had watched together several months earlier in theatres. You never really get over losing someone you love, you kind of just get used to the fact that they are no longer around.
That could be the end of my story as far as my dad was concerned- a life of learning to cope without him around, but it is not. See, five years before I was born my dad had fallen in love with a woman, a woman who is not my mother, and out of that love came a beautiful baby girl named Jessica.
I grew up as an only child, but have more or less always been aware that I had a half sister. All I knew about her was her name and that she lived in Hawaii (she has since moved to California). I never thought I would really ever meet her-maybe when I was 40 or something on some random talk show where search investigators are hired to reunite family and friends (the crazy the things we think of sometimes).
Well it was not nearly that dramatic. I will give you one guess where Jessica found me this past May 2009...yep, on facebook. I do not know what you say to a long lost sister whom you have never met, but Jessica courageously found the words and I formed some sort of response; thus marked the beginning of our journey of getting to know one another.
What it is like to get to know your long lost sibling:
Its mainly small talk at first. At first the process is like the beginning of any new relaionship: you talk about how old you are, where you live, your family, your career, etcetera; except the difference is you have all these other thoughts and emotions happening. You do your best to fit your entire life into a nutshell, hoping that they get some idea of who you are while also trying to understand who they are.
You discover new things that probably never crossed your mind before. Jessica messaged me on facebook that she had two children and was getting married in July. I gave her my congratulations on her upcoming wedding and said I would be there if I could...that was it.
The next day while enjoying the red tail lights of LA traffic, it hit me...I'm an aunt! Many happy emotions flooded my body at once- I cried, I laughed...I can't believe I'm an aunt!!! When you grow up an only child you don't expect to have nieces or nephews except possibly through marriage, so you can see what a drastic change it was for me to hear this news. My nephew's name is Thomas (5 years old) and my niece's name is Makenzie (just turned 3).
You find out how much you have in common, despite being a part for so long. When I arrived at Jessica's mom's house one of the first things she said to me was, "Wow, you look like a Register." Well I was wearing a straw hat at the time (something my dad would undeniably wear), but considered this a strange comment due to the fact I always thought myself as looking like a spitting image of my mom (as Jessica thinks she looks mostly like her mom too), but when I met Jessica there were many commonalties that I could not deny. We have the same chin, shoulders, and freckles/moles, it is interesting looking at her. I think if people saw us together they would know we are sisters (feel free to post your opinion below).
Some argue nature while others argue nurture, but here is some information to may support those nature people. Besides physical features we share the genetic qualities of: loving peanut butter confections, nervous mannerisms when attentions is put on us, childlikeness, and an open/hospitable heart towards people (although I think I can learn a thing or two more about this from my older sis).
The Big Day:
Well there could not have been a more exciting day to meet my new found sister for the first time...her wedding. Jessica's mom and I hatched the "top secret" plan, trying to surprise Jessica when I arrived on her doorstep. I know Jessica had suspicions that I was going to be there, but because nothing was certain it did surprise her at least a little bit. I got to Jessica's house and her mom called her outside because "she wanted to show her something in the trunk of her car", but while looking in the trunk and finding nothing she declared, "Jessica meet your sister!" and pointed to the person (me) walking towards her. We embraced one another, the only thing we were able to say was "Hi" over and over. It was a great moment.
What is to come for us:
For everyone life is a journey and for me getting to know my new found sister is a facet of mine. Jessica and I never got the opportunity to experience the "sibling riverly" stage that I heard occurs when you are younger, but now we are able to experience the joys of having a sibling when we are older. Through life's journey we are able to be here for one another, thick or thin, watching eachother's families grow, dreams come true, and maybe I will still "borrow" her barbie.
Our father may have died; but his memory and good attributes live on in both of us. Jessica and I honor him by living our lives to the fullest even though he was not able to and we encourage anyone reading this to do the same. The decision of life and death (whether it be the emotional, spiritual, or physical aspects of living, yours as an individual or possibly at times someone elses) are in your hands and when you are confronted with the decision to choose, no matter what the circumstance... choose life.
I am blessed to have a sister, especially one as genuine and loving as Jessica. Thank you Jess for always thinking of me even when we were not together (I can't believe you looked for me for 10 years!)-your thoughts and prayers for me no doubt surrounded me; and alll the pain that you have held in your heart for losing so much has not gone unnoticed by God, this year marking the beginning of those things/relationships returning to you. Thank You God that Jessica and I are now a part of each others lives-I ask that you keep us and our families safe, making our bonds tight.
Here's to you sis. Blessings.
Nicole K on August 06, 2019:
That was such a sweet story! Thanks so much for sharing. I'm glad you found your sister and that you two formed an awesome friendship after the passing of your dad. The Lord bless you!
paula rios on April 03, 2014:
I was 13 yrs old when i found out I was adopted, the adopted family told me mom left me when i was 2 months old and they raised me. I went through hell with my adopted family. When I turned 21 I started to look for my mom unable to find her unable to reopen my adoption case i was devastated. Last year my boss paid our way to Puerto Rico to try to find my mom to see why she left me. Unfortunately she had passed away but on the death certificate there was a name of her son with address. I frantically wrote a letter to my brother and interduced myself in the letter and wrote a little of why I was writing to him. The letter was sent to the Post office, and sent back to me I resent it again . It was sent to me because no one ever picked it up at the post office i originally sent it certified. So I decided for the last and final time I would resend the letter regular mail. Somehow someway my brother received my letter and he called me it was wonderful and he stated to me i have 7 br others and sisters wonderful I bought a plane ticket and I fly to PR in April to meet my new family after 44 years....I feel great and cant wait to meet them thanks
Caitlyn on March 13, 2014:
I love your story the similar thing happened to me but I'm only 13 turning 14 when I was 10 I found out about my biological dad I didn't really know about him because my little brothers dad was there since I could remember when I asked my mom questions when I was younger about my dad she would kinda ignore it until 3 years ago she told me how he left or whatever and how she thinks he has 2 other kids Besides me I didn't know what to think or to believe her so I just ignored all of t and went on with my life but just Sunday this guy added me on Facebook but little did I know It was my brother I asked my mom who it was and she sis she didn't know I didn't believe her so I looked on her Facebook and saw messages between them and saw that it was my brother and my sister. I started talking to my sister an she told me that she's been trying to get in contact with me for 5+ years but our dad wouldn't give them my name until Sunday so now we have been talking back and fourth we filled each other I on what we have missed out and now were planning to meet each other
Dennis Jr on February 22, 2014:
thank you for sharing. I also have a half sister who we found eachother on FB. I am patiently waiting to meet her and have some of the same thoughts as you. I shared your story with her. from what I know of her is she is amazing, expressive, honest, hurt, and in need of a friend who will love her for who she is, which is me, her big brother.
kelli on January 06, 2014:
If iankYouFor Sharing. I Was Recently Found By Two Sisters ThatI AmMeeting This Weekend. I Never KnewThey Existed Because My Father Left WhenMy Mom Was Pregnant And That Was ThatI. I Was An Only Child raised By The Helped OfAn Awesome Step Father So Siblings Never Even Crossed My Mind. I Too Found OutI Have Two Nieces Something I Thought Id Never Have. Thanks For Helping Sort Through These Feelings And HelpMe Decide If I Wasn't These People In My Life
Lauravan741 on October 25, 2013:
Great story! I'm happy you have your sister... Growing up as the youngest of 5, I know how wonderful having siblings is.
So wonderful, in fact, that I was thrilled when I found out that I have 2 older brothers... About 10 years ago (I was 18 years old), my grandmother told me that I have 2 brothers (twins!) that I had never met. She invited them to meet us, but my dad (their father also) didn't want us to meet because he said they may not be his children. I saw them at a distance, they looked just like me, my brother and my dad. We didn't speak to each other, but I knew they were my brothers.
For the passed 10 years, they've been on my mind. Just yesterday, I found out their names and looked them up on Facebook. I see that I have 3 more nephews! I haven't contacted them because I don't want to hurt my dad, but one of these days, I will have to bring it up to him and show him that these guys have his little ears, pointed nostrils, same smile and hairline.
Good luck becoming best friends with your sister!
Sarah on August 13, 2013:
I am 24 and going to meet my 18 yr old sister for the first time tomorrow! I am also getting to see my 16 yr old brother for the first time in 13 yrs! I was an only child until two days ago and i have all the same emotions and can't seem to sleep. I hope that we will have the same positive out come! Thank you for sharing your story
Luke on April 06, 2013:
I am going to meet my sister whom i haven't seen for 25 years since she was little and i was a teen. I feel good but anxious about it. She may have backed out of meeting and bringing her young son once before, last year, we have a brother who has met me several times but there is a distance. We all search for artifacts of our father who died tragically 13 years ago and from whom they were estranged since late childhood till they came back looking for him to find he was dead.
You do look like your sister. Thanks for posting as it is a hopeful and inspiring story.
zulema perez on July 09, 2012:
Hi I started crying I foud my 3 lost siblings that we're taken by my mom cps had took them an after 17 years 4 days ago finally my sister found us on facebook it was d best news I have heard in a long time im complete thank God
Holly on February 19, 2012:
Your story is so inspiring to me. I also lost my dad at a young age. I was adopted when I was 3 months old and I am 26 now. Two months ago, I was contacted by a girl who said she was my biological sister. This came as a total shock to me. I never imagined I had siblings other than the brothers I grew up with. At first I was confused, scared, curious, upset, and so many other emotions that are hard to explain. We have talked back and forth through texts and have just had a DNA test. This is still very new to me and I don't know how this will end up, but your story gives me hope. I also learned that I have a niece and nephew! Now I'm just nervous about meeting her. I hesitate with this though because of the thoughts and feelings from my family. They are very protective of me and don't want to see me get hurt. I just don't want to regret not meeting her because of how others feel, but I don't want to be responsible for tearing apart our close family.