I asked my sister, Tara to write a little about what role adoption has played in her life.
I can still remember the day. It was a Sunday morning and I was sitting down reading the comics, legs over the vent from the wood stove that was piping up a nice warm, toasty heat...I was a 7th grade teenager without a care in the world. Suddenly I received news I would have never expected. My mom and dad, told me to put the comics aside that they needed to talk to me. My mom told me that I had another sister, a half-sister, who she had placed for adoption when she was younger. I was quite shocked, but quickly was overcome with questions – what is her name, what’s she like, where does she live, and most importantly, when will we meet her?!
I learned of course (as the youngest) I was the last to be told….that never seems to change! But I was probably, at least I feel, the most ready and adaptable to the change that our lives was about to experience. I couldn’t wait to meet my newfound sister – I remember talking to friends at the bus-stop the following day with the excitement I couldn’t contain.
Now, over 20 years later, I can’t seem to recall the exact time that we physically met for the first time – I think it was at a softball game, which I later learned was a passion of hers. Another shared similarity considering my sisters and I had grown up playing softball and having our mother coach us. On a side note - probably the other reason I remember is I ended up, later that night knocking a friends front teeth out when we were playing catch in the dark...not the smartest thing.
Today, I can’t think of what my world and life would be like without having found my sister. Not having known of her prior, I know I wouldn’t know what I was missing, but if our initial meeting and successive meetings hadn’t worked out, I don’t know that I would have felt whole. Being a very family oriented person and knowing I had another sister somewhere out there, I would find myself feeling quite lost. Family is the highest priority to me.
My adopted sister is just as much my sister as those I grew up with. It’s hard at times to realize when I talk about our relationship, that people would be confused when I speak of "her brother or mother", and "my mother", etc. Then, I have to tell the story, and I realize just how lucky I am to have my sister come back into our lives, and continue to nurture the relationship and grow it into what it has become. I still get emotional when explaining it to those who don’t know the background.
I think, for those families that are willing and able to, the reunion of families can be a positive event. While it may not work for everyone, I would repeat it every single time, as I know it brings me what I have now.