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Thanksgiving and A Long Awaited 40 Year Reunion
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Thanksgiving and A Long Awaited 40 Year Reunion

This year has brought about many blessings and this Thanksgiving, more than others, I am extremely blessed. A mere month ago I could not have imagined that I would find and talk to the brother I have searched for over the past 40 years. And, little did I know that he knew of me and had wanted to contact me for the past 30 years.

It seems we both thought the other one did not know and, out of respect, had kind of stayed in the shadows. While I tried to contact him 3 times over the years, when he reached legal age, I was unsuccessful in my attempts. As I spoke to a man sharing his name and believing it to be him, I thought perhaps he didn't want to know me so my efforts stopped again.

However, after watching recent episodes of the Locator and crying with each reunion, I was once again spurred to find him and two additional siblings. Calling the number of a man I thought was an Uncle, he provided me with my brother's phone number and encouraged me to call. He cautioned me that my brother was not a man of many words and to not take that as a lack of excitement, but more of a mannerism.

When I called Richard, I was met with a strong, deep voice and was so surprised that he knew of me. We talked for a brief time and while he agreed to meet readily, I wanted to allow him time to rethink his hasty decision, talk with his siblings and then get back to me. He called two days later and we agreed to meet on Saturday (five days away).

His wife called me the following day and introduced herself enthusiastically. It seems we went to school together and that fact spurred our father to see pictures of me and to tell his son of my existence. He believed my mom would never tell me I was his daughter. In hindsight, I believe that is a true statement because I only found out at the age of 13 when my sister found the adoption papers while snooping through my parent's dresser.

Sally then handed the phone to Richard and we had no trouble talking. It was natural and heartfelt and we exhausted his cell phone battery and then a second as we talked non-stop for hours.  We kept in touch daily after that and, on Friday, the day before we were scheduled to meet, Richard called and asked what I was doing after work. While I almost said, "meeting you", I refrained and let him know I had no specific plans.

Richard told me he couldn't wait any longer and had to see me and I said "good .. me too". That evening, we met alone in my driveway with the rain gently falling .. and I received the warmest, sincerest, strong, heartfelt hug of my life. We stood embraced in the driveway and held each other as a parent would who had found a lost child. His hug was the most heart healing hug of my life, the most natural .. and one we've waited more than 30 years to give to each other.  When we could finally talk, our voices cracked with emotion and all we could say is that we were so glad to have found each other.

He helped me with my suitcases and showed me our father's picture as soon as I was settled in the van. I spent that night with he and Sally and we talked, shared pictures and tracked the many similarities in our lives. We stayed up till 3:00 in the morning until we were literally falling asleep.

The next morning we shared breakfast and went on to a wonderful family reunion where he introduced me to their children, grandchildren, my sister and another brother.

I love this brother of mine and his feelings are reciprocative. We are indeed blessed and have many years to make up for. While Thanksiving has always been a special holiday to me, a time of giving thanks, I am most blessed and have so much to be thankful for this year.

This past weekend was one of celebration and healing as my newfound brother and sister-in-law traveled with me and met my daughter and her family for the first time. What treasured memories were formed and what a depth of love and healing occurred as we explored pictures, stories, similarities and found out where my grandson's height came from and where I got my eyes.

While I had the most cherished father who always loved me and was there at every turn .. and one who I would not trade for anything .. there is always a hole that is created when you do not know a biological parent. This may be something only those of us who face this can understand, but no matter how fulfilled you are, this hole exists until the keys are found that unlock the secrets and your heart is filled with answers and healing occurs. This has been the blessing for me and my brother and he is one of my greatest treasures. Not that Richard will ever replace the brother I lost 12 years ago in an auto accident, my beloved Billy, but I can't tell you enough how much his love and acceptance ... and heartfelt strong and secure hugs ... has helped heal the loss I've felt for so long.

Another aunt and cousins were met last night in the hospital.  This aunt is one of two of our father's siblings that are still alive.  She undergoes a difficult and life-threatening surgery on Friday and I only hope and pray she will recover as I long for a time to talk with her about what my father was like.  They were close and she has much to share.

An uncle that was married to a sister of my father also is alive and we hope to meet him and more cousins later today ... and the healing continues.

Thanks so much for allowing me to share this here in MedHelp on this very special Thanksgiving.  MedHelp allows this unique community to help us explore all the ramifications and possibilities of the adoption process as well as other conditions that affect our health and well being.  Many wonderful and supportive friendships have been formed here and my weight loss transition continues in the Weight Loss & Dieting Community.  There is definitely strength in numbers and we are all blessed by the friendships and knowledge shared here.

The one thing I would urge those on all sides of the adoption issue to consider is the long-term effect it has on those involved.  These are challenging, loving, supporting and difficult decisions and although the circumstances may be unique, there are shared similarities.  Personally, I would have loved to have met my brother 30 years ago and we have missed out on many days we can not recapture.  There truly is nothing to be lost in a child finding out they are adopted ... it only enhances who they are, fills a hole that exists and enlarges their support network and heart strings.  It takes nothing away from the parents that raised me.  

You have no idea how much the father who raised me means to me and how much I love him.  The day he brought me the obituary of my biological father and offered to take me to his funeral, is the day he showed me his caring, compassion and that his love for me exceeded his interests.  That was the greatest gift he could have given me.

Heartfelt (((Hugs))) to the founders of MedHelp and to each of you on this blessed Thanksgiving.  May you find the answers to your questions and support each other in all aspects of the adoption process.  It is truly one that offers hope, blessings and healing for all concerned.  

Sunshine wishes ..

Ranae
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2 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
How thrilling to have gone through all that you have with this new beginning.  Thank you for sharing.  This is your moment!!!!

May the blessings continue,
:-),
Donna
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for posting .Your Dad that raised you was a very good man .I can tell he was buy what he has done for you.

I jus found my brothers Daughter and she doesn't want to meet us yet or have anything to do with us.Part becuase my sister said and thinghs to her and acted as if she knows us and even thou I tried to tell her she needs time .

This family doesn't want her to know about us and she said, when I found her on line after years of looking for her . She did meet her mother and I am sure the mother lied about everything.And she said her adopted Family was mad she did it and yelled at her for 3 hours. Do I know if she is just saying this because she needs time. She said she doesn't have aworking phone witch I know is not true.

I did send her gifts for her and her family. Now I told my brother about it and he is mad because he wan'ts to know why I did it.I told him I have never had to ask anyone if I could buy a gift for a family member and I didn't think I needed to ask him. He said she might think he told me to send them.I told him aslo that he wouldn't need me to do that so it make not sence to me for her to fwwl this way. And even thou she doesn't want to talk to me it dosen't stop me from caring and loving her just like I did when he had her in our home.

I creid when the state took her and I have cried every sicne I have found her,My Heart is hurt .

My brother aslo said to stop button in even thou I am the one who found her for him and me.And that there is a reason she is not talking to me right now.                    

Thank you again for sharing and I am very happy for you.
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