A lot and nothing has happened in the eight weeks since I last posted. If you weren’t around for the My Personal Lifetime Movie posts, you’ll have no idea what I’m talking about because I deleted them but, in a nutshell, over the course of 5 days in the last week of January, I discovered the identities of my biological parents and met (online and by phone) two of my four siblings and one paternal aunt. Improbably, one paternal sister lives in Charlotte, the aunt in Raleigh, my biological mother in Chapel Hill, and my maternal sister, in Durham.
Quite simply, it boggles the mind.
I’ve hesitated to share my thoughts on the experience but my husband suggested I return to the keyboard, mainly, I suspect, because he’s tired of fielding calls from friends asking for an update because no one wants to ask me in case the news is bad. I’ve tried eighteen ways to Sunday to google this blog using my real name, maiden name, Craig’s name and it doesn’t show up in results (my nickname hits it every time but my birth family doesn’t know it or my email address) so I feel okay with writing about all of this but, fair warning, it may get deleted if I change my mind.
On Tuesday, February 2, I mailed a letter to my Chapel Hill mom that I’d written and re-written 30 times and still wish I had another pass at it. She received it on Thursday, February 4 and she called me on Friday, February 5.
I was too afraid to answer the phone and let it go to voicemail.
Why I didn’t pick up is something I’ve thought about daily. There are too many deeply held emotions which are too complicated to unpack publicly and I’m not sure I yet have an answer so I’ll just acknowledge my fear and move on. What I can say is that she was braver than I by leaving a kind message letting me know she’d received my letter and, while it had been a great shock, it made her happy to hear about my life. She also told me she needed some time and said she would (her emphasis) call me back in a few days after she’d collected her thoughts.
It has been 8 weeks of silence.
Clearly, over-thinking things is GENETIC.
I have used the past two months to find out everything I can about her and my sister and through the magic of the internet and my sister’s unsecured Flickr account of over 4,500 pictures and videos – we’re going to have to talk about that when we meet – I now have a well-rounded picture of who they are. They seem to be good people. My sister is gregarious, wide-open, loud, goofy, and full of life. She cracks me up. She’s easily as tall as I am and we have the same hands. We wear the same style of ring and the same brand of flip-flops. She crochets (I knit), she cans (the picture of her standing in front of her jars of tomatoes fresh out of the canner made me scream out loud), she takes pictures of her food, she vacations in fun places and she hikes (okay, so maybe we’re not related). My mother seems to be on the quieter side, but smiles a lot. She holds her morning coffee cup the same way I do, not by the handle, but curled in her hand, held against her shoulder. It’s so bizarre to have this intimate look into her life – pictures of Christmas morning, Easter dinners with family, childhood snapshots – and yet not know her.
And so, we wait.
Oh, and we pray. God is LOVING this amount of communication.
Peace and uneasiness war with other on a daily basis. It’s normal, I know. Craig has been a champ, offering wise advice when I need it, always, always, always listening when I have to talk about what I’m feeling (and it’s a lot of talking, people – good grief, I’ve used all the words and then some). Deep down, I truly trust that God’s timing and His plan is perfect. Learning to walk in that truth every day is something I’m getting better at, as well.
Thank you, friends, for supporting me in this new adventure. I haven’t done this before but if you have any questions about anything that’s going on, feel free to leave them in the comments and I’ll answer them as best I can.
Have a nice day.