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Egeria
05-07-2005, 10:19 AM
To make a long story short:

When my brother and I were kids we were adopted into a family with 2 kids, and grew up believing it was just the two of us. Our birth mother had died so our birth father gave us up.

It wasn't until nearly 10 years ago that we discovered we had an older sister. I have always had questions about her, what her name was, did she survive our terrible childhood, did she turn out alright, was she alive even. My brother hasn't been quite so curious but has speculated sometimes about her. We always thought she wouldn't remember us because she was only 5 when we were adopted. The fact that we didn't remember her either made us think she didn't remember us. We were told she'd gone to live with a relative so we assumed our birth dad was out of the picture.

Ok. So last night my mom gets a phone call from a distant relative, saying that this girl has been calling everyone in the phonebook of her city with our last name. Asking about us. She says she is our sister.

The distant relative of ours took the girls number and gave it to my mom who then called her last night. My mom is sure this is our sister. She has all the information, everything corroborates what we know of our childhood including the abuse and neglect our mother inflicted on us. It turns out she grew up with our birth father, and has a happy, normal life now.

I have her number now. I've spoken with my brother who agrees I should ring her first and then he'll call her later.

But what do I say?! After 'I'm your sister'!

I'm so nervous. My DH is here with me, but I need some other thoughts on the subject, even if you don't really understand! Or if you do!

I have a headache from crying so much and I feel so weird. This is all so surreal.

KellyK
05-07-2005, 10:30 AM
OMG, Egeria!!!! I cant even IMAGINE the conflicting feelings you are having right now!

If the first conversation you have with her is NOT awkward, I would be surprised...I mean, when you meet a new person, you know nothing, there is nothing preassumed. If you were to meet a person whom you knew something about and those somethings were all POSITIVE (let's say, a friend's new beau that she's said is really GOOD for her) then that gives you lots of GOOD things to talk about. The things you know about this girl all come from sad or bad experiences. SO....sure, it will be awkward.

BUT....you will get THAT part out of the way, and then you may find that you have that to bind you together! When you are done talking about all that "stuff" you will get to know her as a separate person. Then, she will be like any other new person you meet, except that you will know you have some experience in common.

TRY to think of her as just someone with whom you shared a childhood experience. I mean, you were all VERY little when these things took place. None of you had any control. But, those experiences will give you something in common and something to build on.

You keep us posted, sweetie....and DONT chicken out on that call! You have wondered about her over these last 10 years...

HUGS to you until then!!! :heart:

Egeria
05-07-2005, 11:06 AM
Thanks Kell. I'm just taking some time to breathe and pull myself together. I'm still in a state of shock after all that!

I spoke to my 'adoptive' sister, the one I've known and loved since I was adopted. She thinks its great, and she's very happy for me. Of course, she admitted she couldn't understand exactly what I was feeling, but she said she was beside me 100%.

*deep breath*

I gotta calm down. Think I'll take a shower or something. Maybe I should knit something?!

ekgheiy
05-07-2005, 11:51 AM
Wow! This is deep!

Um ... how about this: Write a letter to her. Don't mail it or anything; the letter is really only for you actually. The point is that you can organize/solidify all your thoughts and feelings BEFORE you meet her. And if the meeting gets really emotional, you could use the letter as a "crutch" to get your mind "back on track", if you will. Anyhoo ... read your letter to yourself over and over to help be as "prepared" as possible; maybe have DH read it too? (if you want).

It's just a thought. :oops: If it doesn't help, I hope it at least gives you some ideas. :hiding:

Good Luck!!!

***GROUP HUG FOR EGERIA***

twiggyann
05-07-2005, 01:05 PM
Wow. I have no advice other than to follow your heart. I would probably start it with a letter. (And mail it) But then again I'm very shy and I don't like meeting new people and the entire situation would be really stressful for me.

I guess if I weren't as socially inept as I am, I would call her and just say, "Hi my name is Jane Smith." (of course, insert your real name -- I'm not THAT socially inept *laugh*) And then tell her how you got her number. I don't think I would ever say, "I'm your sister" she'll put two and two together when you tell her that you've heard she's been looking for you and your brother, but again, that's just me.

I can't imagine the feelings that must be churning. Good luck.

suziehomemaker
05-07-2005, 02:15 PM
Egeria - I'm adopted too so I can kinda understand where you're at right now. Until I turned 18, I was terrified that some strange lady would show up at my house, claim she gave birth to me and demand that I go home with her. Very unsettling . . . but my parents were always supportive and open.

My parents have friends at every end of the spectrum: people who gave up children, people who were adopted and then happily reunited and then people who were not so happily reunited. All of the experiences were intense to say the least.

I would say since you're dealing with a sister and not a birth parent that this might be a better situation. She's probably had many of the same feelings that you have now. It can't hurt to call and see what happens. Even just having a light conversation with just small talk on what she does, if she's married, etc would at least get your comfort level up.

Good luck! I wish you the best!

beldaraan
05-07-2005, 03:15 PM
I say call, blunder through it, and follow your feelings. She's going to be the same way. So what if there's an awkward silence. It's with your SISTER!!!

In no time at all, you will both be able to reflect upon your "first phone call together" and laugh about it. You cannot say anything wrong.

Congratulations for getting the chance to speak with your sister! I am very excited for you. :heart:

Contiknitter Kelly
05-07-2005, 03:49 PM
Egeria,

I have 4 kids one of them is 5 now the youngest is 3 and they play together constantly. Your sister i'm sure has memories of playing with you and your brother and most likely being taken away from you both and if she does it breaks my heart for that little girl. You've said you've been wondering about her etc... and now here she is looking for you. I myself had 4 older 1/2 Brothers from my fathers 1st marriage who knew nothing of my brother and I until I was about 19 yrs old. All my life I knew about them though. I was contacted by 2 of them who were as happy as could be to finally have a sister. 1 had died before I was born and the last brother just wasn't interested in meeting us I guess and that was ok too. And now that's been almost 20 years ago and now life gets so buzy I rarely hear from them anymore unless its through the family. But it was fun for the little while and I am glad that I have met them. I understand your situation is different. But the bottom line is if you want to hear from her call or have the family member that was contacted allow her to give her your number or if you'd rather not that is allright too it might be a dissapointment to her but if you want your life private thats your right too. Good Luck and try not to stress too much.
Kelly

VictoiseC
05-07-2005, 04:14 PM
Egeria, what a tough situation. My heart goes out to you. What I hope you stop doing is crying. This could be a wonderful outcome...look at the positives. I wish you could just pick up the phone and call... it'll work out. Either she's nice or not but I'll bet she's really looking to say hello to you if she made all those phone calls. Good luck, don't be afraid, life is short... :heart:

Egeria
05-07-2005, 06:03 PM
Hi everyone, thank you so much for your advice and thoughts! I haven't really stopped crying but more from the emotional intensity of the situation. I'm mostly crying for sheer relief and happiness!

So I finally did call her. And I spoked to her for 3 hours! We had so many questions for each other, and talked about so many things. Even something as simple as what we looked like, how tall we are, how do we wear our hair?!

It was the most amazing conversation and I'm still on a high! I'm shaking and I think I'm still in shock!

My brother is going to call her today as well, and I will talk to him tomorrow to find out how it goes. He's very nervous, just like I was. I think it will be fine because she is not pressuring us to reveal information that we don't want to. She doesn't want to intrude on our family, or cause problems or make waves. But my whole family is excited about this, the phone calls have been flying back and fourth! Even my nephews were excited to hear they might have a 'new auntie'.

As for my sister, she is married with two kids now. Since she was raised as an only child they are excited as well that they could have an uncle and an aunt.

She has been haunted all her life by us. By not knowing what happened to us, if we had a better life. And I have been haunted these last 10 years, not knowing her name, if she survived the past or was even alive. I think this was a burning quest for her, a lifetime of searching and wondering and feeling guilty. As a child she wondered what she did wrong to lose her brother and sister. She does have memories of us which gets me all weepy! My brother and I were always in foster homes so she mostly remembers visiting us there. But she remembers.

And now I know the answers to the questions that have been eating me up inside. It is such a weight lifted! It is indescribable this feeling! I'm sure I won't sleep a wink tonight wondering how it goes with my brother...

As for our birth father, I think I would be more inclined to forgive him and talk to him than my brother is. I have a feeling we'll be meeting our sister when i go home this August...and that I at least will meet our birth father. He raised our sister and they are now very close.

The prospect is both exciting and daunting! My sister (!!) has photos of us AND of our mother!!

Thank you for listening! I just have to have an outlet for all this emotion and experience! This is something that doesn't happen every day...only it did..it happened TODAY!!!

KellyK
05-07-2005, 06:21 PM
EGERIA, I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!! I wish my arms were long enough to reach to Ireland and give you a HUG (and raid your LYS's)!!!!

Contiknitter Kelly
05-07-2005, 06:43 PM
right on.... that's great news :sunny: .

Kelly

carollovesyarn
05-07-2005, 07:14 PM
I'm so happy for you too! I have tears just from reading your post, so I can only imagine how you've been doing.

How exciting. I'm also glad you want to meet your birth father. Take lots of knitting to do!

Carol

Egeria
05-07-2005, 07:20 PM
I do plan on bringing some knitted gifts for all of them! If I can find the time. Funnily enough I was just coming home from another not-so-LYS when my DH rang to say get home and call your mom quick.

I bought some gorgeous mohair which I plan to make a scarf of. I think my sister will like that!

My gut feels like it has been wrung out and hung to dry! I really can't describe this feeling any better than that! I've just emailed her, to reassure her my family are all supportive of us getting to know her. I really think she was afraid of rejection. But she found us because a long time ago I had searched for her.

Anyway, it's just great, really, it's just....just....great!

And KellyK, you can raid my LYS's anytime!

Nuno930
05-07-2005, 08:57 PM
Ok coming in on this late so I guess all there is to say is YAY!!!!! :heart:

Egeria
05-08-2005, 02:54 AM
I'm still crying now! Only it's because after I emailed her she emailed me back with a PICTURE!

Today I'm going to doll myself up and get DH to take some photos so I can send them to her.

When I woke up I came out to my DH and asked him was it real? Or had I been dreaming?

It still feels so surreal. It's such an amazing thing, the most momentus thing to happen to our family as my sister put it. (My adoptive sister I mean). Man that's so weird, all my life I've only had the one sister, now I have two!

I think me and DH are going out tonight to celebrate. It truly does call for a celebration!

amy
05-08-2005, 05:21 PM
OMG, WOW Egeria! I'm all teared up, this is such amazing news! :heart: big hug! :heart:

I'm glad everything went so well with talking to her, that's really great. Pictures must be sooo exciting!

Amy

VictoiseC
05-09-2005, 08:35 AM
That's so wonderful Egeria.... I'm glad you called! Great news. Funny I have two sisters and we never talk. Family is so difficult.
cheers, Vic

Hildegard_von_Knittin
05-09-2005, 06:37 PM
EG, I'm so glad that you found your sister! I hope the two of you are able to build a relationship, as friends, and maybe sisters later on the road.

KnittingMom
05-09-2005, 07:03 PM
That is such great news! I can't imagine what it would be like to find your long lost sister! I hope any meetings go amazingly well and you and your sister get to do some long-needed catching up!!!

MaggieL
05-09-2005, 07:17 PM
OMG Egeria, what a suprise! I wish you and your family happiness and joy.

knitfun
05-10-2005, 01:22 PM
Ditto Nuno --- Double YAY!

I think it is nice to tie up loose ends family-wise whenever possible.

It is nice to hear such a happy ending.....

Enjoy your new-found sister!