Today is Found You Day with my birth family.
Eight years ago, the result of an internet search for my birth parents, I received a phone call from my eldest brother, Aaron. It’s an absolute coincidence that I also have a son named Aaron (aka “small” Aaron). “Big” Aaron also has a son, “medium” Aaron.
A week before the phone call when I found I had a gigantic family, I was playing on the internet. I love randomly googling people’s names and seeing what I come up with. On a whim, I googled the names of my birth parents together and found the obituary for my birth father. It mentioned my deceased birth mother and listed my seven–yes, seven!–siblings.
I had known about my large family since I turned 18 and was able to get a copy of my original birth certificate (pre adoption). But before the internet, it was impossible to find people on your own.
I debated who to call. I talked it over with Jim. I began googling my siblings to see if I could find anyone. Somehow I found Aaron. Our last name is really common–Johnson!–so it is nothing short of an honest-to-goodness miracle that I found the right one. Because trying again, he gets lost in a sea of other Aaron’s in his city.
It was awkward, that first phone call. I had a whole speech prepared, and instead, I blurted out, “I’m the eight kid.”
And so we were all reunited again. My siblings had been told I died and that’s why there was no baby. No one still living knew I existed, not even my mother’s identical twin sister. There’s speculation that grandparents and great grandparents might have known. There’s even a newspaper article about the family that mentions my death! I’ve often thought of contacting that reporter to set things straight, but think that’s probably a little creepy. Still, he thinks I’m dead!
I’ve met six of my seven siblings, my mother’s twin sister, I had a new grandma for awhile, I have nieces and nephews, cousins, and great-nieces and great-nephews, aunts and uncles. I inherited my looks, my laugh, my wicked sense of humor, and my gift of snark from my family. I also inherited my brains, my tendency to be a bit macabre, and a need for solitude. Oh, and I also got the gift of a workable medical history that was much needed.
Like all families, I am closer to some than others. But I love them all unconditionally. Because that’s what family is all about.
I have been blessed three times with great families–my adopted family, my husband and kids, and my birth family. There’s no luckier girl in the world…