The last time I saw my birth father I was nearly four. My dress, it was light pink and itchy, my white tights neatly tucked into some shiny black shoes I didnt remember seeing before. I walked down a long hallway, I remember the clicks of my heels as I approached a room. There in the middle of what seemed to be a wide open space sat my father. A box in his hand, and bandages on his face. Looking back I cant exactly recall why he was in the hospital but I knew that he would be okay. I remember his voice, his height, I remembered him. He handed me a box of Brach’s cinnamon discs when I left.

Growing up he was a mystery to me, I was raised by my adoptive father Mike. Every couple of months, I would be hit with this pang of sadness, that I didnt know where he was, that I didnt know if he was alive or worse, I didnt think that he remembered me or wanted me at all. When I was 13, my father Mike hired a private detective to try and find him, and we thought that we did. I called the number and my personal memory of the phone call was that he “didn’t want to talk to me” or that “he wasnt there” and just a click.

Heartbroken, I moved on and tried not to think about him very much at all. There were various adults from my past that would mention things about him, or that they ran into one of his relatives (in Ohio) and I would ask them for more information and they would brush me off or just refuse to share what they knew. It was frustrating how people thought that they were protecting me but really it just hurt. At one point, someone told me that it was likely that he wasnt alive anymore. I went with that. It was almost easier to detach.

After my mother died I really felt like some sort of biological orphan. Thinking that there were just two people in the world, my half sister and my son that were really truly related to me. And while I know that biology isnt everything (hello amazing Rylie), it was devastating. There wasnt a week that went by that I didnt rattle ideas around in my brain about if he was still alive, where was he but more importantly if he was alive, did he want to talk to me or was it just all together too painful?
I hired someone again to try and find out if I had any relatives on that side of the family just so I could even talk to someone about him, to see if I could learn anything about that side of my family. The agency was a total rip off but they did send me an email that was hilarious.
“We found your father. He is 35 years old and living in Ohio…”
Confused I wrote back a snappy email explaining that he would be an awfully young father to me and maybe they had the wrong person and they wrote back telling me that, he was in fact my brother and that my father was alive and he had another son who was three years younger than me too.

That was it. There was an address that I couldnt do much with. I just started searching the names of my brothers online over and over until I came up with a twitter account with the same name. When I went to the page, I clicked on the user picture and I swear my heart stopped when I saw my something so similar to my fathers face staring back at me. I sat there for several minutes just staring at this picture thinking that I just had to be insane. This could not possibly be my brother. So I tweeted at him. Hah. It sounds so ridiculous but I did. And I just sat there and waited and nothing happened. I looked at his account and saw that he wasnt really on it all that much. A day or so later I sent another one “Are you ever on twitter?” to which he replies, 2 days later kinda treating me like I am way sketchy, “Periodically….” I asked him to send me a direct message, he insists that he doesnt know how to. I look at my husband and say “he can spell periodically he has to know how to direct message!” He doesnt know how to direct message. I stare at the screen for about an hour and shuffle off to bed.

I wait. Then I figure out how to find him on facebook, he doesnt reply (I am sounding way insane I know) but Im 100% convinced at this point that he is my brother and its the first time in over 25 years that I have gotten this close to my father. I find name on his friends list that rings a bell, its my fathers sister and I remember the name perfectly. So I send her an email asking if she might know someone by my fathers name and introduce myself with my birth name (Nicky). Im dropping the kids off at school, I quickly look at my phone and very nearly pass the message, its Monday I have a million emails…
“is this you? We’ve been looking for you for YEARS!” I just about pass out. “Your father is alive.”
I cant even breathe.

After a quick and hilarious phone call my birth aunt gives me the phone number for my sister. Sister! I have two sisters AND two brothers. I call her and leave a message. All the while thinking, shes not going to call me back. She is not going to call me back. And she does. And the first few minutes are kinda awkward (I think that I say as much) and then, the brother that I tweeted at is there and he admits that he thought that I was a “webcam girl spammer” so he didnt want to reply to me. I say “what was I supposed to say? Hi I think that I am your sister?” He said “Well yeah.”

I finally ask if my father is there and they tell me that he is on the porch. I ask if it would be okay if I talk to him, or if he even wants to talk to me. They tell me that he has no idea that I am on the phone at all. He is oblivious. They tell me that they are just going to hand the phone to him and not tell him who it is.
“Hello? Hi, this is Nicky (me, Sara).”
“Hey Nicky! How you doin’ baby girl?” His voice, I know this voice. He is so casual I kind of think its weird.
“Um. Im kind of nervous.”
“Nicky? My daughter Nicky?” His voice changes and I just start crying.
“I didnt think that I would ever find you. I looked for you all my life, I never thought that I would find you.” Im just crying.
“Now dont start crying, you found me.” He starts crying. “I thought you were my grand daughter Nicky. I didnt know it was you.”

And we talk.

And he remembers that dress, those tights, that candy he handed me. He remembers the last time he saw me. He tells me that he couldnt find me. That he tried to find me.

I find out after the phone call that my brother named his daughter after me. I feel like the wind is knocked out of me. This explains why my father was so friendly when I first said my name.

And Ive told my sister and brother this week exactly this, that all of my life my heart, it was just a little bit broken. I mean, I was okay and loved and I was managing. But this tiny little part of me just hurt when I thought about my first father and that he didnt love me or that he wasnt alive and I could never ask him any questions. It just hurt. But now it doesnt. In fact, my heart (seriously guys this is so corny) its like huge now. I cant believe I have so much room in it for all of these new people, but I do. I cant get enough of them. Ive talked to my siblings every single day since 11/13/12 and I never want to stop. They are beautiful, they are so smart and super funny. I showed a picture of my niece to Henry and he said “Awwww look, its like a little lady Henry.” They look so much alike. I wake up in the middle of the night just startled, just remembering that I have them now. I think about how much I want to see them or when I will get to see them. I wake up in the morning and can barely wait to talk to them again. I feel sad in a way, ripped off that I didnt know them sooner but I know that everything happens for a reason and this was just the right time, that this is all perfectly how it is supposed to be even if its a little messy. And talking to them all is so easy and they have been just so kind. And they just are, there. And they are mine and I am theirs. And I love them and I havent even met them in person but I know them now. Forever.

And yes. I am going to teach my brother how to direct message. Its seriously about time. Get it together dude, seriously.

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