I’m meeting my Grandparents this week.
It’s as crazy as it sounds.
Since I was adopted as a baby it’s taken forty years to meet my biological kin.
Just last February my mom got a call from Gabrielle who said she thought she was my birth sister. Thanks to Facebook and all of her uploaded pictures, there was no doubt she was right.
I spoke to Gabby that night and to my birth mom the very next day.
It was the first time I’d heard the story the story of my birth; the giving up of me.
In the months that followed Gabby came to visit twice and on my birthday surprised me by flying to Raleigh with her children, whom I had yet to meet.
Being with Gabby is easy. We look and talk (a lot) alike.
We’re both stubborn, love clothes, eat too much ice cream, and needed each other in our lives more than we realized in that first conversation.
We’re different too, but meeting Gabby answered many questions that unadopted people take for granted; knowledge about nationality, siblings, body type and personality were finally confirmed.
My birth mom died last August. She was suffering from cancer when Gabby found me and passed away six months to the day after we first spoke. I had been nervous about meeting her in person, but Skyped her a few weeks before her death. It was sad, but I was glad to have a face to face even though she was so sick.
My birth mom had never told the family about me. She kept her secret her entire life only sharing my existence with a couple of people that she trusted.
Gabby only learned that she had a baby sister by the slip of the tongue (she then searched for 14 years).
Not only am I meeting my Grandmother and Grandfather for the very first time as a 40 year old (they are 89 and 90), I’m also meeting aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews (my other sister Danielle’s children), spouses, and (I’m certain) friends of my biological family. Once my birth mother died the secret slowly came out. The grandparents were the last to learn.
Adding to my anxiety about the whole thing is figuring out what I’m going to wear?
I actually do know what I’m going to wear, but the Libra in me will probably change her mind that morning and try on everything else in the closet, before settling on the first thing I’d chosen. It’s my way.
The whole thing is an overwhelming experience and it’s going to take a lot of processing. I hope they like me. I hope the experience is not painful for them.
When my husband awakes I’m going to get ready to run.
After my last run on Friday, I got a lot of feedback about listening to my body and being kind to myself. Instead of going out determined to do the 10 miler that’s on the plan, I’m going to attack my run like a yoga practice; go in with no judgement, setting my intention at the start. It’s not exactly tough marathon training where I must complete a certain mileage, rather a kinder way of being that will help me manage the uncertainties of this coming week.