I remember the day so clearly. Almost four years ago. It was mid-April. My adoptive mom and grandma and I traveled to Arizona to meet people I had never met, but who were so familiar to me at the same time. I was nervous, and the palms of my hands were sweaty. Do you remember the line in Frozen that goes “I don’t know if I’m elated or gassy, but I’m somewhere in that zone?” I felt like Princess Anna that day.

I had corresponded with my birth uncle who has custody of my brother, and we decided together that we should surprise my brother and not let him know that I was coming to Arizona to see them. Being an only child in my adoptive family, I was very excited to finally have siblings.

Walking into the doors of the bowling alley we had planned to meet in, I looked around and saw  my birth brother, Erich. It was almost like a dream. The 14-year-old boy I had Skyped with and talked to on the phone was here in real life. I ran up to him and wrapped my arms around him. Erich, not knowing what to do, turned around and embraced me in the most loving hug I’ve ever had. This was my brother. Tears were streaming down everyone’s faces. Erich’s, my aunt’s and uncle’s, and my mom’s and grandma’s. It was such a beautiful moment. One I will hold tightly in my heart forever.

Many things surprised me about meeting him.

1. We were so similar.

That was so weird. I had never met this boy before in my life. Yet, we talked the same. We liked some of the same things and disliked some of the same things. We both don’t like mustard. But we both love playing volleyball.

2. We fought. It was wonderful. 

Not in a bad way. In the way that siblings get in small tiffs. And I loved it. I loved having a sibling I could give a hard time to. He will often cover me in a blanket and throw me on the couch. Sometimes he will punch my arm. Sometimes I will punch him in the stomach. He even broke my bracelet one time and posted embarrassing photos of me on social media.

3. We made memories.  

So many memories were made those few days. We went bowling. We bought matching hats. Went to the mall and bought matching shirts. We even had a caricature made of us in our matching shirts, in our matching hats. We did everything to make up for the time we had been apart.

During this last year I was also able to meet my birth mom and my other little brother, Shawn, as well. I am blessed to have two amazing families that love me so much. And I love them as well.

I loved being able to meet my younger brother, Erich. He is the most inspiring young man I have ever met, and I am so proud of him. I cannot wait to see what great things he achieves in his life and the new memories we will make together. I will be with him now. Every step of the way. And I couldn’t be happier.