I was 25 years old, I had a new job in Collegiate Admissions, and I was traveling in my first rented car. I was living THE life. It was a chilly October afternoon and I was making my way back to Massachusetts, having traveled that eastern seaboard for work. I was excited to share with my family about what life was like on the road. I never dreamed that checking my email would change my world … so perfectly.

Opening up my email on my phone while at a rest stop was nothing new. I had just filled up with gas, grabbed a bottle of water, and was on my way back to my red Charger rental when the email refreshed and a name I hadn’t seen in years popped up. ROXANA. My heart skipped and I thought for sure this was some kind of a prank. I opened it, sat in my car, and continued in disbelief. It was all in Spanish. A language that while beautiful and one that I have a love for, I never completely mastered with five years in high school and three in college. I could make out names and a few words. Prank, I thought. Big prank. Mean Prank. Who would send me an impossible-to-read email from an account created in my biological mother’s name? Anyone, I thought. I had over the last several years posted any and all information I had about her on numerous websites and with a search for MY name, you could find any of this information.

I decided to let it go until I got home. Yeah, that lasted a few 30 seconds. I copied the email and texted it to my friends from my old teaching job, all of whom were either Spanish or Spanish-speaking. Then, I let it go. For real. I knew they would text me back the rest of the email, and I would have to be honest with myself that it wasn’t real. I arrived home, caught up with my mother and grandmother, and then headed home to my townhouse. The phone rang. My dear former colleague, Pam, was calling. I could hear in her voice excitement, “Wow, Jami. This is AMAZING!”

I remember asking her if it was real. “Do you have a sister?” I remember telling her yes. “Is her name Jen?” I remember starting to cry at some point because in all my years of knowing I was adopted, really, my whole life, I knew I’d want to find my biological mother. I knew I’d want to find my biological sister. Then, just as crazy as those ideas had seemed, here they were, posted from Facebook, ready for me to find.