I found my biological family two years ago. I had been searching for a while, but not seriously. I was looking at a website and found out that Kansas was an open adoption records state. All I had to do was go to the records department website for Topeka and print off a form requesting my original birth certificate. I filled it out and sent it off.

A few weeks later I received my birth certificate in the mail. I was shaking so badly that I had to have my roommate open it for me. And then he read off my birthmother’s name. It was exciting and weird to finally have a name. On the off-chance, I grabbed a phone book and looked up the name to see if the address on the birth certificate would match the name. Sure enough, my maternal grandparents never moved.

Up until this point I hadn’t told either of my parents that I was looking. I was nervous about it and wasn’t sure what they would think. My mom came over, I showed her the birth certificate, and she was so excited for me. I decided I would write a letter. However, once I wrote the letter it took a while to mail it off. I had the letter written for about a month before my mother told me to mail it already. I mailed it out on a Monday, and my biological mother called by the next night. I figured I would have a least a few days to get used to the fact that I would be making contact. That was the best phone call I had ever had.

It was about two weeks before we could set up a time to meet, but we finally worked out a time and place. We met on April 19. It was my biological mom, half sister, my boyfriend, and me. We went to dinner and talked for about four hours. We decided to make it easy for me to meet the rest of the family, so we had a big BBQ and everyone wore name tags. My mom and stepdad came as well,  so they got to meet my birthmom, Renee, and the rest of the family.

I already had some step-siblings from my parents, and I found out that I also had two half sisters and two half brothers. In May, I got another half brother, which I was very excited about because this sibling I was able to see from day one. I was an only child until I was about 14 years old, when my divorced parents both remarried.  Now, between step- and half siblings, I’m one of 16!

All in all I feel very lucky that my reunion went well. I talk to all of my biological family (at least the ones I’ve met), and even though my biological parents aren’t together, they are still friends, and the two families are close. I wish everyone else the same luck that I had, and hopefully their experiences will be as great as mine.