On September 26, 2013, I sat in the Newark, New Jersey airport, waiting to fly into Dallas, Texas to bridge the gene gap. I was going to meet my birth mom’s family. I was slightly nervous, but mostly excited. I felt like it was the first day on a new job. I even set out a new outfit to wear, something I never do!
As I was flying to Texas, I kept thinking, “I am meeting my birth mother’s brother.” I said to myself, ” I am meeting my biological uncle, who got to stay in his home and be raised by his grandmother while his sister was placed in an orphanage. I am meeting the man who lost touch with his sister in 1963, after their father’s funeral. I am going to be face-to-face with the person I broke the news to; about his sister’s passing in 1999, when she fell down the stairs of her apartment, intoxicated.
I arrived at the airport and my biological uncle, his wife, and my biological cousin came to pick me up. We all hugged each other like old friends. There was no nervous energy. We later told each other that the moment we met actually felt as if we had been friends for years. It was an amazing feeling. We had talked on the phone multiple times prior to meeting, but the connection was beyond small talk. It was genetic ties binding our hearts together.
We returned to my biological uncle’s house at 11:30 at night. We talked until 3:45 am. Everyone was on a high. My uncle and cousin turned to each other and said, “She looks just like our cousin!” My uncle he turned to me, stroked his chin, and said, “The eyes, the cheeks, the chin, the smile. You look so much like my cousin that it’s eerie.” This statement resonated in my heart and made me smile.
BAM! My hands went down on the table we sat at, as I told a story, my excitement building. A few minutes later, BAM! My uncle’s hands slammed down on the kitchen table as he told a story with excitement. I started to laugh because it was like watching myself in a mirror. I always have “windmill arms” when I become a storyteller!
My uncle is also quite the chatterbox. When I was younger, I was usually the last one at the table because I was always talking. These are minor traits, but they are all a part of the genetic bridge.
My uncle, his wife, and I were sitting around the kitchen table the night before I left. My uncle’s wife explained how their son–my first biological cousin–wrote poetry when he was younger. I just stared at her. I have written poetry for years! Now I know where I get my talent from!
I met my biological second cousin and his 8 month old daughter. She could have been my son’s little sister, the facial features were so similar. I also got the opportunity to spend time with my biological cousin and her husband. We were sitting at dinner and her husband said he was watching me walk. He said, “That walk is definitely in the family genes!” I was elated! Never before have I heard so many comments about how I look or act like someone else. I loved every minute of it! After my trip, my genetic puzzle was complete.
I have been blessed with another amazing chapter in my life.