Reaching Out to My Half Siblings

It had been a year since my last meeting with my birth father and his cousin.

Tom Andriola February 28, 2015
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It had been over a year since I last met with my birth father, Stuart, and his cousin Jerry in Manhattan in November 2012. The meeting had not gone as I had hoped; I had wanted to come out with their blessing to contact my half siblings, and they were against it. Not that I had to listen to what they said, but I wanted to handle the situation delicately and try to move forward in a mutually agreeable way.

But it was not to be. I had indicated that I would check in with them again after some time, and I called Jerry in January 2014 to follow up. He wasn’t there when I called, so I left a voicemail. A few days went by, and I didn’t get a call back. I didn’t expect much, but I thought I would at least get a call back.

Another week went by, then two. I realized that he was never going to call me back, and I had a decision to make: Let it go, or reach out. After much consideration, I decided that I had done so much work to get to the point I was at that I wasn’t going to simply walk away. It was time to reach out.

I drafted a carefully worded letter explaining the situation. I would send it by Facebook message to all three of my half siblings at once. That way, I thought, not only would they all hear from me at the same time, but I would also increase my chances of hearing back from at least one of them.

In the letter, I explained the situation; I told them I had discovered who my birth father was a few years before and that I had met with him twice with his cousin Jerry in Manhattan. I explained that I knew this might come as a shock, and that I was not looking for money or anything else; I was just curious about my roots and was hoping to meet them.

There was much more, but the gist was the same. I didn’t want to cause a disturbance, but at the same time, I wanted them to know the truth of the situation and be able to decide for themselves whether or not they wanted to respond in any way or even meet me. Then, in mid-February 2014, I copied my letter into private messages on the Facebook accounts of all three of my half siblings and hit send.

It was done. There was no turning back. My secret was finally unveiled in its entirety. I had already met both my biological parents, and the only ones left who weren’t aware of my existence were my half siblings–until now. I felt a mix of emotions, and I hoped for the best.

A day went by, then another. No word. I got back into my normal routine at work and started losing hope. I contemplated my next step, not sure of what it should be if I didn’t hear anything back soon. Then, in the middle of a meeting, as I was checking something on my phone, an alert popped up on my screen indicating that I had a Facebook message. It was from Scott. I put my phone away for the remainder of the meeting and tried to concentrate, but it was too late. My mind was racing in too many different directions, and I couldn’t wait for the meeting to be over so I could read the message that awaited me.

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Tom Andriola

Tom Andriola advocates for adoptee rights and shares his personal experiences about being adopted and his successful, independent search for both biological parents. To see more of his writing, visit Tom's Facebook page.


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