Openness in Adoption: A Sister’s Story

sophie flying
One day the phone rang and it was my dad’s voice on the other end of the line. I didn’t hear from my father very often – maybe a couple times a month – and a phone call usually meant he had something on his mind.

“I’d like you to come over to see me. Can you stop by the store some time tomorrow?”

“Sure.”

My dad was a checker at a grocery store. He’d had that job as far back as I could remember.

I walked up to the front door of the large market and the automatic double doors slid open. Dad was working the middle lane and was ringing up a customer’s order when I walked up to the end of the counter. Dad gave the woman her change and told her to have a great day. He looked at me.

“You have another sister.”

My parents had been divorced for about 22 years. The fact that he might have fathered another child didn’t surprise me. One thing, however, did surprise me.

“How old is she?” I felt a wave of curiosity wash over me.

“She’s nine.”

Nine years old? Was he kidding? My oldest son was nine!

Later that afternoon, I went to Dad’s house. He went to his closet and brought out a shoebox filled with neatly folded letters, holiday cards, and lots of photographs. He took out a picture and put it in my hand. The smiling little girl in the photo was my sister!

I immediately fell in the love with the blue-eyed girl with long dark blond curls. My mommy heart and my sister love came spilling out. She looked just like my kids and my siblings. She especially resembled one of my sisters. She could have walked in the door at that moment and I would have known she was family. Her parents had done a fabulous job of keeping my dad in the loop with pictures and letters of their little girl over the years.

Megan always knew she was adopted and she was now 9 ½ years old. I don’t know if she started asking questions, or if her parents initiated the correspondence, but the adoption agency had contacted Dad and asked him for more info. He asked me to write a letter.

I wrote to Megan’s mom and told her all about the family. I grew up as the oldest of four – three girls and a boy. I shared details about Megan’s two older sisters and brother. She also had nieces and nephews that were just about the same age as she was. It turned out, in fact, that Megan and my oldest son had been due the same week in late 1984. Megan was born a few weeks earlier than she was expected, and she was just three weeks older than her oldest nephew.

Before long I was getting to know my sister’s adoptive mom over a lovely lunch at the Peppermill Restaurant in Fresno. A few weeks later, on a beautiful summer day in 1994 I, along with my sisters, brother, and our families met our baby sister. Since that day she’s been to weddings, birthday parties, funerals, and holiday celebrations. She’s family.

I can’t thank her mom and dad enough for sharing their daughter with our family. She’s my little sister. I’m so blessed to know her and to have her in my life. I’m blessed to know her whole family.

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