Sentinel Progress

Oh sister, where art thou?

I swore up and down I wasn’t going to write about this: It was too personal, it was too fresh and it impacted too many people. There was no way for me to possibly reduce such a life-altering thing into a series of mere column inches.

Sometimes there just aren’t words to express the magnitude of what a person is feeling — this is one of those times.

That being said, it’s all I can think of, it’s all I’m talking to my friends about and it’s all I can do to keep myself from shouting it from the rooftops.

So yeah, I’m gonna write about it. Because that’s what writers do.

And I’ll cut right to the chase: you guys, I have a sister.

The back story is a combination of teenage heartache, adoption and the worst-kept “family secret” in history but honestly, that part isn’t my story to tell and I won’t betray confidences by discussing it here.

What came about from it, now, that’s a different story …

On Wednesday night I learned my sister had tracked down her birth parents and — by extension — my brothers and me, siblings she never never knew she had.

And I flipped out. In a good way.

Later that same night, thanks to the wonders of the internet, we were able to video chat.

To sit there, face to face, with my sister (it still feels weird to say that,) well, it was one of the most surreal experiences of my life.

I had known since I was 15-years-old that she existed, but without having any information to go on (not even a name) I never had any real expectations of any sort of a reunion.

Over the years I’ve thought about her often and would find myself doing a double-take whenever I would see someone who I thought looked like me. But just in case you were wondering, yes, apparently it is considered “socially unacceptable” to wander up to complete strangers and ask if by chance they were adopted.

Whatever. Prudes …

As it turns out, we don’t really look much like each other at all — similar — but not the resemblance I had pictured in my mind’s eye.

We have the same nose, we’re both covered in freckles and we both managed to snag the red hair gene although her’s is a very pretty strawberry blonde to my auburn.

I couldn’t tell for sure, but I think she’s tall like my (our) brothers.

You would think after 30-plus years there would be a ton of information exchanged during that first conversation but in reality, it was a whole lot of crying and gasping and “Oh my G-d, I can’t believe this is happening!

I still can’t quite wrap my head around it and find myself checking my phone in the mornings when I get up to see if it was real.

And who can blame me? This stuff only happens on TV, right? And last I checked my living room was a far cry from Oprah’s studio.

We’ve been texting and Facebook stalking each other since we met, scrolling through uploaded photos of our missed time together and trying to glean insight into each other’s lives.

My youngest brother has taken it upon himself to try and set up a reunion, of which I am positive will be a repeat of that first video call — a lot of crying.

I don’t know what the future holds for us as a family but I do know that I’m excited beyond words at the possibility of even having a future with her in it.

We may have lost the past, but we have the rest of our lives to make up for it.

Danielle, welcome home.

Strickly Speaking

Kasie Strickland

Kasie Strickland is a staff writer for The Sentinel-Progress and can be reached at Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not necessarily represent the newspaper’s opinion.