I am a huge fan of Lifetime movies (I mean HUGE!). The Lifetime movie network is almost always on in my home. So naturally, I know my Lifetime plotlines. You can sum it up in a few lines. “A family is torn apart. After a few years, somehow the family comes back into each other’s lives. Drama ensues. Lies are debunked. Some big upset occurs. They all live happily ever after.”
Well, here is the plot line of my own story. “My biological father left when I was 6. When I turned 24, I found out I had 2 younger sisters and a younger brother. I was given my biological dad’s phone number. Since then (about a month ago), I’ve been in relatively constant contact with one of my younger sisters and my biological father. Since I’ve been talking with my biological father, I have gotten to hear his side of the story. Why he left. What he’s done these last 19 years. Even his take on his and my mom’s relationship.” I haven’t had the big upset yet and I haven’t reached my happily ever after in this family story, but I have had the beginning half of the lifetime movie (hence, the part I).
First, how did we all find each other?
Well, my younger sister’s mom actually reached out to me on FaceBook. I had been looking for my biological dad for a few years, but I kept running into roadblocks. My wife and I could track him to a certain point, but we could never narrow it down to his current location and we couldn’t find any way of contacting him. So, needless to say, I was both shocked and skeptical. Until that day, I hadn’t known where my father was or that I even had any more siblings. I asked her the name of my father and identifying factors about him. In response, she told me what my full name was, the full name of my 2 full-blood sisters I had been raised with, my real dad’s full name, his preferred nickname, and his birthdate. She even sent me pictures of him.
Everything she said was true. In less than a half an hour, I had found the missing side of my biological family.
So, what happened next?
My younger sister and I started talking. It was definitely a little weird at first. I asked her about my biological dad and she asked about me and her 2 new sisters. We tried to find the things we had in common-we all had terrible teeth and large foreheads-all things we got from our dad. Then, we went to lunch. Again, it was definitely weird at first. We were both so incredibly nervous (I just wanted her to like me). But, before the end of lunch was over, we both had grown to feel like our relationship was natural. The conversation started to come easier and easier. We started to joke around with each other. We started to feel more like sisters and less like strangers.
Since then, we have been able to spend a few weekends here and there together. I went to her marching band competition and she came to my wedding. In such a short time, she has become such a permanent part of my life.
In getting to know my little sister, I’ve started to realize more and more that family is not just in your blood, but it is in the relationship that forms between two people. While we’re only half-sisters, I look at her, I talk about her, and I treat her like she’s been in my life from the beginning. To me, she’s just another one of my sisters. It doesn’t matter where she was born, who her mom is, or where she’s been my whole life. None of that changes that she’s my little sister. Period.
Every day is just another chance for us to build something so beautiful from something so sad. Our stories are not perfect. Our dad is not perfect. But, had it not been for him and the multiple roads he took and the choices he made, I wouldn’t have ever had the chance to find and get to know this beautiful soul. It is amazing to me how something so broken can lead to moments of such amazing wonder and love. In every lifetime movie, there’s a positive ending to even the saddest of stories.
In my lifetime movie, this is only the best of beginnings.