Parental Secrets

Today is the day I would normally pull an excerpt from a book I love and share it with all of you.  However, I got some news I never would have expected to hear in my life on Saturday night, and I can’t seem to tell enough people about it, thus this blog entry.  I hope to get back on track later this week with other posts.

Here’s the bombshell news:  I have another sister I never knew about!  This is the first I’m hearing about my father having had another daughter besides the sister I grew up with, and the daughter he had with his second wife.

My family history is a bit complex, so first, a quick background.  My parents split when I was three and my sister, a year and a half old.  After the split, my sister and I lived with my mother for a year and a half or so, then we were sent to live with my father.  My father’s girlfriend had two sons, one my age, one three years older than me, so we became a blended family of four children, ages 3, 5, 5, and 8.  Three years later, my father and my step-mother had another child, so now we were five children, ages baby, 6, 8, 8, and 11.  When I was ten, my sister and I were sent to live with my mother again because my father was leaving my stepmother.  We had a hard time maintaining contact with my half-sister, who was 2 when we left, and my ex-step-brothers.  Periodically, I’d reconnect with them, but as the years have passed, they are less and less open to maintaining communication with me.  We lived through some hard times, which perhaps I’ll write about in the future, but suffice it to say it was a pain-filled period for all of us, and my father abandoned everyone at that time.

Saturday night, the mother of my half-sister told me she had been contacted by a daughter that she and my father had given up for adoption just before I came to live with them.  I had absolutely no idea they had another daughter.  My new half-sister had contacted her birth mother and asked if any of her newly discovered five siblings would communicate with her online.  She is five years younger than me and lives in England, and that’s about as much as I know.  Of course, I said I’d be happy to communicate with her – the ridiculous drama of our family life back then was insane, but regardless, if I can do anything to satisfy the curiosity of someone who has been adopted and clearly has a strong desire to learn about her birth family, I absolutely want to help.

This has raised a number of interesting conversations among my friends, my sister, and a few of my relatives on my mom’s side of the family.  Everyone is shocked to know I have another sister – personally my mind has been spinning, but somehow spinning with lots of emptiness – it’s hard to think about concrete things when you have a bombshell like that dropped on you.  I have yet to decide whether I’m going to talk to my father about the situation.  Many people have expressed shock that he never told me or my sister about this other daughter, but that doesn’t actually shock me at all.  Whatever the circumstances were that they chose to put this baby up for adoption, the decision was certainly theirs to make, and I don’t believe they had any  obligation to tell the rest of us kids.  I’m curious what perspectives others have, as I struggle with talking to my father about this.  I almost see it as an invasion of his privacy.  I’m the only child that has any contact with my father, so if it turns out my new sister intends to contact him, I may be the best suited person to talk to him about it, and if that happens, I will do so.  But, not knowing yet what her perspective is, I’m holding off for the moment.  Needless to say, this has interrupted my ability to think much about anything else.