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Published Saturday November 28th, 2009 at 2:09am

Original Article by Kevin D. Hofmann

The door bell rang and my legs turned instantly to noodles. Tryingto balance and walk on thick noodles is impossible. Fortunately thedoor was not far away. I opened the front door and on my porch stoodmy sister holding a Poinsettia, standing next to her adult daughter. We immediately hugged and just held each other. The sister that hadthe same birth mother as me was squeezing me and I was squeezing herback. I have waited 42 years for this meeting.

In the three days leading up to this hug I worked hard at trying tounderstand what this meant. It was hard for me to conceptualize whatit would be like to meet someone from my birth family. I spent a lotof time trying to get my mind to understand this was a blood relative. Convincing my mind this was more than seeing a friend I hadn't seen inmany many years was very difficult.

Throughout the days prior to our meeting I kept telling myself,"Your sister is coming in two days." "Your sister will be heretomorrow." This is a hard concept for me to understand. Since I havenever known a blood relative older than my oldest son this is anintimidating concept to digest.

My broad range of emotions prior to our meeting was exhausting. There were moments I was very excited, moments were I was very confusedas to what I felt or should feel and one moment of panic.

The moment of panic came about 30 minutes before the door bellrang. I sat on my living room couch watching my football team, theDetroit Lions, struggle with portraying themselves as a professionalteam. I was hoping the Lions would distract me from the emotions thatwere wrestling in my stomach. For a brief moment, I questioned why Iwas doing this. For a brief moment, I concluded this was a bad idea. For a brief moment, fear invaded and came close to over throwing mycommon sense.

I pushed the fear to the side and tried to concentrate on theinterception-fest, sponsored by the Lion's quarterback, that was goingon inside my TV.

By the time the doorbell rang excitement had pushed fear back andexcitement was staking claim to the territory inside my stomach.

When I hugged my sister I was happy. We both whispered in eachother's ear how long we had been looking for each other. It wasevident this was a coveted meeting from both sides.

We all sat down at the dining room table and began to share ourlives with each other. My wife, her daughter and my parents joined inthe exchanging of information.

My sister showed me pictures of my birth mother. My birth mother'sbaby picture looked like my baby picture. My sister shared stories ofmy birth mother and I was captivated.

Then my sister told me something that took me back a few steps. Sheshared my birth mother never put on make up or did her hair after I wasborn.

For years I assumed my birth mother gave me up and never lookedback. Now I learned that giving me away changed her; giving me up foradoption changed her daily routine. This was heartbreaking andcomforting at the same time. The decision to give me up was not ascasual as what I thought and that was great to know.

My sister also told me she was able to find a good friend of mybirth mother. This friend drove with my birth mother when they droppedme off at my foster home. The friend explained to my sister that mybirth mother cried and sobbed as they drove to my foster parents home. This friend actually held me before I was turned over to my fostermother. I know had a physical connection with someone and this friendis still alive and anxious to meet me. The thought that someone whoheld me is around to help fill in some of the blanks was great news.

I shared with my sister a photo album that my wife and I puttogether the night before. The album was full of pictures of me fromthree months old to the present with all of my important moments in mylife. We gave the album to my sister and then had to help her stand. This small gesture brought her to tears. The album shows the life Ihad and helped to reassure her that my life turned out alright.

Our sharing and laughing and talking and crying ate up time quickerthan I would have liked. My sister had to leave and I wished that shecould have stayed. She told me she would call me tonight to let meknow when we can visit my birth mother's friend to find out what sheknows.

Before she left we took several pictures together. One picture we quickly printed out and added to her album.

After she left and the house was momentarily quiet , I exhaled. Meeting my sister was a great experience and I look forward to buildinga relationship with her.

The nicest thing about yesterday was the healing that took place.

I was able to see the healing that took place inside my sister. Formany years she was the only one of the siblings that knew about me. (Our three brothers, found out this week when my letters to themarrived.) For many years she wondered if I was alright and for manyyears she shouldered the burden with my birth mother wondering if ourmother made the right decision. After meeting my parents and lookingthrough her photo album she seemed at peace.

I saw the healing that took place in my parents. For many yearsthey‘ve wondered if I would ever connect with my birth family and howthat would play out. We were able to share this meeting together and Isaw the peace that came to them in this meeting.

My wife, who has been next to me in the front car of this rollercoaster ride, was able to be a part of this meeting. She was able tosee her hopes and dreams for me met. My wife, my biggest supporter,seemed at peace.

The answers I got today and the beginning of a relationship thatwill find more answers gave me peace. Internally, I am still sortingout what goes where and still saddened by the fact that I can't getthese answers from my birth mother, but yesterday was a great start tomy complete healing.

Finally, the thing I am most excited about is that I like mysister. In the few days leading up to the meeting, a fearful thoughtstruck me. What if I finally meet her and I just don't like her? Then what do I do. After our meeting yesterday this is one less thingto worry about.