Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Finding Family....

Steve with his newly found sisters in California

As a follow up to my previous entry, spending the day with Laura at her fabulous establishment, Beetz Me in Princeton, IL, was truly a lovely experience.  Not only was it a wonderful day for sales, on a personal level - it just left me feeling contented and having come full circle in my circumstances in spending my high school years at Covenant Children's Home there.  With that said, we'll move on.

As previously shared, my husband's circumstances were very similar to that of my own.  Coming from a broken home, being split from his siblings, etc.  As I said, things really can come full circle, even later in life!

Some time in late Spring I received a phone call with a lady on the line saying "I'm looking for my brother, Steve."  After my husband's parents had split up, his mother eventually remarried.  Attempts had been made over the years to find his mom, especially became important to his sister and myself as we were having our babies.  At some point she was found, but stated that her family wasn't aware that there was a previous marriage or children, and that attempts of contact should not be made.  So...we kind of let it go, but I know my sister-in-law tried again a few times, especially since now she knew there were other siblings.

Apparently after a little bit of digging, the younger of the two of Steve's half-sisters found us!  She'd found the divorce decree, the birth certificates, approached her mother who was still in denial - but nonetheless, forged on with the help of a colleague and found us!  It was a little surreal at first... and maybe even a bit awkward, but these women were so open to the potential and possibility of the two brothers and sister that they had yet to meet.  How awesome is that?!

My husband is currently on assignment in California, where both his sisters live.  We had already been planning a visit there to the Sacremento area, so we switched gears and made plans to go to L.A.!  I have to admit, I was a little bit anxious, his older sister really wanted us to stay with her.  None of us knew anything about each other.  But we agreed and 13 total strangers occupied the same household for 9 days and it turned out fantastic!

All the cousins on Hollywood Blvd.

I think for my children, having grown up with virtually no, or very inconsistent family, it was a superb experience.  For myself, I had spent years trying to be the "glue" that held my family together and after a time, it took it's toll on my children.  So having this experience where we were the guests & every possible opportunity was given to foster fun and happiness, combined with getting to know one another, was truly the very best!  My kids are stinkers, meaning our vacations never turn out great.  I mean seriously, NEVER.  This was indeed the best vacation experience we have ever had!

a little horseplay at the pool
A true treat for me, was that my newly-found sister-in-law took the time to find out everyone's interests, created opportunities for each of my children to go and do something special and I had the great fortune to realize my life long dream of spending the day alone with my husband, driving down the Pacific Coast Highway in a convertible!

lisa looking funky and windblown down the PCH!
I am super grateful that Steve's sisters took the initiative to find us, invite us to be with them & created such an environment of comfort and fun so that we all could have the opportunity to get to know each other.  I find it to be one of the most amazing experiences in my life.  Not to mention, I totally learned about myself that I could live in Cali at any time in a red hot second AND I want to go back....SOON!