Monday, November 29, 2010

Dreaming of Georgia once again

                                                        Savannah Georgia, I am hooked!

What have you done to my mind?  I can't stop thinking about how beautiful, warm and inviting you are!  I am constantly calculating and conniving ways to get back to you. 

 I fell in love with your artsy vibe and lovely southern drawl. The old brick buildings with wrought iron furnishing's.  The brick streets and walkways with telltale signs of the past. 

      The people I met in shops, restaurants, and bars were   so sweet and helpful.  The sun was warm and shining.  I must get there again..ahhhh. Savannah, the most haunted city in the United States is truly haunting me!!!
Add to that loveliness my Dad, Marty and sweet Diana and how could I not want to return?? How could I not want to escape into the happiness I felt back in October?  Will I ever be able to replicate the true joy I felt at that visit?  I thinks so, I hope so.  I'm willing to find out.

I've looked at houses online, dreaming and scheming.  I've driven Tony crazy with my thoughts.  I'm hooked.  It only took 4 days and I'm hooked!  Now to work on my dear Teisha and see if she will find some time to fly down once again with me.

For now, Savannah will have to remain on my brain, in my heart and in my dreams.  At least it won't be lonely.  It shares that special spot with my Dad.   

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving- so appropriate

Today was Thanksgiving.  Something I have been thinking about for the last few months was how thankful I am.  I'm going to make this short and sweet tonight!

I'm thankful first and foremost for my family. My husband who means so much to me, my four great sons, and my mom.

I'm thankful for my mother Pat, my sisters Jesi and Heather, nieces, nephews, great newphew and stepsister Becca and Steven who makes my mom so happy.

I'm thankful for my father Brent, my sisters Teisha and Heidi, my brother Marty, my nephews and nieces, and Diana who has opened her heart to me.

I'm thankful for Tony's family especially Debbie and Tom who gave me the wonderful gift of Auntie this year to sweet little Andrew.

I am thankful for my friends who are really more family to me than some of my own family. I love you for encouraging me on my jouney and supporting me.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What's in a name? and other strange thoughts of a sleep deprived blogger

So I was thinking about names and coincidences and all sorts of things that are random and not related. This is what I came up with.

  • As I mentioned earlier I had an epiphany when I was age 12 and just knew my mother's name was Patricia.
  • When I talked to my mother for the first time she asked my full name. It's Jodi Joy. I learned from her that my sister Heather's middle name is Joy and my mom said she changed it somewhat at the last moment.
  • My mom (Irene) thank God did not name me this, but thought about Micky (really mom, Micky??) Jo as my name. I meet sister no. 4 and her middle name is Jo. I've also been referred to as Jo Jo by a few in the past and one in the present.
  • My best friend growing up , who I still to this day say is my very first SISTER - well her name is Jessica. I have a sister named Jesika too!
  • Teisha- well I haven't found the name connection yet but give me a chance and maybe I will haha.
Is your name really reflective of who you are? I've had two names. One my mom Pat gave me, one my mom and dad gave me. Would I be different if I wasn't Jodi Joy?

I had no middle name on my original birth certificate. I asked Pat about this and she didn't remember. I know I LOVE names, so I'm glad I have a middle name for sure. I need to ask my mom why she named me what she did (another strange name if you ask me, sorry Mom!) but, hey it was the 70's !!

Anyways, this is a rambling blog post about strange thoughts that I had this morning at 1:30 when I couldn't sleep.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Peace and Pieces

My family is not perfect, but its perfectly compete now that I've found the missing pieces. I never realized until I found my mother and father, sisters, brother, stepbrother, stepsister, nieces, nephews, aunts, cousins (I could go on!!) how much I needed them. I was happy being adopted as a kid. I never felt any different with my family. My mom was my mom, my dad was my dad. I did miss having siblings. I always wanted sisters! Boy, now I have them. (yay me!)

I always wanted to know my mother. I always had a love for her. I had a vision of who she was in my mind (and when I met her, saw her younger pictures, it was right on). I even had a strange "dream", call it what you may, when I was about 12 years old. I woke up and told my best girlfriend Jessica who was sleeping over that I knew my mother's name was Pat. True story. Kinda strange.

When it came to my father, well, I didn't know any of the facts like I did with my mother. I knew she was young and did not have much choice in the matter I knew she didn't have her mother to help make decisions or help parent me if she kept me. I knew ENOUGH to know that whether she knew it at the time, she did not have any real choice but to put me up for adoption. Most importantly, in my years of NOT knowing her, I knew I loved her for putting me first. With my father, I had zero information. Nothing. Nada. What would you think?

Well, my parents had no information on my birth father so they had nothing to give to me. Those of you who read my blog know the story, i'm not going to rewrite that chapter today. He didn't know about me. Period. But as a child growing up, I didn't have this history. In my mind he was all kinds of things, but it honestly did not occur to me that he just didn't know.

I thought for many years after meeting my mother that I was fulfilled. I didn't think I needed to know my father. Of course I was interested in him. When she told me he didn't know about me, the interest sparked more. I could dismiss all those years of not so pleaseant thoughts I had about him running away from her in distress. Its always been my mother I've worried about. Funny to think now, that even as a child, I worried about her life and if she was ok. I knew I was happy. What about her? I wish for her sake that she knew I was ok. Well, I guess that is a whole other blog post!

As I watched the Locator with Troy Dunn on television again last night, I could see a piece of me in everyone one of those men and women searching for their birth parents. I cry with them everytime they find what they are looking for, good or bad. I've lived their lives in some ways, felt the highs and lows, made the hard decisions to search or not search. I feel a guilty happiness for me along with a sadness for them when I realize my outcome is better than many of them . (if you haven't seen this show, grab a box of tissues and see if you can make it without using one!)

I think often of Troy Dunn's famous quote " You can't find peace until you find all the pieces". What a beautiful true statement! My puzzle has been completed, my pieces fit together now with no holes or gaps. My puzzle sits on my dresser in my bedroom in the form of beautiful pictures of men and woman who are a part of me, one way or another, linked to my heart.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

24 Hours of Emotions

So many thoughts have been scrambling through my brain I had to sit and write them down. What a day it has been!

Today was an intersting day of emotions. There was a brief health scare (everything is fine) with my Dad Brent . My mind started to work in the way it always does - being nervous and neurotic. I tried to tell myself that everything would be fine as all points indicated, but my well, my mind I guess you could say has a mind of it's own!

The three of us girls have an emotional stake in our father. Obviously there are similarities in what those stakes are but their are differences too. Each of us has had a different experience with him . For me personally, everything is new and a health scare for me is frightening in that I want every minute, day, month and year I can have with my father.

It made me think of so many things today. I thought of my own dad and the day I found out he had a heart attack at just 49 years old. I was 1 week shy of my 17th birthday with a two week old son. My life had been turned upside down by motherhood and then we got the call. My dad was sick, very sick. My mother and my aunt Carolyn went to the hospital. I stayed home with my 2 week old son- alone and scared.

Although the phone call Teisha received while we spoke was not quite so severe, it jolted back these memories for me. Teisha, trying to be the big sister told me not to worry. Too late, I heard it in her voice, her own worry, and I lost it. I hung up the phone and thought about those years , almost 21 years ago now, and I broke down. It took me so long to find courage to find him, he couldn't possibly be ill enough to be taken from me could he? I spoke to Diana and felt more secure but I couldn't shake the fear. Maybe, if I'm honest, I'll never lose the fear. Most people in life lose one father. By opening my heart to Brent I will someday have to lose two.

Other thoughts ran through my head. I had emailed my father the first time in June of this year. It is amazing how my relationship with him has evolved. I wrote in an earlier posting at how quickly I came to accept him and love him. Tonight I have thought about the reverse situation and tried to put myself in his place. Tried to think of him opening that email with my declaration, "I am your daughter". I thought of him sitting at his desk pouring over the words that I wrote. Remember , I had so many years to conjure up images of him in my mind. To twist scenarios of what might be if him and I met. He had the 30 seconds of time it took for him to read my email.

For me, those first few phone conversations had me feeling good about my Dad. The meeting at my house sealed the deal. After 4 hours he left my house. Tony looked at me and said "What do you think?" I replied with honesty " I know I can love him." Tonight I thought of him driving away from house, a man with a new grown daughter and 4 grandsons. I had spent so much time thinking of my feelings about him that I never put myself in his shoes. Truthfully, now that I do I can't help but admire him more for taking us all on.

I wondered that night after our first meeting if it would be difficult for him to accept me as his daughter. He did not have 9 months to nurture me and feel me like my mother. In fact as I said, he knew nothing of me being on this earth. I thought about it from his perspecitve, a 37 year old grown daughter coming into his life with no warning. Sure, I thought after that night that we would know one another, share bits of our lives and such. But I wondered as he drove away, could he ever truely feel love for me like his other girls? With my mother, I never feared, wondered or worried about her loving me. Its as if those nine months she had with me before my birth that she had infused her love with me. I didn't have to fear. A mother does not stop loving her child because they are not with them.

Today for me was a testament of this love. The heartache I felt thinking of anything being seriously wrong with him tells me where my heart lies. It gave me a chance to share sorrow with my sisters, not something I want, but something that bonds us together. I felt pity for myself last night, not wanting to be robbed of a father after finally opening my heart to accepting him as such. Perhaps I would have still overreacted if I'd met him 10 years ago, maybe I would not have. This regret is something I will deal with for my lifetime, hopefully in lesser quantities as time passes.

Tonight my heart rests with peace that I have a healthy father and more time to bond with him. I can not wish for any better news than this.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

just an honest post, like it or not

I promised myself when I started this blog that I would be honest about my feelings surrounding finding my father. So, here goes! I don't know what it is about me right now. I think it's the let down of finishing up last weekends trip to Savannah. I just have felt kind of BLAH all day. You know that feeling? You're kind of mopey and sad but not quite sure why. One of those days where you know you should dig down deep to figure out what's going on but you just don't have the energy or courage to do it. Well, here it is.

On the surface, I have no reason to feel this way. I had the time of my life last weekend. Fostering relationships and being a tourist in a beautiful city (my new favorite actually). I have a wonderful trip to see the rest of my family planned for February to Maine. I had a long heartwarming talk with both my moms yesterday. I have a great husband and kids. I had fun today hanging out with Debbie and my nephew Andrew. But there it still lies.... this- something.

I thought calling my sister would help. It did temporarily. I called Teisha and we had our typical fun conversations that I enjoy- and I did enjoy it! As soon as I hung up... blah. Then Andrew came with Debbie- fun, fun , fun! Then they left and again.. blah. Now I'm typing this knowing that it will help, it always does.

Today is my Dad's birthday. My dad Brent. Its the first birthday I've been able to call him and say happy birthday. He is 61 years old. All day I've been pushing back these feelings I've had because as happy as I am to be able to say happy birthday to my father it has not got past me that I've missed a lot of years. Missed those years because of my own fears and insecurities! So, my Blah-ness today is directly related to being genuinely PISSED at my own self.

So there it is. Regret, not blahness. Plain old ugly regret. I'm learning of late that its not good to keep things inside, secret, hidden- you choose the word to insert. I know logically that it does me NO good to think about what could have been but I can't help it today. And you know what? I'm going to allow myself to feel sorry for myself for tonight and hopefully when I sit down to type again I'll be back to my old self.

I wasn't going to post this one. Its a post that hurts me to my core to even write. I hope if anyone is reading this and is holding back on something out of fear that they won't!

Chalk this blog post up to me living up to my promise to myself to be honest, because this one was hard to type.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My family Tree

My family tree is not just a tree
but a large grove with many colors
With mothers, fathers, and sisters galore
I have an abundance of joy overflowing

I thank my birthmother for the life long gift she gave
of unselfish and true love
my parents who gave me a home and foundations for life
and the father who holds my heart now

An only child no more, a life long dreamed fullfilled
My sisters and I have so many years in front of us
a brother who shares the joy of adoption
My husbands and sons whom I devote my life to

One child loved by many, who is more fortunate than I?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Georgia on my mind

We have returned from our trip to Georgia. My long anticipated weekend has passed. I fell in love with so much of the small amount of Georgia that I saw. I loved the beautiful city of Savannah with its historic buildings full of wrought iron, brick and cobblestones. The river front area with bars, restaurants and shops. The trolley's and riverboats waiting to take visitors on a tour of this gorgeous city. I enjoyed walking into little establishments, buying my drink and walking about with my family.

We were blessed with nice weather most of the days of our trip. The sun was shining and warm as it reached into the mid 80 degrees! It felt so good to sit in the sun and soak up the warmth! At night when the weather was cool we sat in the yard around a fire. I got to meet me Aunt Erdine who is my Dad's oldest sister, along with her husband and son. We drank some, had some laughs and suprised my father with my sister Teisha.

See, my Dad knew I was coming obviously, and he knew my sister Heidi would be there. We kept Teisha coming as a secret and an early birthday present to him. It would be the first time he would have all of his daughters together in one place. We did manage to suprise him which was fantastic! I think he may have even shed a tear (maybe it was the fire, lol) We were able to take the first of what I hope will be many family pictures together. Another first to check off my list.

We spent Saturday visiting and touring Savannah. Tony and my sisters and I walked down river street having a blast. I couldn't ask for a better tour guide than my Dad. He is fun and has a great sense of humor. I got to know Diana more over those days and I truly enjoy her company. She is a loving woman as sweet as can be!

Tony, Teisha and I went back to tour Savannah after Heidi had to leave. We went to eat at Paula Deen's restaurant Lady & Sons. It was beautiful inside the restaurant and the food was good. We had a great time y'all! haha. I wanted to tour the oldest Catholic church in Savannah, The Cathedral of John the Baptist. It was more beautiful than I thought with the stained glass and high ceilings. It is a site to see for sure.

My favorite part of Georgia was the time I had with my father, sisters and family. When I got off the plane I can't tell you how I felt when I saw Heidi waiting for me too! I saw Bren't face and thought how lucky I am to have these new relationships. It is unbelievable to me how quickly I am attached to this new family. There is such a thrill to seeing him this time as opposed to the last few. I am seeing a man that I have developed a relationship with, not a stranger. When I see him , I see me in him now. I always thought I was all my mother but there are definately pieces of him in me too.

On Monday when we were getting ready to leave, I looked at my father sitting in the chair. I thought about the dream I had the night before. It was a strange dream. I was a young girl, maybe 3 or 4 years old (in the dream I looked much like the picture of me on this blog) and I was walking with Brent holding his hand. He was a young man, and looked like a picture I had seen of him from Heidi the day before. I looked up at him and he looked down at me and smiled. It is all I remember of the dream. When I was in flight on the way home this dream came back to me. I suddenly remembered that this was the same first memory I had of my father. At his funeral I wrote about walking with him hand in hand. I've said all along my father has had a part in us meeting- for me this was just another sign that he is here with us now.

There is so much joy for me. I am thankful for each minute I have with him. I try desperately not to think of all the time we could have had together had I just had the courage to contact him 10 years ago. I am trying to engrave every minute, every memory I can make into my mind and heart.

So, time has gone too quickly as I knew it would. At the airport I told him as we embraced that I didn't want to let go. Teisha and I watched him walk away and shared something as sisters- a need for this man that is our father. It will be some time before I see him again. I got on that plane after saying goodbye to him , then my sister Teisha and cried. The visit was great but the pain of leaving is hard to explain. For a brief second I wished I hadn't come. That is how much my heart hurt. Of course that was just for a moment. The time I had was precious and is banked in my heart forever.

Now, time will travel just so slowly until I get to see my mother. Seeing her, Heather and Jesi is my next journey and I'm sure when that time in February comes it too will pass like the speed of light. I feel oddly more connected to my mother now. Meeting the other half of me has been a hard process for her I'm sure. But, once again she wants what is best for me. Knowing Brent now may not be like knowing him in 1972 as my mother knew him but I can see what may have attracted her to him. He has an aura about him that is charming and irresistable.

So, on to my next adventure. Northern Maine in February! Am I crazy? No, I wouldn't miss it for anything.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Another prospective, from my sister Teisha...

It was a lazy Sunday at the end of July when my Dad showed up at my house unexpected. The reason it was so surprising is I live in Maine and Dad lives in Georgia. He told me he was on his way up north to visit with my aunts. Dad and I went out on my back steps and sat in the sun and talked while my dogs played. Dad pulled out his phone and showed me a picture of him standing next to a women with his arm around her shoulders. Dad asked me if this women looked familiar to me. I looked at the picture and thought to myself, am I supposed to know her? Is it a cousin or someone I knew when I was young. I told Dad that I did not recognize her. He proceeded to tell me that this women was my sister Jodi and that she had just found him. He also told me that he had met her on his way up.

The next part of the conversation was the difficult part. He told me that Jodi is two years younger than me. He also asked me what I thought. I didn't know what to think with all honesty. It was to much to injest all at once. Without getting too personal, I will just say that it brought up some personal feelings that had nothing to do with Jodi that I had not dealt with. I knew that before I could begin to make room for her in my heart I had to resolve those feelings. Partially in shock and being curious I looked at her profile picture on facebook. I must have looked at it a dozen times over the next week or so. I don't remember which one of us asked the other to be a facebook friend. We started talking on facebook and then the phone. The first time we talked on the phone we talked for about 3 hours. It was wonderful. We discovered that we were similar in so many ways and different in others.

For the next month we wrote back and forth on facebook and talked on the phone some learning more about each other. The begining of September Jodi and I had been talking about wanting to meet in person. I was starting back to college along with working and she was busy with work and family. It seemed as though it would be quite a while before we could meet . September 4th I looked on the internet to see how long it would take to get to the town she lives in. It said it was about 5 hours. I looked at my husband and said I am going to meet my sister tomorrow. I called Jodi that night to see if she was busy the next day. She told me that the boys had games,but we could work it out. I arrived at the ball field at around noon. When I stepped out of my car and saw Jodi it was one of the most amazing moments of my life! For the first time in my life I was looking at someone who looked like me and was my sister. All my life I wanted siblings. I was absolutely thrilled when Heidi came along and when my brother was adopted. Jodi ,I want you to know you are one of the best surprises in my life. You are such a beautiful women both inside and out. You are strong and have overcome what some might have considered impossible odds. You have a wonderful husband and 4 wonderful young men! I love the fact that I am a Auntie X 5 now. I look forward to having the rest of our lives to get to know each other.
Love your sister, Teisha
Below, the first day we met. sept. 4th 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Reconnecting after Connecting..a little about my mom

Birth mother, biological mother, Pat- whatever label you want to put upon her for me she is just my mother. When I found her in 1997 I was ecstatic. At the time she lived in NJ, just a short ride from my house here in CT. It was fairly easy for us to keep in touch. We were able to hop in the car and travel to and from each of our homes. When she and her husband (and subsequently my sister Jesika) left NJ and moved back to northern Maine it became a problem logistically.

See, whenever I say my family lives in Maine I think people picture a 4 or 5 hour car ride and the Maine most of them travel to. Coastal Maine towns of Oqunquit, Portland or even Bar Harbor. My Maine is in the northern reaches of the state. Many of the towns just miles from the Canadian border. This is where my family is from. This is where Brent and Pat grew up , and where my father Relland lived until his move to CT in the late 1960's. This equals a 10 hour drive. Not easy to do in a long weekend, which poses the problem of how often I can visit.

If you haven't been to this area of Maine then you are missing out on some of the most beautiful countryside. There are rolling hills with fields of potatoes, broccoli and even mustard. There are views for miles and miles. The many small towns that make up Aroostook County are full of some of the nicest people I've come across. If you like winter activities than this is a great spot for you!

I haven't seen my mother in 3 years. I went to visit my sisters in November of 2008 when my sister Jesika (2 years younger than me) had her fourth child. I stayed for 4 days and travelled with my friend Kelly. We stayed with my youngest sister (from Pat) Heather. At the time my mother was living in Arkansas and I missed visiting with her by a few months (she returned in early 2009 to northern Maine). I had also not been vigilant about keeping in touch with her by phone. I would always think of her and my sisters but did not make enough time to call them. We started to lose track of one another and months went by. Heather and I have been good about keeping in touch, we are both online and use Facebook so that helps tremendously.

After I decided to find Brent and had contacted him I called my mother to tell her the news. I was nervous about how she would react. I did not expect her to be angry, but I anticipated that bringing up the past could be difficult for her. It must have been a tough place to be in to be a pregnant teen about to deliver and have to give your child up for adoption. I know, I was that pregnant teen too. And, although I did not choose adoption, I know first hand the fear you feel when you are in that situation.

When I told her the news that I spoke to Brent and had met him she asked me if he had been nice to me. I reveled in the fact that I broke the news that I met my birthfather, someone she had once cared for enough to have a child with, someone she hadn't spoke to since before my birth, and the first thought was how he had treated me. It amazes me still that I was her first concern. It is the true sign of being a mother, to think of your child first. Although she did not get the opportunity to raise me, she had my best welfare in mind then and now. As a mother myself I found this so touching.

Here's some background- Brent did not know she was having me. Those who knew she was pregnant (most - even her sister) did not know who my father was. Why? You'd have to ask my mother those questions. Protection maybe? Selflessness - definitely. I think of her often, having a baby at just 17 (I was 2 weeks before my 17th birthday having Tom), knowing she couldn't keep me, not telling my father, knowing it would be years if ever if she would meet me. I have never felt anger towards her as I believe she once feared I would. I have always felt she was brave, strong, and exhibited the most purest form of love for me. That she exchanged her own sadness for my happiness is something she should be commended for.

And so, in finding Brent and getting to know him as my father I find that I am reconnecting once again with my mother. Secrets are not something to hold, instead they seem to take a hold of the people protecting them. Now, there is no more to hold anyone back.

My mother is now on Facebook and we have been keeping in touch through the computer. It makes it so much easier to know what is happening in a person's life when you can easily shoot off an email, post on facebook, or send an instant message.

Facebook helped me find my father and now its leading me back to my mom too

Friday, October 8, 2010

14 Days Feel Like Forever

Two weeks. It's not an extraordinary amount of time. Unless or course you are waiting for something or someone special. I remember waiting the last two weeks before my wedding. Excitement was in the air! Or, how about those weeks before your babies are born. That can feel like forever!!

In two weeks Tony and I will board a plane for a four day weekend by ourselves. Just him and I! Oh , I love my kids, believe me... but I can't wait to have some time for just the two of us. If it was just for the fact of our weekend alone it would be one thing. Add in the excitement of meeting with my newest family members and the time stretches on forever.

In two weeks I will have four days with my father. Four more days that I can learn about him and what he has been doing for the last 37 years. It's not a lot of time for sure, but those four days that are coming to me this October mean the world to me. Imagine if you can the emotions that I feel! The nervousness of our first meeting has subsided. Our second meeting, well it was all too fast. Our third meeting- wonderful!! That was the first visit I had with him that I knew I was his daughter (officially from the DNA). We could both relax and put the thought of "what ifs" away. Now, I get to spend four days enjoying him without the pressure.

I've come so far since I first emailed him back in June. I've come to accept the fact that I can love him as my father without it being a betrayal to my Dad who has since passed on. Or, that I am somehow slighting my mothers (both of them!) whom I love so much. I have let go of all the guilt I've felt about allowing him that spot in my heart. If you've lost someone you love, you know that it leaves an aching hole in your gut. Its been 5 1/2 years since I lost my father. I think he'd be happy for me that the gap is closing.

A few weeks ago at the end of a particularly great conversation I had with him on the phone, he said I love you. I said it right back to him without hesitation. I hung up the phone and tears ran down my cheeks for the next half hour. I was caught off guard by my emotions and said what was in my heart without thought. I cried at the realization of the truth- I do love him. It's been a long time since I've had a father to say I love you. I'm blessed that I can hear those words again.

So, my 37th year has been a year of growing in so many ways. My family is growing to great extents!! My heart is bursting with love and joy! I can't thank Brent- I mean my father, enough for opening his heart and world to me. I guess you're never to old for your parents...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Small things equal large amounts of joy

Small things really matter. I'm learning in this 37th year of my life how very much that is the truth. This has been a year for growing and for change. This is a year of discovery.

I've learned to appreciate the moments of joy I have throughout the day. Little things that make you smile and happy. Maybe its my 13 year old taking the time to speak one on one with me and making me smile. It could be the 5 minutes in the car driving my 15 year old to school - 5 minutes he has to tell me anything he wants while I have his full attention. It could be watching their baseball games and feeling the joy of that good hit, great pitch, or awesome play in the field.

What I'm working on now is extending that gratefulness to more parts of my day. Taking the joy I have in the small things and making it last for hours. Trying to take negativity and throw it out the door (and leave it there!). This is a challenge for me but I'm willing to take the time to work on it. It's easy to get sucked in to the gossip, self pity, or negative thoughts but I plan on fighting them all the way!

A few of those "small things" I've been blessed to experience lately are listed below. What's next? Who knows! I do believe you attract what you put out into the world. I believe in the idea of attraction or Karma. I'm working hard each day to grow and be the best me I can be.

This months happy small things:
  • watching my boys play their favorite sport- baseball.
  • seeing my sons work hard in school and succeeding
  • watching my husbands face radiate with joy while he is on the field with me son.
  • Jarett reading more and liking it!
  • my Dad Brent's email - one line- asking how his girls are and realizing- I'm his girl now too!
  • having a father say i love you again. I miss my dad terribly and hearing this again is a gift from him in Heaven.

Find your small things and revel in them- let them expand into big things. I'm going to try to do the same thing for me!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

♪ Songs and memories attached to them ♪

I love music. I always have. I wish I could sing in tune, but I still sing along with a tune!

Lately I've realized how much music is attached to certain events in my life. Of course being part of a couple, my wedding song is sentimental to me. Ours was the typical 1990's wedding song by All for One "I swear". Sometimes when we dance and Tony sings this to me (after 1, 2 or more drinks ;O) ) I can still shed a tear! As time went by Alan Jackson's "Remember when" became a song I could relate to ( although I like to think we are in life only half way through the song!).

The summer all star team of 2009 that Jarett played with is forever linked in my mind with "I've got a Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas. I can still see their smiling faces when they went with 1 loss all season. That was a summer to remember for those boys - OK for the parents too! And playing guitar when I was younger- the first cool song I learned was the beginning to "smoke on the water" and Poison's "Talk Dirty to Me".

"Please Forgive Me" by Bryan Adams reminds me of Tony all the time. The verse I love " Still feels like our best times are together, feels like the first touch. Still getting closer baby, can't get close enough. Still holding on , your still number one. I remember the smell of your skin- I remember everything. I remember all your moves. I remember you" Brings me back to Club Mirage 1993 dancing with Tony. Ahhh those were the days of early love!

Whenever I'm with my friend Donna- Josh Groban is on. Its like her husband is letting us know he's there with us. Its really quite comforting in a happy/ sad kind of way.

So I guess i wondered: Do other people attach songs with events like me? I'm sure they do. Its a lovely way to sink back into memories gone by.

Monday, September 6, 2010

*~* When you wish upon a star *~*

This Labor Day weekend was going to be lovely all along. I knew this. Three days off to spend time with Tony and my boys. Sunshine for most of the days too. Saturday evening, after spending time with wonderful friends, I came back to the house and just relaxed! It was great. I went upstairs and checked my phone- which if you know me , I'm usually not ever without. I had a wonderful surpise waiting for me.
I had a text message from Teisha, who is my oldest sister. She wanted to know if I would be interested in her coming down to see me for a visit- tomorrow! I jumped up and down and gave a small scream of happiness. Would I like that??!! Of course!
Now, Teisha and I have had a few long chats on the phone and through email. I KNEW i'd like her when i met her in person, but I can't explain what that meeting was really like. Its truly inexplicable. She came to see me Sunday at noon and I had six hours to spend with her. Those six hours felt like six minutes. She and I have so much in common. From our early teens through our adult lives- very similar experiences.

When she got out of that car, let me tell you, I could see the resemblence between us. All of our conversations about our looks did not prepare me for the fact that side by side I can see it. It is like meeting Heather all over again. Seeing in someones eyes and face that you are family. Unless you have been in my situation I guess this sound kind of ,well- silly. Not ever knowing a blood relative to relate your looks too is odd. When you do meet a close relative of course the natural inclination is to compare yourselves. We both talked about how much we looked like our mothers, but Brent must have some affect on our looks because i saw a lot of me in her. (and consequently, vice versa)
My next adventure will be in October. Iwill be heading down to Georgia to spend a long weekend with Brent and Diana. There I will get to meet my aunt Erdine and her husband Joe. The circle of family is expanding. I love this! As an only child growing up I wished upon a million stars for a sister. The universe does listen sometimes. Now I have four lovely women who share my blood , DNA, and my heart
Above :My oldest sister Teisha and I meeting for the first time September 5th 2010 (age 39)

Above: my youngest sister Heidi and I meeting for the first time. August 15th 2010 (age 27) Above: My sister Heather (age 32)

Above: 1999? Jesika at the top, Heather, My Mom Pat, Me . Jesi(age 35)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I want to go back!!!

Let me first off by saying this- I want to go back!!! Ok, now that I got that out of my system. Vacation was wonderful! I think Tony and I needed this break more than ever. We didn't have a vacation last year, and we were definately due for one!

Our drive down to Myrtle Beach was ideal. we left at 10:30 p.m and Tony drove through the night. We reached Myrtle Beach at 1:00. We checked into our large 3 bedroom, 3 bath, large condo (2200 square feet!) with our large balcony overlooking the pool and intercoastal waterway and I knew I was in heaven.

We spent some time at the beach, a lot of time at the pool , and did various other vacation type things. I was more relaxed than I have been in a long while. The first night we drove to see Diana and Brent at the campground. I met Heidi for the first time at her house. I couldn't help feeling like her mannerism were so much like Heather's. I again felt an overwhelming feeling of sadness at not seeing Heather for two years- i need to see her!

Heidi was down to earth, fun, and overall quite lovely! I couldnt be luckier. We went to the campground where Brent was right ahead of us. I was so excited to see him again and equally excited to meet Diana. She was just a doll, like I thought she would be.

That night driving into the campground, i saw an alligator! I also tasted a southern treated, boiled peanuts. it was an exciting night.

I enjoyed a day at Heidi's house where I met her cutie pie son Landon- sixteen months old. It was not lost on me that he was about the same age as my other nephew Benjamin who died almost 10 years to that day. Life has introduced once again to another baby nephew. Ben and Heather had been on my mind this week as I knew the 10 year anniversary of his death was looming. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why I have longed to have Heather's company.

On the brighter side, Brent has become an integral part of my life already. I enjoy his company as he is funny, intelligent, and happy person. I am proud to say he is my father too. Tony and I are already planning a long weekend to fly to GA to spend time with him and tour nearby Savannah.

Tomorrow will be a most difficult day to go back to work. I have spent nearly every minute of the last 9 days with Tony- and if you know me then you know this is just paradise for me! Tomorrow I also decided to start sparkpeople. It is a weight loss and nutrition site that is free. check it out if you are interested!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Are we there yet??

Really and truly I am worse than the kids when it comes to vacations. I'm so anxious to leave and get on the road! Today was a busy day trying to pack for 6 people, including kitchen and food supplies. I think I have everything! I figure most things can be bought if forgotten right?

This is of course more than just a regular vacation for me. This is the opportunity to meet me youngest sister Heidi. I'm looking forward to starting that relationship, as well as continuing to get to know Brent more. I wish my oldest sister Teisha could be there, but that wasn't meant to be. We will meet sometime this fall. In the interum, I am thoroughly enjoying our long phone conversations!! Thank God for free long distance!!

As I wrote in earlier posts, I am desperately missing my other two sisters. Especially Heather- we have talked the most over the years. I can't seem to get her on the phone- I know she is busy with a new baby in the house- but, well , selfishly I just miss her!

I was thinking about love the other day. It came up in a strange kind of way. I was saying to Kelly that it is a strange feeling- love. When we have our babies we find we have this instant overwhelming love come over us. But, what about when we find our parents , siblings , nieces and nephews long lost to us? I know speaking for myself it was easy to love my mom and sisters. I have long known my mother's circumstances surrounding my adoption. How could I , a mother myself (and a teen mother at that) not understand how horrible that must have been for her? I felt nothing but admiration, sympathy, and yes love for her. I find the same thoughts with Brent. It broke my heart that he felt sad to have missed my 37 years. Perhaps he was the lucky one not knowing of me....better than for my mom who had to live with all those feelings.

will it be easy to love Brent? I think so- thanks to my father. He really was a fantastic dad. Had I not had that relationship I think this would have been so much more difficult.

so on to SC i go to relax, have fun in the sun, and meet my extended family. Life is good today.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pink and more pink

I love PINK! If you you know me, you know this already. Its my favorite color. Its a HAPPY color!

Today I spent a little time at the nail salon. Lots of my friends go here. The manicures and pedicures are great- the massages at the end are even better- IF you are lucky. By lucky I mean the older asian gentleman giving you a massage. Donna, Chris and I refer to him as "boyfriend". Boyfriend is nothing special to look at- I don't mean that in a derogative way, it is what it is. If you are lucky enough to get a massage from him you'll know it! Today I had one of the ladies and I said to myself, I'm not going to be sad about it. But low and behold, my dear friend boyfriend came over and asked would I like another massage. Like one?!!! I'd pay the 25 dollars for him to just give me the shoulder massage- skip the pedicure. So anyways, life was good.

I'm semi prepared for vacation now. Clothes for me are packed. Kids we will work on friday, and well, Tony is on his own. I'm looking forward to leaving and just getting there!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The countdown begins

The countdown has started for me- 6 more days until we leave for vacation. Vacation always brings a sense of excitement but this year there is a even more. I'm looking forward to meeting Heidi and her son and visiting with Brent and Diana and Marty. The circle is starting to close and it is a wonderful feeling.

Today I spent quite a bit of time talking with Teisha. She and I seem to be very much alike in many ways. I felt a sense of ease with her as I did with Brent. When he sat with me for 4 hours, it went by like minutes and I hated to have him leave. I felt like that today after our 3 hour phone convesation. Boy can the two of us talk. Hopefully we can meet in person this fall.

It is ironic as I mentioned before that the more I learn about my biological family, the more I think of my father. I know this was in the plans for him for me. He wanted me to get history- medical and otherwise. i feel a sense that he has made this happen for me. I'm quite sure he can see all this unfolding and is smiling his usual devilish smile.

I had a wonderful few hours today with my cousin and his wife and son. I miss those teenage years where Greg and I would spend countless hours driving in his Z-28 doing absolutely nothing. The days of working at the Dairy Queen and long summers nights. Greg and I were happy to pick up friends and make a night out of driving and trying to get lost, then making our way home. I miss those friends and our intimate talks in that crazy red car. Today , sitting on the deck for hours having nothing much to do but drink our pina coladas and eat our chips and salsa brought all that back for me.

So hopefully tonight I will sleep. I'm not sure I will. There are so many thoughts floating around in my head its hard to quiet them down. It's all good though, it's all good!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The pure joy of good friends

I feel truly thankful for our friends. I think often times our friends become more family to us than our family. Depending on the foundation of the friendship you may spend much time with these people. We have met many wonderful people through our boys- whether that be through their school or sports. Also, you have the those life long friends. You know, the ones you think of often but may only see or speak to infrequently. With this type of friend, you can pick up like you just spoke to them yesterday. I have this with Jessica- who I met when I was 7 and who I have loved and cherished ever since. Although we have a great physical distance between us, I think of her often. She was my surrogate sister, my best friend, and I still love her the same now as I did then.

Last night I spent a fabulous night with friends I met through baseball. My long time friend Donna , who I met because our boys were together in school, and continued to know as the boys played sports together was there also. These families of boys from the allstar team have spent countless hours together cheering for a common cause- our sons. We have had great highs and some dissapointments too. There is a closeness I feel with them that's hard to explain and that I have truly not had with other sports team parents I've been involved with.

I am also relishing in the joy of getting to know my sister through our emails. It's easy for me to open up to her, just like with Jesi and Heather years before. I'm anticipating and praying it will end the same too. What I felt for Jesika and Heather first was friendship. Soon after my heart filled with love for these two woman who share half my gene pool. I only wish all of these lovely ladies I now call sisters weren't so far away.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sisters are something i've always dreamed of having...

It's this overwhelmingly happy feeling that is hovering around me. Sisters, sisters and now more sisters! I am so blessed. I really am. I am reliving 1997 when I was first getting to know Jesi and Heather. Now I am truly so lucky to be doing the same thing again with Teisha and Heidi.

I have the obvious things in common with Heidi- we are both mothers and both dental hygienists! ( I STILL cannot believe that we are both hygienists). What I'm truly interested in is how things are different. Also, how things were while she was growing up. I missed those years obvioiusly and interested to see how everything was for her.

With Teisha, we have children in common. She has 5, I have 4. She was a teen mom, so was I . She went back to college later in life- well, me too. She takes beautiful pictures and has so much talent. I think she and I may look more alike than Heidi and I. Its hard to tell...

I have so much excitement in my life right now. The future is so bright, i'm looking forward to what lies ahead...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

August 3rd is a life changing kind of day..

Today was the day. I can't believe it , but it was today. The DNA test not only got finished in the 5 business days promised, it was two! The info arrived in Utah for testing on Monday August 2nd. Today at 4:39 I received an email stating that my information was processed and the results were ready.

I logged into the account after taking a couple minutes to digest things. I really didn't have much doubt that Brent was my biological father after looking at his pictures. In his high school year book photo he looks just like tony does now (,minus the hair cut!). My fear was that because we took the DNA test without waiting the hour which it instructed us to wait after eating, that the results were inconclusive. I'm glad to see that I was wrong!

The probability was 99.98%- pretty damn probable. Pretty damn life altering. So exciting!! Next step- meet my sister in SC and her son, my new brother, and Brent's wife who I'm dying to get to know. Hopefully get to meet my older sister in Maine at some point too.

This is a day to remember, this is a day I feel extremely blessed. This is the day I know my genes match the man who is now officially my biological father. But funny as life is, this is the day I miss my Dad the most. I wish he was here with me, but I know in my heart he's been here all along.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Utah has my DNA!!

I received an email today to let me know my fedex package has been received! Mine and Brent's DNA is being analyzed as we speak. I have such an excitement at finally getting that proof in writing. I'm sure he will feel better too.

I looked at his high school picture again today and could not help staring at the face of my son. Tony looks so much like him , it seems very unlikely that the test could come back anything but in favor of him being my father. I will be shocked if it does.

The DNA test takes 3-5 business days to process. My results will be in by August 9th or earlier. I pray earlier! I am not patient, I don't like to wait!!!

anyway, today was super busy at work and i'm tired. I'm going to go to bed and try to stop counting down the time until I can log in and get my results. How cool is that anyway??? You log in and there it is, the answer to my 37 year question- Is Brent my biological father?? Unbelievable, exciting and plain cool.

more to come as soon as the lab emails me that the results are in!!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Baseball is my second language..

If I had to choose a sport to watch my kids play, i'd have to pick baseball. It was introduced to me by Tony when I was pregnant with Tony Jr. He took me to Yankee stadium for a playoff game. My first game ever! I walked through the archway at old Yankee stadium to look down on the field and I was in love. To this day it is one of the prettiest sites I've ever seen.

Today, however, I feel really all baseballed out. Two games to see today. Jarett at 2:30 and Nicky at 8:00. On a Sunday, when I have to get up to go to work early. But, I love the boys more than I love sleep so off i'll go to the games (PS- if you know me you KNOW I love my sleep)

I'm hoping to get over to the hospital to see my baby nephew again in between games. That would just make all things right in the world. I love that little baby so much already.

So, thinking of writing a note to my newest sister in Maine. I think she's having a hard time with the fact that I am now going to be in her life. I don't blame her. I can't imagine what it must feel like to find out that you have a sister- with no warning. Especially since she's older than me. I don't know, I 've had many years to know she was floating around in the universe. She's had days.

All this newness with Brent has really made me miss my mom Pat and my sisters Heather and Jesi. I am missing their kids getting older and more handsome/ beautiful. I'm missing my niece have a her first baby and my sister being a grandmother. Its very difficult to be far away. Texting is nice, phone calls are great but i want to hold that baby. I want to hug my sister when she's sad, and love her when she's happy. This is the hard part of not growing up with your siblings. Both sets of sisters- the one's I've know for 13 years, and the two that I don't know yet, have had each other for all these years. I've got a lot time to catch up with the new sistes, and a great hope that I will know them like I know Heather. Brent has been more than I could imagine , is it possible that they will give me more than I hope for too? I guess I'll find out soon....

Saturday, July 31, 2010

maury povich and jerry springer here i come!

Today i met Brent for a quick breakfast - he was on his way back home and had a bit of time to meet me. Wish it was longer! He called me last night while I was in West Haven watching Jarett- I didn't realize he was only going to be here for a tiny bit or I would have stayed home to meet him.

Anyway, breakfast at Denny's in Southington. HMMM should have been routine- NOT! today was awesome in those crazy kind of what the hell just happened kind of ways! First, i got to see some older pictures of him where I can see a family resemblence. Especially with him and Tony. His high school picture is so cool. I see my son in his face. Amazing!

Also, I got to hear some family history. I'm craving this like you can't believe. I haven't know much about my roots so of course this interests me.

Lastly, well this is the kicker. Maury Povich has nothing on us! We went to our cars and did our cheek swab DNA tests in the Denny's parking lot. Yup, I know - nuts. It was, but it was also kinda awesome too. I mailed them off today. Should have results in about 10 days or less. How cool is that? Just hope it works ok. We weren't supposed to eat or drink for an hour before. Of course we did but we still took the test and sent it off. I pray it works.

that's it for now!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

a wonderful and joyous day!

Today was a day filled with joy as Tony and I became Auntie Jodi and Uncle Tony! we are so excited to have a beautiful 7 lb newphew. It is amazing how much love you can feel for a little person! I think loving Deb and Tom so much has multiplied this joy for me.

Before I found my sisters Heather and Jesi, there was my sister Debbie. She and I became fast friends and quickly she became the sister I never had. She has been my confidante, partner in crime and best friend for as many years now as I can remember. I am so thrilled for her that she now can feel the love of being a mother- and for me that I can enjoy being the doting auntie (I do owe her about 100,000 hours of babysitting!!!)

July has been a month of overwhelming emotions for me. It has made me feel closer to my own immediate family. My husband has been a rock for me, as he always is, as he has helped me through my fears of the unknown. Friends have been a support and encouragment. I am blessed!

I received an email that Brent will be back by this weekend on his way to GA. I find myself excited to know this man that completes half my DNA. Speaking of DNA- i will be taking a DNA test with Brent just to make us both feel better. We will send our cheek swabbed samples in the mail to the lab, and recieve emailed results 5 business days after they are received. How totally cool is that???

tomorrow is the day I meet my adorable newphew and Godson. Life is good tonight....

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

another tough talk

So, last night i made the hard call to my birth mother, to let her know I had met my biological father. I'd meaning to call her for days, really for weeks. Why didn't I call her? I'm not sure. I guess even though I know its my right to know him , i somehow didn't want to hurt her feelings or make her feel like meeting her wasn't enought.

Funny enough, these are the same emotions I went through back in the fall of 1997 when I first made the call to Pat (my birthmother). I wanted to call her, wanted to know her but didn't want to make my mom and dad upset (they weren't fyi). So, the tense call to Pat was worse because I didn't talk to my parents until after the call. History repeated itself 13 years later when I told Pat I met Brent.

Pat was quite understanding and receptive to the fact that I contacted him and met with him. She said the same exact thing my parents said earlier regarding me meeting her. They anticipated it and expected it early.

She told me Brent's name back in 1999 when we first spoke of him. She didn't say much, I didn't ask much. I never wanted her to feel the pain again that she must have felt giving me up. I mulled over Brent's name for 11 years. I wrote him mulitple letters, some are still stored in this computer that I type on. What made me contact him? Fate i think- coincidence others would say. One of my patients told me of her harrowing attempts to open her SC adoption records. She will have to hire a lawyer to petition court. I had the info at my fingertips , thanks to facebook. so cliche' i know, but facebook found my birthfather for me....

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

First post...

So... I'll make a go of this blogging. I started thinking about all kinds of things since i started organizing this blog. What DO i want to write under the about me section? What's important? It always comes back to the same things. My family. My crazy, interesting , ever changing family dynamics.

Its easy to say I'm a mother and a wife. I am certainly those things first and foremost. But, I'm a daughter to a mom and dad that couldn't have children- I'm also a daughter to a mother who couldn't keep her child. Now, i'm learning - I'm a daughter to a man who didn't know I existed for 37 years! So- in realty, i guess the about me section isn't big enough to hold all the labels I have!!

Life has been interesting lately. I decided after 13 years of knowing my biological father's name to contact him. I knew he didn't know i existed. I also was pretty sure my chances of connecting with him would be slim. I found him on facebook and emailed him. I'm pretty sure i gave him the shock of his lifetime.

Little did I know it was ME that would be shocked. I have been treated with nothing but respect and kindness by this father of mine who is a complete stranger to me. I have not been doubted or treated with suspicion. I contacted him in late June- I met my biological father Thursday July 22nd. That day is forever marked in the calendar of my mind with a big red heart circling the date.

I also learned i have two sisters and a brother- a brother whom he adopted! The universe works in wonderous ways. A man who would have a daughter who he did not know existed, who was then put up for a adoption, then adopts a son to give him a better life! All I can say is "wow!"

And so, this blog will go on about my family. My husband of 16 years, my four sons, two moms, a new dad, a dad in heaven, a brother, and sisters I was not fortunate to know until I was a grown woman. This should be an interesting journey adding branches to my family tree. Actually, perhaps I should have multiple trees!!!!