My sister Anne was anxious to meet me; thrilled to see me when we met at the airport. When our eyes met, there was so much joy in hers. I probably drew back some because the meeting was so surreal to me. All of Anne’s life, she was able to prepare for this moment of ours. She and her whole family had my biological name in their possession. I did not even know my biological name, they informed me of it.
Anne’s adoption was open; my adoption was closed. I did not contemplate much the idea that Anne or other siblings were a possibility throughout my life. I was probably taught to ignore that part of my life in subtle ways. Anne wanted my presence in childhood, her mother had tried her hardest to help assure we grow up knowing one another. Their family had probably in many ways grieved the loss of me. The availability to contact each other is ours now, though it is likely much harder to form sibling bonds as adults.
Last summer we spent time watching movies and getting to know each other in her room, a sisters first sleepover in our early twenties and early thirties. We held each other in long hugs, I think because we felt deep concern for each other going through this life event. She fell asleep during our second movie and I slept at her side for some of the evening.
As soon as we established a bond on our first visit, we then battled some, like siblings do. I like to think adoptees upon meeting have long withheld sibling rivalries that must come to fruition.
Anne is an individual and I do not know what she needs from me. In many ways, I have no idea how to be an older sister. It is a concept I imagined quietly and briefly growing up. I am anxious to know Anne better, and I am willing to attempt sisterhood. For about a year I have waited for this, I think of her on some days and I get misty eyed. I am lucky enough to have established a bond with our shared brother, she grew up with him in the same adoptive home.
Our brother is present with me to have these discussions about the complexities of our adoptions. I am so thankful to be able to share and connect with any and all of the siblings. Days like today though, I just miss Anne. It is so hard to explain to anyone who has not experienced adoption, and especially sibling reunion. My sister is struggling to connect with me even though it is one of her deepest longings in life. I know this only because I felt that way about the siblings I had knowledge of growing up.
We are so afraid of rejection, that many of us withhold ourselves from our longings. Today I am anxious to talk to Anne. I wish I could be at the airport being picked up and embraced in her hug. For now, I will think of the joy in her eyes, instead of the sadness. I am not giving up on the possibility that she and I will watch movies again and be more ready to establish a sisterly bond we both long for.