The sister that I never had was right there on Facebook.

003 Do you have siblings?, a reader and friend once asked me. And I never fully answered that question. At least I don’t think I have.

By now, some of you may have figured out. And the answer could vary from “No.” to “Maybe.”.

Well, here’s the answer:

I am my mom’s only child, but I’m one of three (and possibly more) of my father’s children. I have only known of two of them. One, my older brother (from another mother), who I’ve met once when I was a little girl, and an older sister (from another mother other than my brother’s) who I knew of. My mother, while pregnant with me, met my sister when she was five years old. My sister knew of me, but didn’t know my name. Either my father had given her a fake name for me or the name of one of his other kids (assuming there’s more). Who knows.

A couple of years ago, I decided to Google my sister’s name. I found a Myspace and Facebook account matching her name and location. I showed my results to Greg and he suggested that I send her a message. But how exactly do you do that? “Hey, are you my sister?” And what if she was? What if she wasn’t? I blew it off. I thought it was silly and there was just too much involved that I wasn’t ready to deal with yet.

Years would go by with an ocassional nudge from Greg to search for my father’s side of the family. A few child support jokes and convincing myself that I’m perfectly fine not knowing later, I had brushed it off again. Like seriously, why do I need to know this guy? And what if I don’t even get along with my siblings (and whoever else)?

There was a scene from the Real World’s Las Vegas that stuck with me. It was the scene where Nany sought out to find her father. She went through a dectective and unfortunately found that her father had passed away just a few years before her search. Fortunately, she found her sister and established a relationship with her. Together, they visited his grave.

A nudge by Greg followed.

Around Father’s Day of this year, I found myself wondering if the woman that I found on Myspace and Facebook really was my sister. I guess I could look again. I pulled up her Facebook profile and noticed that we had a mutual friend this time around. Hmmm. Upon further digging, Mylife.com (or a similar site) listed her as associated with my father or brother’s name (he’s a junior). And her age matched up. I found myself going through her Facebook photos trying to find ways in which we resemble. I clicked through photos of her beautiful boys, my possible nephews. I finally mustered up the courage to have our mutual friend ask her about her father, brother, and some other details. I then, added her as a friend on Facebook. I woke up the next morning and found our pending friendship had been accepted and that I had just been listed as her sister on Facebook. It was confirmed without a doubt!

I found my sister on Facebook, y’all. And it only took me two years…

Like Nany, my father is up in age. I’m not sure if I’ll ever see him again in this lifetime unless it’s at his grave. My sister saw him about a year ago, so he may possibly still be here, but we have no way of contacting him. He was always discreet about his whereabouts. *shakes head* But at this point, I honestly have no strong desire to see him other than for him to see the beauty he created and then abandoned.

I’m looking forward to slowly, but surely establishing a relationship with my sister and nephews (3 and counting!); the silver lining of this all.

I’m not totally sure if I would have even gone through the lengths that I did to find my sister, had it not been for Greg encouraging me to do so. So this post is dedicated to him :).

Do you see the power in encouragement? Encourage. More often. Encourage the ones you love whether it’s face to face or through the written word. Click this link right here and Hallmark will put some inspiration in your inbox. This post is part of Hallmark’s Life Is A Special Occasion campaign. Although Hallmark is compensating me for my participation in this campaign, the heart that poured this post beats in the body that is mine. Read my full disclosure policy here and catch up on any posts you may have missed here.


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Sheena Tatum

is the founder of Sophistishe. She's a free spirit, wife, boy mom, rental rebel, curator of pretty things, lover of vintage pyrex, and the tropics. Sheena can be found in NW Indiana with her husband and two scrumptious boys, clutching kraft paper, chalkboard paint, sriracha and chipotle pepper. In the midst of motherhood, wifedom, and managing a growing collection of digital projects, she somehow manages to find zen in being a quirky, introverted, lil’ lady.

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11 Comments

  • Reply August 23, 2011

    Jen

    What an AMAZING story! I’m so glad you found your sister! Maybe I’m a little over-emotional right now, but I seriously got tears in my eyes when you wrote that she added you as her sister. I just love it.
    And, see, this is why I am such a big supporter of facebook, despite all its faults. Without facebook (I mean let’s face it, while it is possible to find some people on MySpace or similar sites, people tend to just use fake names) it would have been nearly impossible or at least very difficult and expensive to find long-lost relatives or childhood friends. And now it’s possible. Stories like this always remind me that, even with all the privacy issues, these networks are really worth it.

    Also, this is slightly unrelated, but I love the way you write!

  • Reply August 19, 2011

    Marcela

    Congratulations on finding your sister! Very special! I hope both of you find happiness in reconnecting! And yay! for Greg!

  • Reply August 18, 2011

    rachel

    what an AMAZING story! so glad that you and your sister were able to reconnect. everybody should have a sister. Mine’s awesome. : )

  • Reply August 17, 2011

    amy@agoodlife

    wow, what an amazing story! good job greg… he’s a good man ;)

  • Reply August 16, 2011

    Crystal

    What a wonderful post,i think it’s great that with a little help you had the courage to find your family!

  • Reply August 16, 2011

    Kim

    Such a beautiful story Sheena , thanks for sharing and encouraging others to listen to the nudges of their loved ones! Congrats to you both.

  • Reply August 16, 2011

    Rosey

    Congratulations on getting to enjoy being a sister and auntie!

  • Reply August 16, 2011

    Jennae

    I’m so happy to hear that you reached out to her! This post is nudging me to reach out to my brother on my dad’s side, who actually lives right here in Atlanta but whom I’ve met all of 1 time. Unbelievably, I talk to and see my brother’s mom all the time, but I never actually speak to my brother. Thanks for the nudge girl!

  • Reply August 15, 2011

    Kathleen

    Wow! I’m awestruck and amazed.

    How ’bout that internet? Pretty great that you found each other through it!

  • Wait a second. She had you listed as her sister, but she’s never spoken to you before in the world? I wonder why.

    • Reply August 15, 2011

      Sheena

      Anthony,

      No, she had listed me as her sister after confirming the facts. I was notified and it showed up on my Facebook profile. I reworded that bit to make it more clear :).

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