This Is Also Me
By: Kayleigh Putnam
Last year I blogged about being adopted. This time I have something even more amazing to blog about. The day after my 16th birthday, my birth mom, Tracey, sent my mom a message on Facebook. I hadn’t seen my birth mom since I was 6 months old and although my Mom sent her letters and pictures they came back moved, return to sender, no forwarding address. I hadn’t heard from my birth mom for nearly 16 years. I have always wondered about Tracey. My Mom told me she was a kind, funny and beautiful person with lots of freckles like me. But my 16- year-old self was curious and I wanted to know more.
When my Mom told me my birth mom had contacted her, I was surprised, nervous, and excited. Any emotion you could ever think of came rushing into my head all at once. My Mom told me the reason Tracey hadn’t contacted me was that she was afraid that we would be upset about something Tracey had to tell us. And here it is: Tracey had a daughter 3 years after me, a daughter she had kept and raised. At first, I was confused. I’ve had another sister for the last 13 years but I didn’t know it. I’ve missed 13 years of knowing my biological sister. That made me sad. But then I realized I had received an amazing gift. I have a connection out in this big world. I have a sister. I have a 13-year-old sister and her name is Rachael.
Rachael has always known about me, but I knew nothing about her. My Mom sent Tracey my Instagram account info so Rachael and I could talk, and I found out so much about her. We both play volleyball, we both like the same kind of ice cream, and we both were so excited to meet. She had always been my sister but now she was my friend too.
That summer my mom found out that Rachael would be visiting a relative in Rhode Island for a few weeks. My Mom asked me if I wanted to meet her. Did I want to meet my sister? Of course I wanted to meet my sister! My Mom contacted my birth mom who arranged for us to meet my sister and my Aunt at a local restaurant. I was so excited and so nervous. I remember standing in front of the mirror and changing my outfit at least 10 times in order to find the perfect one. I was going to meet my sister after all, everything had to be perfect. I first saw my Aunt. Her first words were “Can I give you a hug?” I hugged her and then met Rachael. The first thing I noticed were her freckles, exactly like mine. She was shorter than me, and looked younger, but we looked almost like the same person. I knew I loved her from the second I met her.
When we left I cried. My mom asked if I was okay and I said “I just love her so much!” After meeting Rachael and my aunt, I also met my cousins, my grandmother Abba, and my uncle. I had heard about my Abba and seen her photo holding me as a baby, but I never imagined I would get to meet her one day. And I did. It was amazing. I am thankful every day that my Mom and Dad chose an open adoption. I have so many connections out there that I’m just now learning about: a sister, an aunt, a grandmother, and another mom. It’s now a year later and I’ve met Tracey… but that’s a whole other story.
This is an update to a previous post by Kayleigh Putnam ~ This Is Me
And be sure to read her next post ~ This Is Me…Part Three