Look alikes

When I was growing up, all I wanted was to look like someone.

Fortunately, my big sister was also a tall blonde so even though we were from a Middle Eastern family and our blond hair and blue eyes made no sense, people figured since there were two of us there must be some seriously powerful recessive genes at work.

When I was twenty two, I met my birth family.

First my birth mother, half brother and sister, and my stepfather.

Then my birth father and all his brothers and sisters.

I’ll never forget someone showed up to my birth father’s house with a box of “It’s a Girl” cigars.

I have my birth mother’s eyes.

And her hands.

I have her spirit too – all friendly and funny.

But the rest of me reminds me of my birth father’s side of the family – my long face, my big lips, my round butt.

Example 1 – my cousin and her daughter:

Damn, if we don’t look like relations then I don’t know anyone who does.

Example 2 – an app which turns you into the opposite sex:

Now tell me I’m not the spitting image of my birth father in THAT picture.

It’s thrilling really, to actually look like someone.

Not a day goes by that I don’t get a kick out of looking like Sherri and Paul.

It’s one of the gifts of reunion I never take for granted.

I finally know where I come from.

My Reunion Story

Sherri, pregnant at her 8th grade graduation

I remember the EXACT date I lost my virginity.

July 8, 1989.

I was 15 years old.

It’s ironic then, that I don’t know the date for something as MOMENTOUS as meeting my birth parents for the first time.

It was spring.

I know that because all the tulips in my yard were in full bloom.

For the rest of my life I’ll always associate tulips with my birth mother.

Finding your birth parents isn’t as hard as you’d think.

At least not for me.

My mom told me she knew my birth mother’s name from the adoption paperwork.

Brandon, Brett (ex), me, Sherri and Lani

So when I was 17, I asked for her name.

My mom wrote it down on a piece of paper, handed it to me, and walked out of the room.

After a little research I finally got the phone number to my birth mother’s in laws.

I called one day and asked for Sherri or Vince (her husband).

They gave me their phone number.

Just like that.

I stared at that number.

It was burned in my brain.

It took me 5 years to work up the courage to call that number.

One day, I called the number fully intending to ask for a random name – Elizabeth.

Art, me, my dad, a friend, and Cy

When my birth mother answered the phone, she had the MOST BEAUTIFUL voice I’d ever heard and I knew that someone with a voice like that would not be mean to me.

So I asked for Sherri.

“This is she,” she responded.

“I’d like to talk to you about something personal. Is now a good time?” I asked.

“Yes,” there was concern in her voice.

“I’m looking for my birth mother. . .”

I visited her the very next day and got to meet her husband and my sister and brother.

She told me who my birth father was and he was listed in the phone book.

So instead of driving home, I called him.

His (ex) wife answered the phone.

I asked for Paul.

She asked who I was.

I wanted to tell him directly so I just said my name.

She hung up on me.

I called back.

“Just tell him it’s Sherri’s daughter,” I responded.

She repeated what I said to him. Then she repeated it again, this time with gravitas.

They knew what this meant.

Paul had a daughter.

He asked me to pull into a local Denny’s where he said he’d meet me.

He showed up 15 minutes later, with his (ex) wife and her daughter.

We (my ex-husband) and I followed him to his house and slowly, his siblings and friends started trickling in.

Someone brought an “It’s a Girl!” cigar for him.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

What can I say about my reunion?

It truly was an ideal reunion and I feel blessed that my birth mother and my birth father accepted me so openly and lovingly.

Two eighth graders accidentally made a baby, and gave me an ideal home to grow up in.

I regret nothing except perhaps that I didn’t meet them sooner.

I am blessed.

 

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Reunited!

Here are the people who made me.

I am forever grateful that two eighth graders fell in love at such a young age and acted WAY OLDER THAN THEY SHOULD HAVE when they made ME!

I personally think I look like my birth father’s side of the family but I have a lot of my birth mother’s personality traits.

I also have her eyes, her hands, and her legs.

There’s something about growing up not knowing who you look like that makes it ever so much more touching when you find out that yes, you do in fact resemble someone else.

And in my case, it’s nice that I take after both my birth parents.

Someday I may post the whole story because people seem incredibly interested in reunion stories.

The short version is I called my birth mom and told her who I was and I went to visit her the next day.

She told me who my birth father was and I stopped and visited him on my way home.

He invited all of his 5 siblings over his house to meet me and I’ll never forget someone showed up with an “It’s a Girl” cigar.

As far as reunions go, mine has been ideal.

I met my birth family when I was 22.

It has now been almost 22 years that I’ve known them.

Soon I’ll have known them longer than I was living without them.

But the BEST PART OF BEING ADOPTED AND REUNITED, besides finally knowing where you came from, is that you get oodles of SIBLINGS!

Here’s to Lisa, Omar, Cy, Lani, Art, and Brandon.

I heart all of you.

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All you need is to succeed once

IMG_7892Dating.

No one said it would be easy.

And technically, you get it wrong all the time and only get it right a fraction of the time.

Those aren’t stellar odds if you ask me.

I once dated this guy named Paul and for the life of me I couldn’t remember his name. It was like I had a mental block against his name. He finally gave up on me and (I am sure) filed me away under “disastrous dates.”

There was another guy who I went out with who was Lebanese. He had hummus the night before and he FARTED the whole time we were on our date. Nasty, stinky, garbanzo bean and garlic farts. Ugh. I filed him under “NEVER AGAIN!”

But the absolute worst date I went on was with a lawyer who brought his 6 year old daughter and two standard size black poodles with him. Somehow I wound up walking those dogs and letting his daughter watch the Adult Swim station on TV while he ran out for dog food.

And the best dates, we’ll they are like magic in my mind.

Charlie, the Aussie I adored, took me to see Hearst Castle and we strolled along the beach, just like the cliché, hand in hand, chatting about his life in Australia and my life in the US. It was a little bit of heaven and that boy deserved every blessedly wonderful thing that happened to him.

Jason and I hit it off instantly. It was unimaginable chemistry and an instant connection. To this day, I remember how he said my name with gravity and weight, as if it really mattered to him. That boy could say ‘Michelle’ and get a response from me in a millisecond.

Finally, there’s Drew. Drew was a 6’10” volleyball player who literally made me shiver when I saw him, such was the nature of our attraction. Our romance was brief but intense and when he held my hand in a jazz concert at Stanford, I got moist. Yeah, that kind of attraction.

The thing that all the good dates and all the bad dates have in common is that I usually knew, within minutes of meeting the guy, whether it was going to be great or awful. No exceptions. I’ve never expected a bad date and had a good date. Likewise I’ve always known when I was about to have a really good date.

As much as I love going out and having fun, regardless of who I am with, I’d like to meet that one person who connects with me on a deeper level.

So I guess I’ll just keep putting up with the bad dates, getting one step closer to having that good date.

I have a lousy success rate.

But all you need is to succeed once and you’re golden.

Totally, utterly, completely golden.

One lucky baby

IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!

I was born first to Paul and Sherri, two teenagers living in Sonoma. They accidentally conceived me in a treehouse during their eighth grade year in school.

Sherri was sent to live with her aunt and uncle in San Jose to await my birth.

I was born on November 2nd. I was a forceps baby and I came out with a banged up, scratched up head (see pic below) but no worse for wear.

FullSizeRender FullSizeRender(1)Alice and “Mario”, my parents, got the word that I’d been born and I’d be joining my 5 month old sister Lisa. My dad got to the hospital and looked at his itty bitty newborn daughter and declared that I looked like a frog on account of my legs stuck out sideways.

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 4.19.46 PMI will forever be grateful to Sherri and Paul for putting me up for adoption. I was lucky enough to meet them when I was 22 and they have been a part of my life ever since.

IMG_7821Nothing pleases me more than explaining to people how lucky I am to have two sets of parents who love and adore me.

I am one lucky baby.

Happy Birthday to me!