I've composed myself now... ready to write more. I left off telling you about receiving the first letter from my grandmother.
Her photograph was that of someone who looked like a loving grandmother. I dialed her phone number and we spoke for an hour - all the while her photo was in front of me. I had her letter in hand & asked questions. Some questions were answered, others were quickly glossed over. The questions she didn't answer were really the ones that I wanted answers for... and it was then that I figured out she must be either holding out on me until she knew that I really was okay to divulge information to or she was covering up information. During the phone call I learned that I had two half-brothers and a half-sister. Of course, they didn't know about me & she said she'd have some explaining to do. By the end of the phone call she had invited my husband & me to have Thanksgiving dinner at her home.
Within a short time I got to speak with my new sister on the phone. I exchanged letters with both my sister and grandmother waiting anxiously for Thanksgiving to arrive.
During one phone conversation with my sister I got my grandfather's address... on the condition that I would not tell our grandmother that I got it from her or that I was going to try to find him. I sent him the same generic letter I'd sent in the beginning & waited. Days passed with no letter in my mailbox. I came to the conclusion that he wanted nothing to do with me. Then on November 9 my phone rang... it was HIM! We spoke for close to two hours & really hit it off! My two half-brothers were living with him at the time and I got to know them over the phone. Soon my mailbox would be flooded with letters and old photographs from my grandfather. Weekly phonecalls became the norm.
At Thanksgiving my grandmother was a gracious hostess - she was a wonderful cook! I got to meet my sister & we hit it off! By the end of the first night we were finishing each other's sentences! We had fun looking at old photographs and I hung on my grandmother's every word - hoping for any shred of information she might share about my birthmom. The only thing she really told me was that she (my birthmom) had disappeared when she was about 26 years old (the same age I was) - leaving her three children at the daycare - just disappeared. She claimed she'd not seen my birthmom since then. Red flag!!
My grandparents had been divorced before I was even born & hadn't spoken in as many years. For this reason I felt compelled to share with my grandfather things that my grandmother had told me. I understand that divorced people don't always get along & often have different stories. My grandfather refused to say anything bad or mean about my grandmother - except that her version of the truth was pretty far-fetched!
It was obvious to me from what both grandparents told me that at the time my birthmom was pregnant with me there had been a lot of family drama as she was making what would be a life-changing & heartbreaking decision.
The summer after I had found my grandmother she came to a family reunion - that of my adoptive mother's family. She & my mom had quite a bit in common - sewing & crafts, cooking, etc.
A year after meeting my grandmother & sister I had the opportunity to meet my grandfather & his wife. He was retired Army... my own adoptive dad also an Army veteran. According to their "figuring" they missed being at the same Army base by just a couple weeks. How weird would that have been?
More phone calls, more letters, more stories. Due to the them all living far away our visits in person were few & far between. But the phone calls & letters gave me lots to think about. Lots to sort out... deciding what was truth, what was fiction.