A long, long time ago, when I was a little girl, I found a picture. It was when my biological father was moving out of the apartment he lived in above my great-grandfather and going off to work as a trucker. I say the apartment he lived in because I lived in a nice house with my mom and step-dad. My parents divorced when I was seven, and my mom remarried when I was nine.
But I digress. In this picture was a little boy. I don’t know why I asked, but I did. I asked my father if that was my cousin, Joe. After all, he IS the only boy in the family in my generation. What my father said next, shocked my then eleven year old mind:
“No, that’s your brother, Jason.”
Brother? Jason? What the hell is he talking about? I have a younger sister, Tiffany. There was no other baby born after that. Uh, hello. I think I would remember. I AM the oldest.
Well, it turns out I’m not. At least, not for my father. I am the firstborn for my mother, but I am my father’s second child.
About three years before I was born, my father was with another woman and they had a child. My mother knew about him but never mentioned him until I brought him up because she had never seen the child except for in pictures. But yes, I did have an older brother who my father did not have custody of, nor did he have interest in seeing, and he was later adopted by his stepfather.
It seems my brother and I have that in common at least, because when I was sixteen, my stepfather also adopted my sister and I. My birth name is not Lavoie. It was actually Michaud.
I’ve thought about the elusive Jason over the years. I’ve always wanted an older brother. Technically I have one in my stepbrother, but he doesn’t want anything to do with me and my sisters, and not even my dad (adopted dad). So I don’t see him at all and haven’t in years.
I wonder if he knows that we exist. Probably not, as his mother did not have contact with my father afterwards. Can’t blame her. I don’t want contact with him now. The last time I saw him or even heard from him, I was twelve. I’m twenty-seven now and doing just fine without him, thank you very much. My adopted dad is my REAL dad. He’s the one who raised me. But I also wonder, if there’s Jason, are there more?
I’d like to at least have a chance to meet him. As I said, I’ve thought about him off and on over the years. I asked once or twice about trying to find him, but my mother always said no. Then the other day Tiffany brought it up out of the blue, and mom thinks maybe we should try to find him. We know his mother’s first name, and we may be able to find out her maiden name as my grandmother worked on a detailed family tree while she was alive, which my cousin still has. We also know about where he was born.
I would like to meet him, even just once. Does he look like me? Do we share some of the same quirks and mannerisms? Does he like to read as much as I do? Does he have kids of his own now? Possible nieces and nephews that if we were to have a relationship I could spoil rotten? Does he have more siblings of his own, like I do with my youngest sibling, Cassandra?
But then I worry. If we were to find him, what if he didn’t want to meet us? I know it’s his right, but it would still hurt. To have my father take off and leave us, and then have a brother who doesn’t want to meet his sisters.
I guess it’s just a risk I’ll have to take. I hope someday I do find him. And I’ll just pray until then that he does want to meet with us.