No one will ever be able to tell me that Facebook isn’t good for anything. If it weren’t for Facebook, I wouldn’t have found my long lost brother all by my lonesome, who I had my first ever conversation with last night. Before then, I only knew of him as a faceless name that was out there somewhere, and he never even knew I existed, apparently. The feeling I’ve had since then has just been like…WOW.
The only sibling I’ve ever known is Andrew, who’s 13 years older than me. We have different dads, but we were both raised together by my mom. Due to the age difference (he was headed to college when I was headed to kindergarten), we weren’t extremely close in my younger years (he was just another authority figure for me growing up, really), but now that I’m an adult myself we’ve gotten closer.
I don’t remember when I first learned that I had another brother out there somewhere through my dad, but I’ve known it for a long time. At least since my early teens. I knew his name – Curtis – and what he does for a living, but nothing else. I’ve asked my dad from time to time if he’s in contact with him and expressed my desire to meet him, but nothing ever came of it.
A few years ago, I discovered the existence of my state’s online court system database and amused myself by looking up everyone I knew to see what kind of mess they’d been in from traffic tickets to criminal matters. I remember looking Curtis up under the assumption that we share my dad’s last name. I was half right. The only thing that came up was a request for a name change filed in the 1980s. I knew it was him because me and my dad’s last name is very distinctive. But he ditched my dad’s last name and took on another one.
About a week and a half ago, I got the idea to see if I could find Curtis on Facebook. I knew it was a slim chance that I’d find him that way but there’s no harm in trying. I did a search for his name and like 12 or so results came back (his new name is less distinctive than my dad’s, but it’s not exactly like “Jones” or “Smith”). I had a feeling about the very first result just because the person pictured was an older male who kind of favors my dad. I hoped his profile wasn’t private, but of course it was and all I could see was his profile display picture and some basic information that didn’t help since I know nothing about him.
I debated on whether or not to send a message and if so, what to say. “Oh hey, I think you may be my brother” seemed a little too forward and weird, but I didn’t know what else to say. I didn’t want to write some convoluted message to someone who may turn out not to be who I’m looking for and then end up looking retarded. So, I opted to send only a friend request. I figured if he was in fact my brother, then my last name alone would be a big hint to him. If he wasn’t my brother, then he’d just think I was a random person and it wouldn’t matter.
I went ahead and sent the request, not thinking much else of it. That is, until last night when I was playing around on Facebook and was notified that he’d accepted it. And to top it off, he was still online.
I bit the bullet and hit him up through the chat: Hi. When five minutes had passed without a response, I tried again: Does my last name mean anything to you? Still nothing after a few minutes. He could’ve not been answering for a number of reasons, so I didn’t trip. I just figured I’d have to go ahead and send a message. But lo and behold, he finally started answering. He replied that my name did mean something and then told me what his dad’s name is – OUR dad – and it was official: I found my long lost brother!
He’s 49, lives in a nearby county, and is married with 2 children – a 9-year-old girl and a 21-year-old girl. That’s the most exciting part, that I have nieces. I’ve been pleading with Andrew’s unsettled ass for years to straighten up and have kids that I can spoil, and it turns out I’ve been an aunt since I was 6 and never even knew. It’s kind of sad because I missed out on so many years of the lives of relatives that I never knew.
I tread carefully with talking to him. I know that there was nothing but excitement and eagerness on my end, but I couldn’t know for sure if he felt the same way. There was the possibility that he was not interested in getting to know his long lost sister. I know he and my dad haven’t talked or seen each other in years. Whenever I’ve asked my dad, his answer has always been “a couple of years,” but Curtis said he hasn’t seen him since the 10th grade. And Curtis is 49 so, that’s a loooooooooooooooooooong time. I’m not sure what exactly transpired between them to cause the rift in their relationship, but I was afraid that due to that, Curtis might not be interested in meeting anyone from our dad’s side of the family, least of all other offspring.
But that didn’t seem to be the case at all. He said that it’d be nice to meet in person one day, suggested that I could go out with his family to dinner, and at the end of it all he said “Nice talking to you little sis.” That made me smile. He asked about our father during the conversation and I think he even expressed interest in seeing him.
We exchanged numbers along the way and I said I’d text him today, but I didn’t get around to it. He said he’s not good at texting anyway – older people and technology, tsk, tsk. I figured that I should give him a chance to let everything sink in anyway and not bombard him with my presence just yet. Maybe I’ll give him a couple of days.
I called my dad this morning and let him know I’d found Curtis. He asked how and I told him. I told him he has grandbabies, in case he didn’t know. I’m not sure if he did or not.
Me…an auntie – imagine that! 🙂