They say a watched pot never boils. I learned that from the last time I tried to make contact when I remained transfixed awaiting a reply which never came as weeks turned into months. So this time I decided to send the email and not watch that pot. I guess that old adage is right because I received a reply to my email in a little over a half hour. Contact had been established. The email reply came from Lee’s wife and she appeared open to my invitation regarding inquiry into this mystery. I’m sure she had a lot of questions in her mind too after receiving my email out of the blue. She replied with her phone number and asked that I call her. I had sent the baby photo, but in her email reply she mentioned that the photo wasn’t one she had ever seen. I began to worry. There goes fear again sneaking its way into things and trying to cast doubt in my thoughts. I wondered if the baby photo maybe wasn’t Lee after all. But all those letters….I had those letters and everything had led me to this family. I reminded myself to keep the faith and trust God’s plan for how this would turn out. I was nervous to call her. I mean, how do you say all that you want to say that needs to be said to try and explain all of this. Here I had been looking forward to making contact and now I have it and I feel lost. Was I having second thoughts? What was I afraid of? Name the fear…yes, rejection. Well, it was too late now to back out and after all, this was my goal and it had been years in the making.
Nervously I dialed her number and after initial hello pleasantries, I had trouble forming words. It was as if I had forgotten how to talk. My heart was racing and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I’m pretty sure I even mentioned to her that I was having trouble talking. It was like years of searching, roadblocks, dead ends, and the mystery of all of it was all trying to pour out of my mouth all at once, like floodgates opening. I remember reminding myself to breathe and slow down. She had just as many questions as I did. One thing I remember as I spoke to her was I just felt like she had a kind soul and that helped me make it through all of those words pouring out of me. I know it had to be a lot for her to take in, I mean seriously, how could it not? She was kind and patient and receptive to listening and talking and that helped tremendously. It says a lot about her because what I was sharing with her was pretty big news. She confirmed that I had found the correct family in regards to what I had to share with her in terms of names, but she divulged to me that they knew nothing about this. And that is when I felt the snow globe shake. If you have followed along on this journey, you know my analogy with snow globes and so for her to tell me that they knew nothing about what I was talking about, I felt that snow globe vigorously shake.
We were both talking so fast. I think both of us were trying to process the situation and trying to gain understanding of what was going on. As I felt that swirling blizzard of the snow globe shake, the reality of one of my many questions was answered. Lee did not know about any of this, and that troubled me because I was so afraid of what kind of bombshell this would be for him and his family and how things would turn out. I felt like we were all in that snow globe, the snow was a blizzard swirling around all of us and in that moment and I knew from experience that I just needed to be calm and know that the snow would begin to settle and then we would all be able to see more clearly.
We ended our phone conversation because she was on her way to their daughter’s sporting event but we continued to communicate through email and text. I was trying to send more information to include photos of some of the handwriting in the letters, and information about my father. I even told her about this blog and how I was documenting this journey, no matter how it ended up or where it led me. I felt if she could read these entries, then it may help bring more clarity into this shocking news that I had just delivered to her. I just wanted to be as open as I could be. I knew she had a lot to process and she still had to share all of this with Lee. I wondered how that conversation would go. Again I grew nervous about everything. While she was open to talking about everything, I had no idea how Lee would respond and so fear crept again into my mind. I waited and waited and although I should know better, I watched for the pot to boil, waiting for her or him to reach out after that earlier conversation I had shared with her. And when I felt like enough time had passed but it wasn’t too late to reach out, I sent her a text to see how things were going. I was worried. She replied that she had told Lee and that he needed some time to process things. My heart sank a little but I totally understood. I knew that he had now experienced the snow globe shake. I just needed to be calm and patient, allow that blizzard of snow to slow and settle and then see what would happen next.
That night as I drifted off to sleep, I prayed to God to help us all through what we were all going through individually. People process and deal with things differently and I just wanted to ask for strength, guidance, wisdom and comfort for all of us. On the bright side I was able to say that I met my deadline for reaching out and trying to make contact before that monumental birthday. While I was happy about that, I was also processing the various scenarios I envisioned occurring with Lee and his family. And as those began to swirl and cast doubt in my mind, I felt a peace come over me. I realized that I had done all of this with a pure heart and with the best of intentions. I used all that had been given to me and one might say I had more than enough evidence for probable cause to assume he was my brother. If he didn’t want anything to do with me or this news, that was totally his right. If he did want to explore this whole situation more with me and we could determine that we were in fact siblings, then that’s fine too. I was obviously hoping for the latter of the two but you never know how things are going to end up. I knew in my heart that I had done all that I could do and the rest was just going to play itself out. I knew I needed to be ready to be open to all the possibilities even if they weren’t what I wanted.
The next day came and went with no communication. I was a little disappointed but again, I knew there was a lot to process on their end. While I had been living with this knowledge since 2012, giving me 9 years advantage, this was breaking news in their world. I flashed back to when I first got this news and how it flipped my world upside down. So I waited and I also braced myself for the fact that no contact might mean he wanted nothing to do with this revelation. It was going to turn out however it was meant to turn out and I decided to let it be.
The following day, I was really excited because my husband was taking me away for the weekend to celebrate my birthday and everything was a surprise. I knew we were going away but I had no idea where or what we were going to be doing. He had never done anything like this before and I’m positive he was just as excited as I was. I tried to get hints from him for weeks but he wouldn’t budge. I was excited about the adventure and yet hesitant about the unknown of it. I’m a planner and not knowing was driving me crazy. But I decided to embrace this adventure and just be open to going along for the ride and enjoying being in the moment. As we drove to the destination, we talked and sang along to the radio. I was truly enjoying the act of just being in the moment. I had given up the need to know all the answers and I found I was just as happy. And then it occurred to me that my journey of connection in finding Lee was really no different. I just needed to be in the moment and let it unfold on its own, just like this weekend getaway adventure my husband was taking me on. It was a freeing feeling and one that gave me comfort and peace.
A notification on my phone alerted me to a text message. It was from Lee’s wife. I expected to feel nervous about what I may read, but I felt calm. She said that Lee had read my blog, yes, this very one…that continues to grow as this journey evolves…and he wanted to talk to me. He had asked her for my number and was going to give me a call. I wondered what that call would be like and if I would have trouble forming words like I did when she and I first spoke. My husband and I continued our drive onward to our destination and I cradled the phone in my hand waiting to see what would happen next.