Tuesday, May 18, 2010

And Then We Met....

The next few days were nothing but a blur. We would talk for hours on end. If we weren't on the phone with each other, it's all we thought about. We wanted to get to know everything we could about each other as quickly as possible.

The more we learned about each other, the crazier things got. We are so similiar it's hard to believe. We both were insanely obsessed with Top Gun as children - we watched it multiple times a day. It also peaked our interest to want to be Naval Aviators when we grew up. No one will watch the movie with us now to this day because we recite the lines about five minutes before they happen - word for word... and get all amped up and excited.

We also both did Athletic Training in high school, and started college with Athletic Training as our majors.

We do the same quirky things, that we were for sure no one else in the world did. It makes me feel so at home around him. It's like hanging out with myself all the time. My friends say the same thing.... when they hang out with the two of us at the same time, it's like Double Brandi all the time.

At the time he was planning on leaving for the Navy in July, and we felt like our time was super limited. We decided that we needed to meet as soon as possible. He was already planning on coming up here to Ohio with the family in June for a family reunion, but we decided that we couldn't wait that long.

We got everything together and lined up, and the following weekend I was going to drive down to Tennesse and pick him up to bring him to Ohio to spend the weekend. The week crept by, we were both SO excited to finally get to meet each other.

The drive to Tennessee seemed never ending. It was a seven hour drive. The farther I got into the drive, it seemed like I wasn't getting any closer. All I wanted was to get there and be in his arms. He talked to me the whole way down. He wouldn't let me tell him where I was, because it only made him realize how far away I still was. He only wanted to know when I had gotten into Tennessee.

When I finally got off the highway, and onto his road, I wanted to turn around a go back. Not only was I about to meet my brother, I was about to meet my dad. My stomach was in my throat. I couldn't handle the nerves or anticipation. I finally pulled up to the house, and there he was... waiting outside. I got out of the car and hugged him. And hugged him. It was one of the single most comforting moments of my life. I will never forget it for the world.

I finally felt like I belonged. I belonged in a world I was not sure would ever exist for me. He walked me up to the house, to where I met my father. We chatted for a bit, exchanged contact information. It all seemed so surreal. I felt SO at ease around these two men that I had just met minutes before. An ease I had longed for for SO long. An ease I feared I would never know.

We had to get going to make a dinner date, and as we were leaving it happened. I hugged my father for the first time in my life. Next to getting married and having my children, that was THE best feeling of my life.

The First Day of the Rest of My Life....

I got home from work a little after 10pm Thursday night. It was the longest shift of my life. I couldn't get out of that store fast enough.

I flew home and grabbed my computer as soon as I got in the door. I logged into Facebook and there it was. The message I had been waiting for. My hands shook. I wanted to read it, but I didn't. I was afraid of what it would say. I took a deep breath and started to read.

The more I read, the bigger the smile got on my face - the more the tears poured down my cheeks. I had indeed found my brother. I found my brother I didn't even know existed 24 hours prior. I found my brother.... who lived with OUR dad. It was one thing to know that I had found Geordie. It was another to know that he was in direct contact with our dad.

He told me he was semi aware that he had a sibling out there, but he wasn't for sure. He assured me he wanted to get to know me, and would do anything in his power to help me get in contact with our dad and start a relationship - if that's what he and I wanted.

I was over the moon. In less than 24 hours my world changed drastically. I went from having a whole piece of me missing, to stumbling upon it on the internet. And to have him be so willing and just as excited as I was, made it all the more better.

I remember taking my laptop into my room and crawling into my bed. All of the sudden my heart skipped a beat - he instant messaged me on Facebook. We talked for what seemed like hours. It felt so comfortable, and it seemed like there wasn't 24 years missing from our lives.

What Do I Do Now???

As I sat there and stared at his profile, I knew there was nothing I could do then, not at that hour of night. I decided to go to bed and think about what I wanted to do. I KNEW just looking at him that he was my brother. His face unmistakably resembled the face in the yearbook I had found a few months prior. I was compelled to write him. But I had no idea what to say. My head swam with thoughts the rest of the night. I don't think I got more than an hour or two of sleep before my kids woke up.

That morning when I got up, I decided to write to him. I didn't want to give to much information at first... I was afraid to scare him off, or make him mad. The first message I sent him was, word for word....

"i was wondering what your parents names are......

thanks! "

I hesitated hitting send. Doubted going that route. Scared of what would happen next. I figured it would be a day or two until I heard anything back - if ever. Boy was I shocked when in just a few short hours, I had a reply.

"that is a weird question for not knowing me i will need to know why"

At this point I was afraid he wouldn't cooperate. I was afraid of what to say next. I knew it was time to come out with the truth. I was so afraid no one knew anything about me, afraid I was about to rock his world. I was afraid he'd get mad at me and stop contacting me. I knew honesty was the best route. So I began typing my response.

I told him who I was, and that I was looking for my real father. I told him the information I had on my real father, and that I wasn't out to hurt anyone or cause problems. I just wanted to know who my real dad is. My heart was pounding as I hit the send button. I waited, and waited for a response. Nothing. It got to be almost 4:00pm and I had to leave for work. My stomach was so tied up in knots that I had to go to work with no answer. It's all I could think about at work. I kept checking Facebook on my cell phone. Nothing.

I thought for sure I had scared him off. I just wanted to get home and get online.

Someone Pinch Me....

This blog was supposed to document the journey and process of finding my real father. After a huge stroke of luck, this blog is taking a different turn. There will be no process, there will be no journey. I found him. By pure luck. It wasn't hard. It wasn't a lengthy process.

Here's the beginning of the story.

April 15th, 2010... it was about 1:00 am. I was up and couldn't sleep. I was watching tv and surfing the web. A commercial came on for a background check site. I really didn't pay much attention until I realized it was a site I hadn't used before. I thought "What the heck, I haven't searched for information in a week or two." I typed the address into Firefox, and plugged in the information.

I was a bit disappointed to see the same information that I got through any other search I tried. Just as I was ready to navigate away from the site when something caught my eye. There it was. Under the 'Alias' section. A different name than I had ever seen listed before. It was close enough to George that I figured it was probably a nickname or something. Since I hadn't searched that name before, I went to Facehook and plugged it in.

The page refreshed, and my life changed in an instant. There was a Geordie Larsen. A Geordie Larsen in TN. A Geordie Larsen in Morristown, TN. A Geordie Larsen 3 years younger than me, and who looked so strikingly similar to the father I have been searching for, I knew immediately. I knew immediately I found my BROTHER.

I sat and stared at my laptop screen for what seemed like forever. I felt paralyzed. Paralyzed with fear, joy, excitment. I looked at the clock, and it was almost 2:00am. There was no one I could call. Everyone was asleep. No one was online. I had to share this with someone. My heart was pounding out of my chest.

I ran into my bedroom, laptop in tow, and woke my husband up. I showed him the picture. "I think I just found my brother." He looked at me like I had two heads - I should have known better... you can't converse with him when you wake him up. I knew he probably wouldn't remember any of it when he woke up that morning, but I had to tell someone.

For the next couple hours I sat with his Facebook profile on my screen. Just looking at his pictures. I had this unbelievable sense of peace looking at his face. Wondering what in the world to do next.