Monday, May 23, 2005

My American Sisters

If you got here by reading the article in GQ Magazine about my amazing journey to Africa to meet my natural father, you have already met my six brothers and sisters in Nigeria. However, I have three more sisters I want you to meet.

(Update: Welcome, Booker Rising readers. Thanks Molotov!)

From 1968 and up until a few years ago, I only had one sister. Joslen is five years older than me so we weren't the closest that two kids could be growing up. I mean how many sixth grade girls want their little first grade brother hanging around. And that was the only time that we went to the same school.

Plus, she had her friends and I had mine. She tried out for theatrical plays and played her clarinet. I played little league and jumped bikes off ramps with my friends.

About the only thing we did together was go to Lee Valley pool to go swimming. That was our summer entertainment. As many days as we could it was, "Mom- can we go swimming?"

Summers were always the best.

Joslen bears a striking resemblance to our great-grandmother, Elizabeth Juanita Taggart Willams. At least that's what my grandmother always said. (I wouldn't have known, because I had never met my great grandmother.) But it wasn't until I saw these two pictures together that I had a "Separated at Birth" vision:

My Sister Joslen

Great-Grandmother Williams

I think that was another factor as to why I began to show some interest in finding and meeting my biological parents. I always wondered if there was someone out in the world that looked like me.

When my birth mother, Kathleen, found me in 2001, one of the first things she told me was that she had two daughters from her marraige to her college boyfriend back in New Mexico. My sisters Frances and Mei-Lee both grew up and live in California to this day and both have kids- Francis, two girls, and Mei-Lee, three boys.

From the first time I talked on the phone to my newly found sisters, I knew we would be good friends. Frances, just a year and a half younger than me, is the quieter one- introspective and somewhat shy. Mei-Lee is more outgoing and told me that she had always wanted a big brother. ("How's 6'4" and 275 sound?)

Frances and Mei-Lee meet their Big Brother.

We first met at my Grandfather O'Connor's 90th birthday party where I also met several other relatives. It was then that I realized that this wasn't going too be to difficult. They make me feel like I have been a part of their family all along.

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