Last year brought a life changing surprise for my family and me. It happened near the end of August 2015. My sister sent me a text at 2 a.m. that woke me up out of a dead sleep. When I opened the message there was a picture of some guy that I didn’t know but looked very familiar.

The rest of the night I could not sleep. I was not sure what to make of what she was sending me. By morning she sent me a series of messages that she received. In the email he explained that he was reaching out to us because he recently found out he was our brother. From that point on, that day was so emotional for me. As well as for my mother and sister.

By midday I decided to take the bull by the horns and reach out to him. We emailed back and forth for a couple of weeks nonstop. It was surreal. I had so many questions and we got familiar with one another pretty fast. I was not shy about asking the tough questions. After letting it all sink in I suggested that we get a DNA test to make sure this was real and so we could move forward with confidence and without having any doubt. After all the research and planning we found out we are in fact siblings.

In the months passing we have learned a lot about one another. We have shared endless pictures of our father and the family as well as seen many pictures of him and his, and have been shocked by the fact that he is almost my fathers twin. My sister and I have embraced having a big brother and a new member to our family, and our mother has embraced him like a son. My father passed away in 2008 and never knew he had a son, so needless to say, there were lots of tears yet so much happiness. My brother looks so much like my father it’s eerie. In getting to know him I get overwhelmed with how much he and I are alike. We have not yet met but have spent hours on the phone learning about one another.

What I am also excited about is that my son now has an uncle, a male role model that is his kin, and that my sister and I are aunts to two beautiful nieces. We have shared the news with several members of our family and everyone is embracing this with open arms. We have been trying to plan a time for us to meet and have finally narrowed it down. We have plans to meet very soon and can’t wait to begin building a sibling relationship.

This will be an interesting journey, and I’m sure a wonderful experience.