One of the hardest things about this discovery has been the stress of worrying about how my family would take the news. How do you tell the people you have loved your entire life that you aren’t even related to them, or at best, you are only half related to them?

Believe me when I tell you that I spent weeks worrying about this day and night. I thought about it every waking moment. I dreamed about it every night. Needless to say, there was a great deal of fear associated with this revelation. What if they rejected me? What if they said hurtful things? What if they became incredulous when I told them I want David, Aaron, Bruce and even the others who haven’t reached out to be part of my life? The entire situation has been fraught with risk. By telling them, I would be putting my entire future on the line.

Platitudes aside, I knew in my heart that none of these things would happen. I’ve known and loved these people for 54 years. I know who they are on the inside, and I know how they feel about me.

Telling my sister, the closest person to me in the world next to my son, was easy. In fact, she had it figured out before I did. I know she was hurt and disillusioned, but she has backed me completely. She has listened to me excitedly talk endlessly about my new brother, nephew and cousin and never became stoic or burst into tears as I feared. In fact, when David excitedly welcomed me to his family on Facebook, she was the first person to comment, telling him that I’m a wonderful sister and she’s happy to share me with him. She’ll never know how much I appreciated that and what a relief it was to me.

Telling my uncle and cousins was the hardest part. They, who mean so much to me, were about to learn that I’m not related to them by blood. When I told them, it was through email and Facebook messages–not my preferred method, but it had to be done quickly before someone else let it slip. To a one, they were all wonderful. My uncle had been surprised (which was a surprise in itself…we had thought maybe he knew all along) but said he loved his brother but also loved his sister (Mom). I wept at his forgiveness of her. Each of my cousins, in turn, told me they love me and I’ll always be their cousin. I spent most of that day crying with relief.

Finally, I was ready to tell my brother. I had put this off till last because he was the wild card. He had been very close to Mom, and I wasn’t sure how he’d take it. After frettng about it for several days, i finally mustered the courage and called him. No answer! I texted; still nothing. He called me back the next day and said, “So, what is this big news?” So there it was; time to just spill it. He was shocked and doubtful until I convinced him we’d double checked the results against David’s DNA, but finally he accepted it and told me I’m his sister no matter what. The funniest quote from the whole thing came about 30 minutes into the call when he said, “Wait! Does this mean Mother slept with Dr. X?” Really? That’s the question you asked? Hehehe…yeah, bro…that’s what it means!

So now everyone knows. It’s a huge relief that the reveal is all over and couldn’t have gone better. Now, we’re on to the next phase. It can’t come fast enough for me.