Adoption Story: I Met My Kid's Sister!

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My children met their half sister about a year ago. I have long dreamed of the day, although it hasn't been as present in my mind lately, because she and I have become Facebook friends. And that seemed enough, just some contact with her. My daughter had found Tara on Facebook and made contact a few years ago and once that happened, I shot her a friend request. Because I have thought about her a bunch. When the kids were growing up, I daydreamed of the day we would meet her. I had hoped it would've been when all the kids were little, but today was not too late.
I am writing this with a smile, as our meeting went well, despite a bit of awkwardness on my part. If she felt strange at all, she didn't seem so to me. We only had a short time together, which was probably long enough for our first meeting, but the time flew. She is a lovely young woman, so poised and confident. And beautiful. She has Mike's crystal clear blue eyes, and she definitely looks like him. She looks like my kids sister, from a different mom. Which she is.
When my ex husband was 17, he and his girlfriend found themselves in the awkward position of pregnant. Tara's mom was younger than my ex, and their parents guided them into adoption. Tara grew up cherished, I'm sure she is so very loved.
When he asked me what I wanted to do when we found out I was pregnant, my response was "what do you want to do?" And he said "let's get married" and I said "yes" and we did. But not before someone from work (where we met) told me that I wasn't the first girl he got pregnant. Boy was I dumbfounded.
We weren't married when I found out he had given a child up for adoption, so part of me got scared he'd ditch me. The other part of me felt so bad that he really hadn't had a say about the adoption because he  was a minor. He had never seen her, ever. When I was pregnant with my son, he was so sure that he was a girl. I wasn't so sure. The day we were going home from the hospital, we still hadn't decided on a name. He was supposed to be Valerie. But he was a boy. We came up with a great name for him which I won't put here because he will get mad at me. I think my ex was wanting a girl to somehow make up for letting Tara go.
So we had never met her. Then one day I ran away from home (another story). While I was gone, he (the ex who wasn't quite an ex yet) decided to find his daughter. He did some super sleuthing and found out she lived about an hour away from our house. He wanted to meet her he said, so he drove to her house and parked out front and waited, just hoping to catch a glimpse of her.  He then found out from his ex girlfriend that his daughter did not want a relationship with him, and he decided to respect that. Yes, he had given her life, but she had a mom and dad who loved her. That street stalking was 20 years ago!
My daughter didn't give up, she wanted to know her sister and finally it happened! And then last year, Tara brought her hubby and kids to a family gathering, to meet her brother and sister and her birth family.  Of course I wasn't there, but I so wanted to be a fly on the wall and see my ex in laws embrace her as part of the family. They are such awesome people and I miss them a lot. And I knew they would pull her into the fold.
I eagerly looked at photos of her, I was so excited for my kids to be united with their sister! There weren't enough photos!  We were amazed how much Tara's daughter looked like Nikki when she was little.
Fast forward. Michael and I were going to Vegas for his birthday weekend, and when I posted to Facebook that we were going, Tara sent me a message saying she would be in Vegas in 24 hours and I said "let's meet, we have to meet!" Tara seemed as excited as I was to finally meet, and she texted me when she got settled and then took a cab to our hotel. I was doing the happy dance inside, but I didn't want to seem overly excited and scare her.
When she stepped out of the cab, I knew who she was right away and sprinted to get my long overdue hug! We walked and talked and I introduced her to Michael and he was so happy to meet my kids sister. I feel like I should be inserting smiley faces everywhere! We grabbed a coffee and I blurted out all the wrong stuff, I probably freaked her out. I even told her I cheated on the ex because it was part of the search for Tara story, but it didn't come out like I had hoped. I had so much to tell her, and she had stories of her childhood on the bay on her grandparents boat, stories that paralleled...we boated on the Chesapeake when our kids were little! She told me the story about her grandpas boat getting sunk and I told her about the time Mike forgot the drain plug on our boat.
Meeting Tara was such a happy event in my life, something I've wanted to do since I found out about her. And now she is a new friend, from old connections. I'm glad she's a part of our lives.
Tara I met my children's sister in Vegas :)