I have always wondered whether I am an extrovert by nature or if that part of my personality was developed as a way to compensate for the lack of siblings or cousins in my life while I was growing up. Do I like to read because that is my natural inclination or does my thirst for knowledge stem from a deep-seeded longing to find answers to basic questions about my family that went unanswered for years? Would I be the same person I am today if I had grown up knowing my siblings and cousins? I may never find the answers to these questions, but for the first time in my life I am at least able to look for similarities and find patterns in behaviors among the various people that share my same genes.

Last night, for the first time, I got to speak to my half-brother, who lives in Europe. Both of us grew up as only children, so you can imagine how weird it is for both of us to now have someone we can call a “brother” or “sister.” To add to his shock, he also has to process the fact that I have made him an uncle overnight. Needless to say, it is a lot to take in at once, and it will probably take some time for all of us to figure out the roles we want to play in each other’s lives. No matter what happens, I do now realize that my life will never be the same– and I could not be happier about that fact. As good as it has been, it is about to get better, and this is why– because I love the fact that we are all making an effort to connect, and this effort is not driven by any need, it is because we want to know each other. To me, that is true love.

Those of you who know me are well aware of the fact that I rarely cry, and that I know for sure is just not in my nature. But I’m not going to lie, finding my little brother, did make me cry– and they were wonderful tears of joy.