A year ago, I flew to Miami to take a DNA test and meet my extended family. Flying down by myself was really hard, and it was even harder to keep it together while knocking on a stranger’s door not knowing what to expect when I walked through that doorway. One of my friends described it best when he said, “you went down that rabbit hole all by yourself not knowing what to expect.” It was a lot like Alice in Wonderland last year– a journey into bizarro world with no one around to ground me, and that is how I learned the true meaning of true inner strength.

Looking back, I have no regrets and could not be happier with how things have turned out. I still have my brother’s first email, entitled “what to even say?” It is so hard to believe it has only been a year since he has been in my life– he is the most amazing and beautiful man I have ever allowed into my world, and now it just seems like he’s been a part of it for far, far longer than just a year.

So here I am, one year later, heading back to visit my family– and this time, I am not making the journey all alone. I never would have predicted this part of the story, but indeed somewhere along the way I lucked out over the past few months and found someone I might actually want to introduce to the Miami clan. In some ways, it is so weird– it is like I am 15 years old and bringing home my first date for dad’s approval. On the other hand, it really isn’t nerve racking because the worst has already happened. Having already weathered 38 years without my dad; 27 years without my brother; and the last 7 years recovering from a very heart-breaking divorce, all I can say now is that in life, we have to make the best of the cards we are dealt and never lose hope that the best is yet to come.