I’m not easily surprised. Maybe my imagination is such that what is preposterous to others, is plausible to me. When it comes to people, I can’t say I’ve seen it all, but I can say I’ve imagined it all.

It doesn’t always prove beneficial. It can restrict my empathy to others. At times it can even lead to errors in my judgment. Fortunately, more often than not, it provides me a psychological air bag from a collision with the unexpected.

Until last week.

I will attempt to condense a lengthy tale.

It started with an attempt to meet my grandfather by birth. He is getting old and we have mutual acquaintances and he was a famous football player and I thought it would be cool to meet him. In case you haven’t decoded the message, I’m adopted. Adopted by two amazing people who spent a lifetime working to create a family in the truest sense of the word. Everyday of my life I am incredibly grateful to my parents. They loved me beyond imagine and prepared me for the world in a manner that was undeserved by a short, mouthy, Afro-toting, rebellious, inconsiderate teenager. There needs to be a new holiday entitled Parents Day, so I can properly share my emotions, which like most sons I neglect.

In short I have never ever felt not theirs. I am. And they are mine.┬áBut if you’re adopted, you’ll understand the itch. You don’t want to leave your family. You just want to understand your genetics.

Years ago I met my birth mother. Then a birth uncle. Then some birth cousins. Then another birth uncle. But my birth father proved elusive.

Finally last week, with less than twenty-four hours notice, it somehow fell together that I would be able to meet him. I was curious but not nervous.

The meeting went as expected. Yes I just called it a meeting. Well it went as expected for five minutes, until he told me I had seven brothers and sisters.

Excuse me?

From what I know, my birth sperm donor had three kids. But eight? Whoa!

Call me floored. TKO’d. Flabbergasted.


So now in the name of Thomas Braden I am on a mission to meet them all. I am the senior half sibling. The others range in age to from 23 to 46, and geographically across the continent. Some have already connected with me. I’ve been told others aren’t so interested.

It’s a unique moment when a new door to your own life is opened up. Finding out I have a slew of new genetic connections (I really don’t know what to call them) is closer to landing on a new planet.

So I’m off to find out what they are all about. Maybe learn something about myself. Maybe not. Guess I better get prepared for a few more surprises.

3 thoughts on “Eight is Enough

  1. Great story as always my friend. Your “genetic connections” will be better for getting to know you. If any of them are half the incredible person that is Mark Harrison…well…you have some amazing new stories to tell!

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