A 'Surprise' Branch of My Family Tree

Last weekend Scott and I made our annual trip to Newport Beach to see a  surprise 'branch' of my family tree. This side of my family, the Swansons, are my birth family. I am the oldest sibling, adopted to another family at birth. Rod and Dorie are my full-blooded brother and sister and were raised by their parents never knowing there was an older sister.  A number of family members knew about that first baby-but not these two.


Dorie always thought she was the oldest sibling (nope!). I think that makes us even more alike-two first born sisters.  We've never had a fight, though she laughs and says maybe we should "just to say we did".

Lovely Marcia (my birth mom/Dorie's mom) and Dorie's daughter Rylee (my niece).

We are just goofy...and just have so much fun together. I can't even tell the difference between our voices (neither could my mom, Jeri, the first time she spoke to Dorie on the phone). I had never met anyone with my genetic makeup and it's really a trip to see such similarities in an entire branch of the family.

Rod, Heather and Dorie-the 'sibs'- I am a surprise branch of my family tree.

Rylee, my only niece, was just a toddler-with a big white bow-

when I first met the family.

I have not written my entire adoption story in full. Dorie calls it an 'Oprah' moment. I believe I will share it someday.........when it feels right. Suffice it to say, the gift of adoption, is always inspiring to me. I was incredibly blessed to be adopted by my wonderful parents, Jeri and Curtis, at 3 days of age. Along with my younger sister, Heidi, and they are my family through and through.   I was doubly blessed to find and meet this 'surprise' branch of family at age 36.

As I always say, you never, ever know what can happen around the next corner in life...... it may be an amazing adventure.

It's always a whirlwind when we hit Newport Beach. From soccer games to out on the town to cozy dinners and beachfront bites and lots of time to catch up. Cousins joined us to make it even more of a family reunion on Friday evening. Ryan and Martina, our rock star cousin, (next to me) who has beaten breast cancer three times, and is a warm and fuzzy bright light in our world. I'll always remember she about knocked me over with a huge hug the first time we met 17 years ago.

Hudson, Holden and Beck (my nephews).

Fun at Soccer...such sweet boys!