My Family Just Got a Whole Lot Bigger

Growing up, I always knew my father was adopted. I don’t remember how my brothers and I came across this knowledge, but we always knew our grandparents were our dads adoptive parents. Of course we never thought of them that way. When I was younger I always wanted to know who my dads biological parents were, but no one in my family wanted to push him into figuring out. Plus, in New York, adoption records are sealed and can only be seen if both parties are requesting the files. 

As the years passed, my father never had the desire to look, but around Thanksgiving of 2017, my father decided to do an Ancestry DNA test just to find out his roots. After a couple months he got his results, which did not surprise us, and we saw a few relative matches, but none that really matter. Flash forward to this summer, my family all forgot my dad did the DNA test, but while in Cape Cod my dad got an email saying there was a new relative match. He kinda just brushed it off because we were all on vacation, but when we got home things took a turn, but not for the worst. My mom and I both got messages from the same women telling us how her mom did Ancestry DNA too and that my father, Angelo, came up as a child parent match. We were all in shock. His sister told us more about the family, that he has 2 sisters (including her) and that one sister has two kids and the other 10. Finding out I had 12 more cousins was a shock to me. As the weeks went by we got to know his two sisters and his mom and we also talked about scheduling a time to meet. 

We decided to meet the weekend of the 7th and the 8th. We were all so nervous to meet, especially my dad because he went about 50 years without knowing his biological mom or sisters. The day finally came when my brother Michael and I had to come home to meet our family. Sadly, our brother Paul could not make it because he goes to school in Buffalo, and that would have been a long train ride. My Aunt Donna and her husband Michael, picked me up on Saturday morning. It was a little awkward at first because this was my first time ever meeting them, but we had a two hour car ride to Albany to connect and as time went on I felt that we all became more comfortable with each other. My Aunt Donna’s daughters both could not be there, so I FacetTimed them in the car and it was so weird to see how similar we looked. When we finally arrived to my house in Albany, I met my other Aunt Melissa, her husband Tom and only two of my cousins out of her 10 kids. Everyone was so sweet, but it was a shock to see how similar we all were. The time came when I finally got to see my biological grandmother. She was the cutest, and so sweet, and now I can say I have 3 amazing grandmothers. 

The whole weekend was all of us eating, because that’s what Italians do, and getting to know each other. It was a really nerve wracking time waiting until the day we all met, but it was so worth it. It was also a very bittersweet time. I wish I had gotten to know them sooner in my life and my I also wish my dad could have known this information sooner, but I’m glad we met them and not have to live with the thought of not knowing.