Sisters and Trees

I have written here before about finding my birth family and shared that I found a sister. Here is our story.

When I was 7 years old, my dad built me a tree house in the side yard Mulberry Tree. It was 1972, and he used Turquoise paint for the house and the ladder. He built me this tree house so I would have a place to go and be with my books, my cat and my imagination. He seemed to recognize that I needed alone time, and it was the best thing he could have ever done for me.


I LOVED this tree house. I LOVED the tree. The memories I have of playing there and reading books to my Siamese cat, Ming Lee, were some of the fondest I have.

In my 7 year old mind, I named the tree. I knew the tree had to be a “she.” She was strong and sturdy. She was kind and gentle. She held me in her branches and I could see the whole neighborhood. She took care of me and kept me safe. She was perfect.

When I found my family, my birth mother told me I had a SISTER. I had no idea that this could be possible. I knew I had 5 brother, but a SISTER, I never dared to dream that big!

She gave me her name, and where she lived, and in about 30 seconds, I found her on Facebook. I was elated.

I sent her a nervous, hopeful, happy message. It was 11 pm PST. I had a sleepless night wondering what would happen next.

Next morning, she replied, “I am your sister.” WHAT?!! I was over the moon.

Thus began an intense, all day messaging fest that lasted for days on end. We would message and message and make each other laugh and cry. Is this what is was like to have a SISTER? I never knew what it could be like as I grew up with a brother.

We would talk on the phone from time to time. She was NOT a phone person. But, I so loved to hear her voice and when she laughed, it always ended with a little ‘snort.’

We had an instant bond. We shared so many similarities that we created our own “hashtag:” #nocoincidences She would tell me about finding our birth family years before. You see, she was also adopted. Not kept. Grew up in a lovely family in Texas.

She told me about her experience with our birth mother and our brothers. She told me all she could remember. She gave me advise on how to navigate the feelings I was having. How to approach the possible rejection or connection that would come.

She made me laugh and laugh and I made her laugh and laugh.

I loved her with a love that I had not known was in my heart. I had a SISTER.

And, 38 days later, I logged on to Facebook to find out that she had died.

My beautiful, amazing sister was gone. I was unconsolable.

It has been a year since that day. A full year of no messages. No calls. No hearing her snort. No advise giving and no hugging. We had amazing plans to spend the rest of our lives together.

When I was 7, I had a tree house. I named the tree. Her name was Sarah.

When I found my sister, her name was Sarah.


Rest in peace and power, Sarah. Until we meet again. All my love.

4 thoughts on “Sisters and Trees

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  1. I’m very happy for you. I had a similar experience of meeting my biological sister as the first connection with my birth family. There was something familiar about her. Our actions and facial expressions seemed similar. She was exotic, but intuitively familiar. We stared into each others eyes. Realizing the connection, we extended our arms and hugged for the first time. I had never met my sister or even seen a picture of her…my heart skipped several beats as we instinctively reached out and hugged each other tightly for the very first time. We held hands, stared into each others eyes in utter amazement, and smiled radiantly at each other. Oblivious to everyone around us, we stood catatonically speechless facing each other until my husband broke our stunned silence and summoned us outside. Our conversation flowed back and forth, and, like a good fireworks display, many ogles and awes filled it. We laughed, giggled, and bonded easily. I was thrilled. It was a perfect day. I was enchanted by the experience and astonished by our similarities in body language, habits, mannerisms, ways of thinking, and speaking. Even our voices were alike. I finally discovered what I had been looking for my entire life—my roots. I was overwhelmed by the emotional intensity of the embryonic reunion experience.

    Liked by 2 people

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Robyn Gobbel, LCSW

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