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Thursday, December 11, 2014

"Sisters" by guest author Amanda Kutner

When I set out to find my older sister, I had only her first name.

Our biological mother placed her for adoption in 1983, eight years before she placed me into my own adoptive home.

For our biological mother, she remained a hazy memory. I asked for details, but our mother could not (or would not) reveal enough information to help me find her. While I had reconnected with the rest of our family when I was 11, Stephanie was known only as “the sister in California”. I met my biological family and loved them, although we had precious little in common. Raised in an Italian-Jewish agnostic household in New York, I was unprepared for the conservative Texans who would become my kin. Stephanie lived in California. I imagined a fellow artist and traveler- an older, worldlier version of myself.

My desire to find her my have been whimsical but my methods were calculating. I searched Texas birth records from 1983, looking at all the “Stephanies” born in Dallas that year. I did not know her adoptive parent’s last name, so I crossed off names that were seemingly Hispanic (Caucasian parents most often adopt Caucasian infants.) I narrowed down my list of names and went on Facebook, looking at the photos of these strangers who might be my sister, scrutinizing the shape of their eyes and their coloring, attempting to find some resemblance.