12 years ago

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When I was little, my mom got sick and needed a surgery and she needed her family’s medical history. You would think no big deal right… wrong. She was adopted so it was difficult for her to get it. After many months of waiting she found her birth family. They started communicating through phone calls, letters, and they sent pictures to each other. Then in the end of June of 1997 we went to meet them. That was 12 years ago and I still remember how I felt during that car ride to Michigan.

I remember asking a bunch of questions and hearing answers like “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure.” So I felt like I was going to meet people who were strangers, even to my parents, because normally when I went to meet new people I would ask questions and get 1-2 hour, long stories. So imagine being 5 years old and meeting strangers… a little scary, huh? And with me being a big sister for only 2 years, it was even more scary because I didn’t want my little sister going to meet strangers. But I just kept telling myself, if Mom and Dad aren’t scared or worried, then I shouldn’t be either… right?

When we finally got to Michigan, the first question out of my mouth (that I remember) was, “How do you know how to get to this house if you’ve never been there before, Mom?” My mom said, “Because we have directions.” So we drove and drove. My mom told my dad the directions. We eventually got to a dirt path next to the beach, and then we went up a big hill. We arrived at this house that the back door was the front door. Right when my Mom got out of the car, a lady with brown hair and a cigarette in her hand came running out of the house and gave my mom a big hug. My dad let me out of the car and I went over by my mom and the lady gave me a big hug and said, “Hi, Eva, you can call me Grandma Margie.” And I said, with all my 5 yr old knowledge, “Well I already have a Grandma Margie, can I call you Grandma Beach.” And she asked (while laughing), “Why?” and I said “Because you live next to the beach.” She continued to laugh and said “Ok.” When my dad let my little sister (who was sleeping) out of the car she started to cry and Grandma Beach said, “This must be Jacki.” Then we met a man named Tim who was really tall and had red hair. I was told to call him Uncle Tim. He had two sons, Jake and Jordan. They were really tall too, but when you’re 5 everyone is taller than you.

Eventually a car pulled up with two kids, a woman (with red hair, the same color red as my mom), and a man in it. When the woman got out of the car I noticed she looked a lot like my mom. She gave my mom a hug and then me. My mom told me to call her Aunt Tammy. Her husband’s name was Scout and I was told to call him Uncle Scout. Then I met her son and daughter, her daughter’s name was Nikki and her son’s name was Jared, they both had red hair. Aunt Tammy told me that Jared and I were the same age. So Jared and I went off and played till a van with two girls whose names were Brooke (who had brown hair) and Kali (who had blond hair). Their dad’s name was Mark; he had red hair and was really tall too. I was told to call him Uncle Mark. His wife’s name was Christy, Aunt Christy to me. Uncle Mark brought bikes for everyone to ride.

I really didn’t like riding on dirt because I was used to riding on pavement, but it was fun…I guess. After a while, Jared, Kali and I all got bored and Jared said, “Eva do you like music?” I said, “Yea, why?” “Well do you like pianos?” asked Jared. “Well Grandma has a piano and we can play it… right Kali?” Kali looked confused. Jared said, “We can use Grandma’s piano, right,” and winked. Kali said, “Oh, oh, yea we can play Grandma’s piano, we play it all the time and she lets us.” Me being the new one and not knowing much I thought they were telling me the truth. So I said, “Sure.” We went into the house, and the three of us had to walk past my mom and Uncle Tim to get there, and my mom asked, “Edj what are you guys up to?” I said the way little kids do, “Nothing.” And then we ran off. Every time another adult would walk by we would hide. Finally we got to the room with the piano and we turned it on. I started to play it and then after a few seconds Grandma walked in and she looked frustrated. “WHAT ARE YOU THREE DOING!!” she yelled. “Playing the piano.” Jared answered. “Jared and Kali you two know better and Eva we don’t play Grandma’s piano.” Grandma told and explained. And then I stared to say “But Jared said…” and Jared elbowed me. “Jared said what?” Grandma asked. “I told her that we aren’t allowed to play it but she said well I’m new so I won’t get into trouble.” said Jared. Grandma looked at me “Is that true Eva?” “Yes,” I answered “I said that.” “Well we don’t play Grandma’s piano, ok, sweetie?”

The next thing I remember is going to Jared’s house a few days later and Jared and I played in his tree house, played with his Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame puppet set and then a little bit later we went to Notre Dame University. Me and Jared being 5 and Hunchback of Notre Dame being the big thing we thought we were going where Quasimodo lived, and every time the bells would ring we would say (in a whisper) “It’s the hunchback!” and we were so excited. After that we went to Dairy Queen and Grandma said “Ok you guys can get what ever you want.” I said “I want a chocolate ice cream cone.” and Grandma said “Eva are you sure, you can have what ever you want.” I said, “I know and I want a chocolate ice cream cone.” Grandma asked “Are you sure?” I said “Yes, I am.” Then she rolled her eyes and ordered a chocolate ice cream cone for me. Then we went back to Jared’s house and put on a puppet show for our parents and then we went to a field and shoot off fireworks by this old farm with the whole family and I got to light one. That was the first time I ever got to touch a firework and I felt on top of the world then we went back to Jared’s house and spent the night. When we got up it was still dark outside. On our way back home to Colorado I said, “Mommy guess what.” “What?” she responded “I like Jared!” My mom made a worried face and said, “Umm honey you can’t like Jared.” “Why?” I asked. “Because he is your cousin and you can’t like cousins like that.” She answered and all I said was, “Oh.”

That is all I remember from that trip. I mean I was 5 so of course there are some things I forgot. I was told before we did the fireworks we had a picnic at Aunt Jacki’s house and we toke picture on her porch but that was 12 years ago. And Everyone has changed a lot especially the kids.





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