So, to clear up all confusion, here it is.
My mother was married to a man before my Dad and he is my father. I was very young when they divorced, and brother1 was a baby. We moved to another state with my mom's then boyfriend, and the man I grew up calling "Dad". While my parents acknowledged that brother1 and I were not the product of the two of them, they insisted on never discussing the situation. I always called my dad, Dad, and the fuzzy memories I have of bio-dad are just that, fuzzy. I remember that he was around, yet I have no idea what he looks like since my mom destroyed all evidence of him. Apparently, he showed no interest in us once we moved away.
Growing up, my parents acted like brother1 and I were biologically theirs, and squashed all my attempts at conversation. The questioning became even more intense when my parents had children who do not look like me and my brother. It's completely obvious that we don't share the same genetic makeup, but that was not discussed and we continued our charade. In fact, bringing up the fact that me and brother1 look like my dad was done quite frequently. I remember feeling proud of that fact when I was young, a little confused by it when I got older, and then downright annoyed by the time I was in college.
When I was a teenager, my dad adopted us by reason of abandonment by our bio-dad. It was treated like every other day, except we made a quick trip to the courthouse to go through the formality, and we were given very little notice of this event. Honestly, I really didn't grasp the monumental step that this was, as I was always trying to please and so did everything my parents told me to without question.
By the time I reached adulthood, I just took it all and stuffed it into a neat little box after several attempts to express my discomfort at the charade. I wasn't allowed to talk about how I felt about the situation, and in general felt like it was my fault that my parents would get mad at me for bringing it up. What was the point in pursuing something that so obviously upset both of my parents? Especially since it didn't matter (or wasn't supposed to matter?). Forming lasting and trusting relationships has always been difficult for me, and was something I thought was either my fault or the other person being a class A jerk.
In the process of adopting a child myself, I've been forced to face the feelings I've had all my life. Reading "The Primal Wound" by Nancy Verrier, started to gently shake the foundation upon I've lived as I identified with way too many of the characteristics she describes. Reading adoptee memoirs has shaken the foundation just a bit more, creating hairline cracks, and with it, friction with my parents. Facing the reality of being an adoptive mother and how we are treating our child's story further widened the cracks. A year of therapy began to chisel away at the relationships I've developed in my life, forcing me to see them in a new light and to figure out how to navigate them. All of these little steps have served to fracture my psyche, my perception of my childhood, my perception of myself.
...and then brother1 made two statements,"I don't even know if I look like him", and, "What if we have brothers and sisters?" During our conversation, when he expressed an interest in searching, I made a snap decision. If he wants to do it, we should both do it. Even though I've spent a long time convincing myself that I don't need to, I should be there to support him, should he desire to take that journey.
On the long drive to the airport, as I mulled over the conversation, navigating the two lane highway, it hit me full force. I'm staring at the opportunity to help myself become whole by acknowledging this other person, this half of my genetic makeup. I'm 39 years old and have no idea if I look like my bio-dad.
My world broke open.