I met my sister under the Eiffel Tower.
My sister found me in November 2009. But because she was living in the States and I am living in Europe, it has made it impossible for us to meet. This is pretty frustrating, looking for your birth family for 14 years then being found but not able to meet yet because of the ocean between us and the high fuel prices making ticket prices incredibly expensive. Whom should I thank for that? But we still fabricated a strong relationship by emailing, Skype and BBM as I do with my birth-parents. Unfortunately you can’t see each other’s facial expressions, or mannerisms. Most importantly, you can’t hold each other.
Well anyway, my sister’s husband, who has family in the UK, planned a trip for them to Europe around Christmas, to my parents dismay. First London, then Paris. Ahhh! Paris. I was secretly hoping that we could maybe finally meet each other then, but it seemed like they had too many plans, romantic ones, and I didn’t really want to intrude. So, I just left it at that and pretended that my holidays were fully booked as well.
But my “soon –to- be- other- half” though differently and secretly planed a two day trip to Paris with the kids (and myself of course) to go and meet them. Poor dear, he couldn’t keep the secret for long. Once I have the feeling that something is happening behind my back, I turn into Sherlock Holmes and usually find out what’s going on. It freaks my son out.
This would all take place December 2010. But, like some of you might have heard, the airports across Europe were closing down due to weather and partly because they were running out of de-icener. Crazy! Europe really isn’t prepared for winter when it comes to snow and ice. So, Heathrow, the airport my sister was flying into was shut down for a few days as well because of old man Winter. What happened then ? L’s flight got cancelled and my dreams to finally hold the sister I so longed for went down the drain.
I prayed fervently that evening, even posting a Facebook status asking my friends to pray for a miracle as well. I though for a second, but why God? Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?(sobbing dramatically)
But I quickly calmed myself down and choose not to make myself depressed or to feel self-pity. I know that God is in control and that even if I don’t understand some things that happen, I know He has a plan. If it’s not meant to be now, it will maybe be in the future then.
I woke up the next day to a couple of BBM messages and messages on Facebook. It was my sister.
“Where are you, I’m trying to reach you. I wanted to let you know that we were able to book another flight”
Thank YOU! I guess I just needed to realize that I have to trust God, no matter how unfair something may seem. It’s in spite of the trials, we always have God’s promise that the trials and tests that we go through are for our good (Romans 8:28, Hebrews 12:2, 2 Corinthians 4:17, James 1:2). We learn that it is through trust that our relationship with God strengthens and our love for Him grows.
So, three days after Christmas, my fiancé, children and myself, climbed into our Citroen C3 cookie tin box at six in the morning, making our way to Paris. By then, I think my hubby -to -be must have asked me ten times already if I was nervous. I said, no. I didn’t really feel nervous.
Three hours later we arrived at our hotel in Paris, parked the car and made our way to the Eiffel Tower, by subway. Unfortunately, the receptionist of our hotel gave us wrong instructions as to where to get off and we ended up across the river “La Seine” away from the Eiffel Tower. I yelled : noooooooooooooooooo! Five minutes to our meeting and we still have a river to cross. Typical!
Despite all of this, we were still able to be taken aback by all the beauty around us. We have been there before a couple of times, but it never grows old, it never looks dull. It was cold and foggy and but I really don’t think that there are many places that still look so lovely on a grey day like this. Even the tip of the tower was hiding under a cloud of fog. It had something magical to it.
All that time my hubby-2-b was filming me and my sweet teenage daughter was taking pictures. I was surprised at the amount of photo’s taken when I was looking at them at home after getting back, she had been mainly taking pictures of horse statues and of pigeons apparently…many, many horses.
“Are you nervous?” Kim asked while filming me.
–“NO, anxious, YES and worried that we won’t get there on time and annoyed at you for asking me if I’m nervous for the tenth billionth time.” I replied while rolling my eyes. I’m pretty good at looking annoyed. He got the picture and fully exploited it on film.
Well, anyway,continuing, we saw a bridge we needed to cross and started heading towards it. Then my daughter, who hasn’t let go of my arm since leaving the car except for maybe filming the pigeons and horse statues, asked me why I was walking slower instead of faster. I started to think and panic:
– “But what if she doesn’t like me?” “What if we don’t know what to say?” “Do we hug or not”, “Darn, I should have not put on any make-up. Oh well, I won’t cry. “I guess I was just so scared at the thought of my fantasy bubble bursting and the fear of being rejected.
We arrived under the Eiffel Tower and we were all looking around us, desperately trying to find them among the herd of other tourists. I was squinting my eyes as if that would make them appear miraculously. I kept on turning and looking .
I was worried most of all that she wouldn’t like me or that she decided at the last moment that she wasn’t ready, or that they maybe got run over by some crazy French dude in a Renault. It could happen…have you been to the “Arc of Triumph”?
Luckily for us, we ‘re living in an era where even dogs have a smartphone and all that time we both kept in touch, monitoring each other’s step until I proudly sent:
I could have sworn that half an hour passed before I heard from them again, but my son reassured me (while rolling his eyes at me, I’m so proud) that only 1 minute had passed. I then get an answer back from her:
Is she kidding?
-” Euh, sweetie, we are under the Eiffel Tower, between the other zillion tourists.” I answered.
While I was still frantically turning and squinting my eyes, my boo kept on bugging me to maybe move more to the side, next to a blue caravan or container with some questionable wet stains on the bottom sides. Not quite the movie like background I had imagined, so I pretended not to hear him.
I kept looking at my phone….then up….the around…then back at my phone, until I hear Kim say:
– “What are you doing? I’ve spotted her already you know.”
All of a sudden, all went silent, or so it seemed to me; I didn’t hear people talking anymore or notice the pushy vendors trying to sell me a Eiffel Tower key chain, just silence….
This next bit will sound corny, and I apologize beforehand, but common, imagine you were me and your meeting your sibling for the first time!
So after hearing him saying that he had already spotted her, I looked up and it’s seemed like the crowd parted as if they were curtains on a stage.
And then, all of a sudden there she was, my sister. She was heading straight, not quite running, but walking very quickly. I leaped towards her and we just flew into each other’s arms and wept. She was stunning and she was a part of me. We hugged and it felt like holding a long lost friend; warm and perfect. After a couple of minutes we let go of each other and it was the first time that our eyes have ever met. I was now starring into the two same pair of hazel eyes…the same eyes I have looked at for years in the mirror. I always wondered if there was someone out there with the same eyes. Is that person thinking of me?
She did. She thought of me, looked for me and found me. My sister.
We spent the next two days sharing, shopping, laughing, sightseeing, comparing our hands and freckles, and finding out things that we had in common. We have the same mannerisms, the same nose and same size of petite hands. It was just so incredible to find a part of me. A relative…besides the ones I have already gladly produced myself. She and I have the same mother, the same father plus the same brother. Basically, we have the same family. All of whom I still yet need to meet, but due to money issues can’t just yet. It’s just so sad.
But meeting my sister has made me feel whole again and so incredibly happy. With her has come the first steps, the bridge if you will, leading to my new found family.
I will be forever grateful to her for looking for me, finding me, accepting me, loving me and last, for helping me with filling up those ugly empty gaps. The gaps I had in my family tree.
“Dear Lord, thank You for my family. I’m grateful for so many things, and one of those is for the family who loves me enough to want to meet me and want to be with me. Help me to trust You always. I might think I know what’s best for me, but I am not seeing what lies ahead the way You do. I want to submit to Your plans for me every day, in sunshine and shade.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.