I was recently chosen to be the artist hosting a Sip Dine & Paint fundraiser for the Long Island Adoption Support Group which was held at Zona Restaurant on February 23. This one was particularly close to my heart, because I was adopted at 13 months old by the most amazing parents anyone could ask for. I was fortunate to be raised with my older brother, who had been adopted by my parents two years earlier. When the Angel Guardian Home in Brooklyn called to say my brother now had a baby sister, my parents were beyond thrilled. As an adoptee, I have always felt grateful that, despite my birth mother’s circumstances, she chose not to have an abortion but rather to give me away so that I could have the best possible life with a loving family. Decades later, a health issue in my family left me no choice but to search for my birth family and find medical history. This was long before the Internet, so it was NOT an easy task. It took tons of research, calls to complete strangers in all the NY county White Pages (does anyone even know what they are any more?), and a trip to the New York Public Library’s microfiche records department after I had secured a few tidbits of information. The first connection I made was with my aunt, who was wonderful and so willing to help because she her two sons (my cousins) had children that were adopted. Coincidentally, they grew up and went to the same schools that my children went to, where we live now. What we uncovered was that I had an older half-brother in California (despite my teenage daughter’s best efforts, Oprah did not facilitate a reunion on her show), along with two half-sisters from my birth father who also lived on Long Island! It’s been an amazing ride. And I met so many amazing people at the fundraiser that were at different stages of the adoption process — some recently adopted, others hoping and searching for a child, and others going through the process of adoption. My hope for all of you is that you keep the faith, weather all the storms you have to go through, and come out the other end with a child you can call your own. May all your wishes and dreams come true.