My family is a bit unorthodox and all over the place, and explaining my familial relationships can be a bit confusing... so hold on to your butts! ;)
My parents split when I was a few months old. My mom met the father of my younger half-brother and half-sister when I was about a year old. Though we grew up together, we were very different people in a series of very hard situations, and we had some rocky patches that drove us apart over the years. I used to leave for periods of time to go visit my dad, and there was some animosity over our different last names. I used to feel like the odd man out, because they look(ed) so much alike and shared more genetic similarities between them. I realize how silly this is, after all these years.
Despite our differences, there is this bond I share with them that I cannot explain. Maybe it comes from being scarred in the same way... or just the collection of memories that shaped us together.
The above photo is from Thanksgiving two or three years ago. The last occasion that we were all together for, I beleive.
My sister Andrea and I are really close now, and I consider her to be one of my very best friends. She is stunningly beautiful, and a wonderful mother to my nephew Matty and niece Olivia(with another on the way). She is my "baby" sister, and I am fiercely protective of her.
My brother Rick has grown up to be such a good dad to my niece Julia, and I really wish we could be closer. Both geography and the demands of day-to-day life keep that from becoming a reality.
When I was 22 I had a life-changing situation that you think only happens in movies. I found out that I had a half-sister who was just three years my junior, who had lived near my grandmother for much of her life, and we had no idea about each other.
As it turns out, when I was three, my father had been in a brief (rekindling of a previous) relationship with Jasmine's mother. They have known each other since high school, and have a long on-again-off-again history.
In 2005 (I think?) they got back together and after many revelations decided to have a DNA test done, which revealed that my father was also Jasmine's. The next year our father and Jazz's mother were married, and are still all shmoopy-goopy over each other to this day. Caren, my step-mother, also has three sons (Christopher, Joe, and Adam) from previous relationships, who are now my step-brothers.
It's quite interesting to me just how much Jazz looks like our dad, and how similar we are in personality, humour, and even hand-writing style, despite never knowing about one another when we were growing up. She is so sweet, and silly, and I love her to pieces. We've still got a lot of catching up to do, and a lot of lost time to make up for, but I love spending time with her and my newest little nephew Cameron.