By: Lori Jean Wyman, Coon Rapids, Minnesota 50 yrs. Old, Dec. 2010
I had always thought that there was more to me, more than just me. I always felt a presence as if there was someone standing next to me, walking beside me; something blowing in the wind calling my name. My siblings were grown and gone. It was just me yet there was some mystery around my birth that nobody would tell me about and that I wasn't supposed to know. It gripped me and would never completely let me go.
Before my mother passed away, she gave me a paper bag full of loose pictures from my birth until 2005. That bag contained the mystery of my life, unraveling.
I'd seen them all my life. There were several pictures of me that caught my eye through the years, nothing in particular. I always came back to those certain pictures. Something didn't resonate.
There was some thing that gave me butterflies in my stomach when I looked into my usual bright eyes and my smiley self. I guess I saw a dull spirit at times in my eyes, a kind of heaviness I thought. I noticed the butterflies started when I didn't remember the pictures of me being taken. In one picture, I noticed that my hair was long and had grown past my waist. In another picture, one that I do remember being taken, my hair was barely shoulder length. I looked at the dates. I nearly fell over.
The pictures were taken only six months apart. Although my mother claimed that my hair grew fast, I knew it couldn't grow two feet in six months! How could this be?
I decided to start my own investigation. Side by side, I blew up both pictures and inserted them next to each other on my computer. I could see in one photo that my left ear stuck out through my shoulder-length hair. In the other photo, my right ear stuck out through my waist-length hair. I brushed my hair over my ear. My right ear lay flat against my head and can't stick out through my hair. I knew that both pictures couldn't be me.
Recalling when I was in a school accident and cracking out my teeth at age 7, I had to have silver caps put on my two front teeth; then at age 14, the silver caps were replaced with white crowns. As I blew up the pictures, I could see that in one picture my teeth were silver and in the other, white. I was 10. I then knew that both pictures couldn’t be me.
My butterflies turned to dizziness. I had to lie down to catch my breath. I managed to put together a pile of pictures from the bag. I took them into a professional photo lab to have them further analyzed. When I came back the next day, two of the photo clerks were excitedly jumping up and down. “What’s up?” I asked. “You’d better sit down, Lori”. “Okay,” I replied, “what’s going on?” Carefully choosing her words, Becky looked me straight in the eye. "Lori, are you aware that you have an identical twin sister?"
“Oh!” I exclaimed. I fell to the floor. Excitement and fear turned to a sigh of relief as I realized I really wasn't going crazy. They put the pictures into two piles. One pile of her and one pile of me. I was right on the mark with the 20 or so pictures that I thought were her. There was only one that I was wrong on that I thought was her and the photo clerks were wrong on that one too. It was me.
Now it all was beginning to make sense to me; the many years of dreams of having an identical twin sister, seeing myself sitting in an empty chair next to me in my pictures, people saying I was in one place but in another at the same time and my telling friends that I knew I had an identical twin sister and that old sadness and emptiness too unbearable to reveal.
Remembering back to a time when I worked at a public utilities company, Northern States Power (NSP), now Excel Energy, in downtown Minneapolis, when I was temping as an administrative secretary for one week started to add up. I walked through the door and extended my hand in greeting to the supervisor. Immediately, I heard her harsh tone. She asked me why I went running out of the restaurant last night from the business meeting crying.
Taken aback, I responded "I wasn't at any restaurant last night." Quite perplexed, she persisted. "Well, she looked just like you." To that I replied that I'd never run out of any public place crying. I could see the anger well up in her eyes. "Well, if it wasn't you,” she asked annoyed, “then who was it?” "I don't know” I said, “It wasn't me.” With that she turned around and quickly left, angry. I had to wonder if I had an identical twin sister out there who looked just like me. Several hours later, I tried to talk to my supervisor but she rushed through the door, ignoring me.
When I called my temp agency the next day, they told me that the supervisor no longer needed my help. Shocked, I hung up the phone and realized that she thought I was lying. I was mistakenly fired for being somebody else. I vowed to find this woman who looked just like me.
It also explains why this happened when I recently went to frame my best pictures from a European vacation in France in May of 1990. I noticed that I was standing in the background of one of my pictures. I wondered why anybody would take a picture of me standing there. I looked more closely. I had never owned a t-shirt like that. I looked at my purse. I'd never owned a purse like that. I could feel myself getting dizzy. The butterflies started. I took some deep breaths. I didn't remember the picture being taken of me. I blew up the picture on my computer.
I looked closer with a sharp eye. I could see that those were my arms, shoulders and cheek bones. I suddenly felt faint and my heart started pounding and then…I realized…that I was the one who took the picture! More pictures revealed that I had short, blond, wavy hair yet I also had short brown, curly hair. I then realized, that it was my twin sister! We had passed each other by without knowing it and went opposite ways.
Then something happened…
It was a cold winter’s day in mid-January of 2009 in Minnesota that I was looking on the Internet on one of my many search engines. I’d looked on the websites now and then to see if I could find any information about my twin sister.
There was the name of one woman that I kept coming back to. I felt a burning sensation come over my whole body and my butterflies started. My hands were cold and I started sweating. I felt those old familiar feelings and wondered what was going on with me. I decided to look this woman up. There was a phone number. There was something about it that wouldn’t completely let me go. I had to call her!
With shaky hands, I mustered up all my courage and dialed her number. I was scared for some reason, not usual to me. There, on her answering machine, lie the answer to the mystery of my life. Her message was the exact same message as mine! It was the same exact voice and the same exact words! I almost fell off my chair. How could this be? I had to look at the number that I dialed to make sure it wasn’t mine. I knew this was my identical twin sister!
My heart started pounding like a stampede of wild horses running as fast as they could over me! I couldn’t believe it! I had finally found my twin sister! Jumping up and down, knocking over furniture, my usual quiet home had now become a dwelling for my screaming at the top of my lungs out the window “I found her!”
My life had just fallen into place.
I could now go on. I was free and I was at peace.
Then….just when I thought it was over, there was something else.
It was the summer in St. Paul, Minnesota of 2009 by word of mouth that I decided to take a class at a private organization, a school. Michele, a tall, thin and elegant woman with short blond hair was middle-aged and the founder and owner of the organization. Chris, her partner, gray haired and bearded also middle-aged, was co-founder and owner and they worked together.
They taught classes in Eastern medicine; Chakra’s, alternative healing methods, meditation and relaxation. They offered the classes to health care professionals and also to individuals, such as myself, to promote growth and healing and for those wishing to advance their careers.
I decided to take a class about the Root Chakra and the Pelvic Chakra. I purchased the classes on DVD as they were taped in the classroom in 2006-2007. It was offered to me outside of the classroom to take at my leisure in my home, which I did. I was excited to see how this could renew and rejuvenate my spiritual, physical and emotional health and growth.
I inserted the DVD into the player and the surround sound speakers activated. I could hear Michele, the teacher, having conversations with the classmates. I heard one voice laugh and something inside of me stirred. It was distinctly familiar. As I listened, I noticed that there was a familiar sound to the voice that was talking.
It was a woman. She kept talking and I felt like I knew her. I found this to be unusual since I knew nobody from the class. I was perplexed.
My heart started pounding. I had that old familiar feeling. I started sweating and my hands became cold. As I continued to listen, the butterflies started. I wondered what on earth was happening to me. Then my butterflies turned to dizziness. This voice gripped me and wouldn’t completely let me go. I had to lie down to catch my breath.
Time was standing still like a clock on a stop watch and I was moving in slow motion like a traveler trapped in a time bottle. I blurted out her exact words at the same time she spoke them! How could I do that? I felt weak and faint. My legs gave out and I toppled to the floor.
Then….I realized. She sounded just like me!
And the unthinkable happened.
We were triplets!!
Through my research from of all kinds of agencies; adoption-local and national, genealogy websites, hospital records, schools, yearbooks, even psychics to a guest spot on the Montel Williams Show; a newspaper article written and a news broadcast from Television Station WDAY in Fargo, ND, not even a name was found.
It was not a formal adoption. My mother had many names. Records were falsified and deleted. Upon asking immediate family members, they have no knowledge. Extended family and anybody else that would have pertinent information, are all now deceased. Speculation says that my mother had motives. It is also suspected, upon consulting with private investigators, that it is a Black Market Adoption.
I have to wonder how many more of me are out there.
I now realize that the more answers I find, the more questions I have, never ending, as my search continues until I find them and the truth behind my secret identity - which could take a lifetime - or longer, passing on my legacy to the next generation, as my mother did with me.
Update: November 5, 2010. Michele and Chris, despite my urgent pleas for help and supplying them with any and all details I had, could not give me the information that I wanted or needed because of privacy laws. Hoping that my twin sister could help me with information about how I developed a disabling hearing loss that I was born with, I was devastated realizing that it was a dead end for me. Also, a devastating blow was the rejection of the woman from California that wanted nothing to do with me and would not confirm her identity.
Update: December 9, 2010. My immediate family doesn’t believe that there are more than one of me. They want to put the past behind them, so I don’t bring this issue up of my having a twin sister anymore, as it’s caused family strife. However, as I’m looking through my older sister’s photo album, we come to a picture of a woman that looks just like me but I can tell it isn’t me. My sister questions who it is. I grab the picture, keep it and drop the subject. In the background of the picture is my immediate family sitting at the table eating with my twin sister. They don’t know she is not me. She is wearing the same blouse as I am. It was in the summer in 2001.
Update: August, 23, 2010. My mother’s 86th birthday, had she been living. I found the name of a woman that knew something about my birth. She said that there were four of us – a quadruplet birth. Three identical girls; one died. She said there were three of us living. I told her my birth certificate stated that I weighed 7 pounds. She said I weighed around 4 lbs., 12 oz. That is all the information she said she had.
And it still continues………..not ending, yet.
Update: October 4, 2010. A friend of mine thought she saw my twin sister taking the 854 bus home from 3rd and Hennepin Avenue from downtown Minneapolis to the Northtown Mall. She said she had shoulder length, light brown hair that was layered and highlighted. Her face was thinner than mine and she said she had thin hands. She yelled “hey” thinking it was me. The woman turned around and looked away. My friend then knew she wasn’t me. She couldn't get anymore information.
Update: April 7, 2011. My friend emailed and Facebooked me telling me that my twin was on her bus again and that she would get off at the Northtown Mall in Blaine at 5:01 p.m. I missed my twin sister by half an hour. She said that she had a book and was reading, also was talking to the lady sitting next to her. This was a different bus.
Update: June 12, 2011. I saw my friend today and she said that the day she saw my twin on the bus on April 7th, she had longer, darker hair than mine, with golder highlights. It was one length now. She said that we were the same height and weight. Her hair is parted on the side from left to right and she looks like the woman in the picture with my family in 2001. Her teeth were crooked on top, in the front, but we are identical upon first glance. We calculated that she lives within 10 minutes of me. Still no name. I continue to wait at the bus stop to no avail.
Update: June 15, 2011. Sorting through more pictures from the bag that my mother gave me before her death, I find some exciting discoveries: Pictures of my twin sisters and I together as babies and toddlers.
Update: June 20, 2011. Today, feverishly, compelled to copy and compare our baby pictures. First looking into our eyes, then, the hairstyles seem to pop out at me next, then our ages, then our bodies, and then the clothes. A huge clue and amazing new discovery: There really are four of us girls, two are right handed and two are left handed! OH BOY! And we are so identical that nobody, and I mean nobody can tell us apart - except for me. We all must be presumed to be named Lori.
Update: June 25, 2011. I’ve been dying now to ask a psychic the question of how many sisters I really have that are living. I am now sure there are four despite all other information. I keep hearing Gary Spivey, a world-renowned psychic on KDWB FM 101.3 on the morning show, taking questions from listeners. I’ve called but the lines are jammed-packed busy.
Update: June 30, 2011. At approximately 7:35 a.m. this morning, I got through on KDWB to Gary Spivey. He told me that there are 4 of us girls living! He said that I was right. He said that there is one in Florida that is easy to find if I go to some missing people websites, register online and tell my story. She will read it and we will hook up. Here I am twin sister and I’m ready to find you! All my love to you ~ Your twin sister, Lori.