Q: I have found my long-lost half brothers on Facebook and I have no idea what to do.
I know I would love to meet them but I’m worried about what reaction I might get.
I am their half sister but I don’t think they know that I exist and it has taken me twenty years to find them - now I’m in turmoil.
A: What a whirlwind - and how this must have changed your perception on your whole life so far.
But before you press send, you need to consider involving your mutual parent - or their spouse if your mutual parent has already passed away. Did their spouse know of your parent’s previous family?
Will any of your full siblings get involved too or is this just for you? It will be a shock to them.
You’ve already had time to let the idea settle and they will also need time.
You will need to phrase your greeting very carefully but with as concise detail as possible. - who? where? when?
Make them an open offer to talk, email or meet and you will have to respect their response or lack thereof.
Let them know something about you and your family and how you have longed to contact them.
In this situation you may have to prepare yourself for rejection but still have an open heart.
Hard to ask, I know.
You already know that there will be many polarised emotions for all involved, a possible feeling of betrayal for not knowing, sadness for the time you could have all spent together, maybe even jealousy that they weren’t the first children.
Hopefully also a glimmer of forgiveness and courage
It sounds like they will be lucky to have you as a sister.
Please stay positive and give them an opportunity to back out or retreat without recourse.
They may even risk meeting up once but not feel able to carry on.
None of you are to blame in this situation and hopefully they will see this too.
Have love in your heart when you contact them and I wish you all the best of luck.
■Do you have a problem you’d like help with? email The Star’s agony aunt Andrea.Moon@jpress.co.uk for advice.