A year ago I got an email late at night from someone named Isaiah introducing himself to me and sharing that his father's name was Michael Ringwall. My father's name is Michael Ringwall. My name was Jamie Ringwall and became Thingelstad when my step-father adopted me. Hence why I have my website at thingelstad.com and not ringwall.com. :-) My parents got divorced when I was young and I haven't seen that side of my family since I was in elementary school. With that email started dozens of emails back and forth with my brother that I had never met. We exchanged information about our families, interests and hobbies, our jobs. We sent some pictures back and forth, got to know each other more and discussed getting together at some point. He lives a few hours west of Minneapolis.
We set time to get together in January. We picked the Schell's Brewery in New Ulm to meet. It was half-way between both of us and neither of us had been there. We both like beer so that made a lot of sense. I also figured a brewery tour would be a good way for a couple of guys to get to know each other before we just dove into conversation. :-)
It’s not everyday that you meet your brother for the first time. I really wasn't sure what I was going to say when I got out of the car. It turns out I didn’t need to think much about that. Isaiah came over and right away gave me a big hug and introduced himself.
We had a great afternoon in New Ulm and spent a few hours getting to know each other. There were many times where it was odd that we have similar interests or ways of doing things. That's DNA for you.
It was great to meet Isaiah and add a brother along with my sister Alona for siblings. I’m looking forward to continuing to get to know him and his wife and son. The experience has me thinking about family, connections and relationships. I've never really considered an entire half of my extended family. It’s been interesting and healthy to open some of those thoughts back up while getting to know Isaiah.