My situation is a little different but in some ways I can relate to your story. I was raised by my birth mother and adopted by my step father. He was with us from my earliest memories but like you I always knew that I was adopted. My parents never set me down and had a big reveal, it was just part of our every day conversations. However, I had a long distance relationship with my biological paternal grandparents. My grandmother wrote me letters weekly, sent cards for holidays and birthdays, and even visited me once a year around Christmas. The thing is that I never really felt like I knew them. I don't know exactly when they became a part of my life. According to my mother it was when I was about 4 years old (they were not aware of me prior to that because my bio father had never told them about me). Even though I had this communication with my paternal grandparents, so much was left out. For example, I did not find out until I was 14 years old that I had a half brother. Apparently there had been times when I had visited my grandparents' home and even played with my brother but no one said "this is your brother" so of course I assumed he was like all the others, a cousin. P.S. I think visiting my grandparents house only happened once when I was little and then I visited them once I had a driver's license. Also, like you, when I visited my grandparents there were photos of me everywhere. I also learned that my birth father had been given these photos and that my brother knew all about me his whole life. So, it was weird finding out that they knew about me, but I didn't know about them. The picture thing really kind of freaked me out. It was weird later when I met my birth father because I felt so distant from him. He was a stranger to me but he felt like he knew me so well. Although my mother had told me some things about my birth father, there were a lot of assumptions of things I knew. I had always wanted a baby brother and each time I got a sister I was disappointed. When I found out at 14 that I had always had a brother, I was shocked. Like you, even though I met my brother later in life and eventually my birth father, I wasn't super close with them. I have a great family, and I am so thankful for the relationship that my mother and grandmother cultivated, but I still wish that we could have been emotionally closer. Even now, after 30 plus years of relationship with my paternal family, it's just not the same as the relationship with the family I grew up with. I guess that's to be expected since we didn't have those formidable bonding years together. I'm not sure if any of this is helpful, but I just wanted to let you know that you are definitely not alone in your feelings of loss.