This month is National Adoption Month. There have been so many beautiful posts and pictures about parents and children becoming families. All of the posts that I’ve seen are by parents. For the concluding day of Adoption Month, I thought I might add a siblings point of view with you all. (though now I’ve realized this will be super long, and not done in one post…)
I had a great childhood. I was the fourth child in my family, and the only girl. Ever the charmer, I stole my daddy’s heart and enjoyed the perks of being the only princess.
I can still remember my dad calling my mom, asking about a baby at the hospital. My ever-listening ears heard words like “little girl” and “no family” and “very sick”. My mind raced with these words: “could I have a sister?” “I love babies!” “I know we can find just the right spot for her in the house.” My mom tried to head me off, telling me how sick she was, and that she was going to die. That didn’t stop me, and I sat on her feet, begging for a sister.
This was the first time my little heart would break over a hurting baby. The thought of a baby being left alone was more than my head could comprehend.
Growing up in a two-girl house had its fair share of challenges. Bonding was not one of them. Hope merged into our family beautifully. It seems that she’s always been here. She taught me how to share, to accept being wrong, to enjoy every moment that life brings, and to never turn a heart baby upside down. 😉
My life would be pretty normal for a long time. When I turned 12 , my parents gave me another sister, biologically, this time. Grace was the sweetest baby and -being 12- I was allowed to hold her much more often that 6 year old me was allowed to hold Hope. (And I don’t blame them!)
Around the time I started college, my parents started talking about adopting again. My parents included us all in the conversations, because it would affect us all. I rememeber thinking, “more babies? How much could that really affect me?”
Boy, how wrong I was.
We first got matched with Maisey, and the girl count upped to three. Her little face stole my heart, instantly. After her, we were matched with Ben. This was new territory, as the first little brother. I was expecting my parents to go to China, come back, and our family would go back to normal. I was not expecting my heart to be broken again, and more severely.
We expected Maisey to be deaf, so I was anticipating a scared little girl when she came home. Instead, we got a kiddo who could hear quite a bit, caught on to signs crazy fast, and adjusted to loving pretty darn quickly.
What I didn’t anticipate was Ben.
When Ben came home, he was so scared. He hid food everywhere- floor vents, toy cars, bookshelves, pillowcases- because he was so scared that there wouldn’t be any food. He had never had a momma to give him snacks, or a sister to sneak him candy, or a fridge that was always stocked. It completely broke me to watch him. How could a toddler understand what it means to not have food? To be alone?
Ben taught me the importance of connection, family and love. He showed me how vital it is to have connections early on in life, and how necessary it is to go back and rebuild the connections when they aren’t there.
To be continued…