Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I have five sisters and three brothers. I love them each in their own way – even the ones I met just last year. My two oldest sisters have been in my life since the day our parents adopted me. The other three sisters and my brothers I met after a long search to find our parents – my biological parents. I'd never let myself think much about having siblings as it was just too hard. Finding out I had six was unbelievable.
My relationships with each one is unique. Never having a brother I was excited to learn I had three. Only one greeted me with open arms. It's difficult to describe the feeling of being rejected by someone, but I know it isn’t because of me. And, after receiving emails from bio dad's sons, I have a better understanding as to why they choose to not have a relationship with me.
My kids and I were able to meet bio dad's youngest son, Shawn, and he was cordial. Ryan on the other hand was in Iraq when I found bio dad and he thought the news about me was a clever April Fool's Day joke. Surprise! I sent Ryan a few messages through MySpace and received one back. It wasn't easy reading the words he wrote. He wasn't mean or malicious, just straight forward.
Not all biological siblings are comfortable with reunions and I knew that. Even after getting his message I tried a few more times to contact him. I realized I was being selfish. I had to step back and stop trying to make this person like me; after all I was a stranger to him. I've since left him alone but made sure he knows that if he ever changes his mind, I'll be right here.
Since you're not in my shoes you may not understand the rest of this post. Even though I've never met Ryan, I'm still very proud of him. He's in the Marines fighting for the freedom American's are proud to have. His mom and bio dad keep me updated on where he is and how he is doing. While he was in Iraq, I prayed for him to come home safely and was so relieved when he did!
I know you're probably thinking I'm insane. How could I care so much about someone I don’t even know? I don't know how to answer that. Blood is thicker than water? The bottom line is that we are related. Biologically, he is my brother. Because of that simple fact, I not only care about him, but part of me loves him, too.
Joining the military is not an easy decision. It's a demanding, extremely difficult and dangerous job. But my brother does it.
To Ryan, I'm just a stranger. To me… I’m a damn proud big sister.
Ooh-rah little brother.