Many of you may not know that my husband, Joe, is adopted. His birth mom died unexpectedly when he was only 11 months old and her sister, Carol and Carol's husband, Chuckie took Joe and his brother, Sean (4 at the time) as their own. At the time, they had three of their own children under five years old(Sam, Rhiannon, and April) and Carol was pregnant with their fourth child, Paulette. Youngest brother, Luke, came a couple years later, bringing the grand total to seven kids.
Paulette never knew her life without her 'adopted' siblings, so to her, they were no different than her biological siblings. Their parents treated and loved all of the children the same. When we told her that we were adopting Jackson, she was very excited, as was the rest of the family, and woke up one morning with something on her heart that she needed to share.
This is her account of what it was like growing up in a family with adopted siblings.
And please forgive me for the upside down pictures, photobucket is just not my friend today. :)
I would like to share my story about how adoption changed my life and why I think
it is so important. Although it is amazing to give a child a better life then they my have, you may also be giving your child a best friend for life; someone who protects you and looks out for you, someone who has your back no matter what. Let me tell you about my adopted brother. I have four brothers, only one which is fully biological, I can sit here and explain how, but that is so unimportant to me. I adore all of them. The only difference between them is how they were brought on this earth. They were loved the same, cared for the same and brought into my family even before I was.
My brother, Joseph, used to check on me all the time. When I got my first heartbreak he drove all around town and found me and asked me to get in his car. He wanted to make sure that I was ok. This is something he did on every occassion that I can remember having a hard time. He made me laugh so hard until I cried. He would tell me if he felt I was hanging around the wrong people and try to steer me in the right direction. Of course I would roll my eyes and pretend I thought he was wrong, but the truth is that I respected him, so I would listen and he was usually right. I was a pretty annoying teenager.(lol) I would walk around our house singing extremely loud all the time. Instead of him screaming at me, like all of my other siblings, (haha) he would make a beat on the drums for me. How many older brother do you know that let their younger sister hang out with them and their friends? I love all of my siblings, but sometimes it's hard to find your place in such a big family, especially as a young adult.
The hardest time of our lives was losing our mother. She was the most amazing woman we knew, always helping other people. She loved everyone and showed us a tremedous amount of unconditional love. Now at any age it is hard to lose your mother, but at the young age that we were was very confusing. We were still trying to find ourselves. Somehow, Joseph always had a way of checking on me when I needed him most. I did not even have to call. This is someone who lost both of his mothers and he was worried about us. This really made me realize what an awesome job our parents did raising all of us. To have such a strong bond and affection for each other.
I am so happy the he and Bianca are adopting now. I am anxious to see how Jackson affects their family and hear all of their storie because I am sure my parents had so many stories to tell with that many children.(lol) Now I am sure I had plenty of fights with my brother, but honestly I can not tell you any because I only remember the good times. I remember having someone who did not judge me for my faults. Someone who made me laugh and feel like I fit in. I could not picture my life any differently. I actually might have had a harder time as a teenager. My parents gave me a best friend and a brother. I know that Bianca and Joe will bring the same joy and happiness to their children by adopting.
Joe and Paulette as teens
1/2 of the siblings -- We were in Boston, MA for Linden's 2nd heart surgery [that she didn't have to have.]
Joe (holding Linden), Me (Bianca), Luke, Paulette and Rhiannon at Fenway Park