First and foremost, let me say this, I was blessed with wonderful siblings! I’m not talking about my biological siblings, I’m talking about my adoptive siblings. We were six in all, with the last four of us being adopted. Although my older sisters remember helping mom care for us, and often remind me that we younger ones were the source of many of their ‘woes’, my memories of childhood center mostly around our parents’ ‘Second Family’- my three brothers. I was a tomboy; I played in the mud-puddles, ‘fished’ from ditches, climbed trees, and played baseball as well as any of them (although I’m sure the eldest would beg to differ with that point). I grew up feisty and could use my fist since we all know that’s how boys so often settle disputes. My brothers (‘the boys’, as we called them) were my constant childhood companions and therefore, great influencers of my behavior.
We were a country bunch, and in retrospect, I think my ever-proper mother must have had a hard time trying to make a lady out of me. By the time I eventually came around, she was ill and had little energy left for the fine-tuning. Therefore, I was the girl who often forgot to zip upon leaving the bathroom, had crookedly buttoned-up blouses, and sometimes forgot to sit cross-legged while wearing skirts. But I had inherited a good smile, I guess, and my dad incorporated humor into our daily lives, which rubbed off. So in spite of my many shortcomings, peers liked me for the most part.
There it is. Two paragraphs dedicated to the greatness of my adoptive siblings. In a nearly-finished book, “Siblings With Which to Share”, I tell much more of their greatness, but I will give this tribute here in case they happen to read this post and are tempted to envy my feelings towards my biological siblings. There is nothing to compete with. I love them, one and all.
Upon finding my mother, I found a large extended family: aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews- too many to count. Every time I ponder this point, I am reminded of the day I told a pastor’s wife of my adoption. She was an endless fountain of optimism, and true to her nature, her reply to the news was, “Oh! How wonderful!! You have another whole family to pray for!” I was shocked by the realization that I had never thought of it that way. From then on, I prayed for my “invisible family out there somewhere”. That was ten to fifteen years before I found my biological mother.
Now having found her, I’m reminded again of how I had prayed for them. The best surprise of all was their joy that I had found them. This was evident from the start, and over time, they shared with me their own feelings and actions regarding the knowledge of a big sister ‘out there somewhere’.
Most delightful of all is the fact that my mother did not keep my existence a secret from them. At certain ages, she let them know the truth. When I came back into her life, all she could think of was to ‘show me off’- and that was before she even had one good look at me. She didn’t care if toilet paper was stuck to my shoe, if my buttons were buttoned cock-eyed, or if one sock was up and the other down. She just did not care. And guess what? Neither did they. In upcoming posts, I will share more about my half-brother and sister and a few others I came to know.
Photo Credit: Flickr
Current posts tell the chronological story of Cindy’s search. (Names, places changed for family privacy.) Get up to date by clicking here, then read the posts in order, beginning at the bottom of the page. It is the author’s hope that readers find encouragement, inspiration and knowledge for their own journey.