my mind is literally spinning because i'm so excited and inspired about this post.
i just set myself up for huge failure there. because it could turn out to be just so-so. but then again, i never promised amazing-ness...just excited-ness. on my part. bear with me.
here's my train of thought:
1. i wandered over to where Bridget lives and discovered that she is guest-blogging today at My Spoiled Eggs
2. so i wandered over to My Spoiled Eggs and discovered Ashlee. she is a newlywed (you can still be a newlywed after 3 years...right? i think so.) struggling--in a deliciously honest way, i might add--with infertility. and she's having a giveaway involving items from Anthropologie. i. die.
3. so obviously i read the requirements for entering this giveaway and tried to do as many of them as possible. goal being: get Anthro stuff.
4. but then i noticed that one of the ways to enter was to post about being an adoptive mom, or an adopted kid...or something of the sort. and i still don't know if i qualify in Ashlee's eyes for this category, but I realized that this is something that my blogosphere friends just might not know about me:
i am an adoptive sister.
5. and now i find myself inspired to blog about my sibbies. you've seen them around my blog once or twice before...maybe just once. here.
here's the story. the long version. buckle up.
my parents were missionaries in Brazil when i was born. (i was born in Brazil. can't you tell?) and some of the work they did while they were there was with an orphanage. there was this baby. named Baby Debora. and she had been mistreated. and malnourished. and fortunately, this was around the time when my brother (remember him?) was just a wee little tyke, nursing all the time. so my mom basically wet-nursed this baby. sweet, but also a little gross. if you don't think so, that's okay. but i digress. so due to the wet-nursing, Debora grew and thrived. and my parents wanted to adopt her. but the court system ended up sending her back to live with her family...
who had mistreated her in the first place.
but a dream was born. my parents decided at that point, that they had two kids...and wanted more...but there were so many babies out there that needed families. so they would adopt.
well, adoption is a very expensive process. and when we got back to the U.S. (i was age 3 at the time), we were literally eating Cheerios 3 meals a day.
so it took a few years for my family to be ready.
fast forward to 1994. the loooong, drawn-out adoption approval process is completed. i am now age 10, and BEYOND excited, because my parents are at the hospital, picking up my new baby sister. or as i preferred to think of her, my live baby doll. Anna Lia (we call her Annie) was born 3-15-1994...and came home from the hospital with us. i don't have any baby pics of her with me here in Tejas, but here's one from the vault.
|Annie...nana-bird, for short. or long.|
who wouldn't be hooked on adoption after that sweet face? she kind of crazily looks a lot like me. which is really weird, if you knew the whole story. but since she's 16 now, that's her story to tell...and not mine. so you'll just have to die of curiosity. or meet her someday and ask her.
but enough suspense. a year and a half later, we were ready to adopt again.
**digression: i know i keep using the term "we"...which may seem odd to you, since obviously, at the age of 10, i was not actually a part of the process in making these adoptions happen. but this is how my family did it. it was a joint decision. we had many discussions as a family of four that got us to the point where we were ALL ready. many of them hilarious. for example, my family decided that we wanted to adopt black or biracial children. at one point, when my brother was probably about 7, we were discussing this at the dinner table and he burst out..."but the kids at school are gonna laugh at me if i show up with a brother who has bones in his nose!!" he was picturing African bush children a la National Geographic. we had a good laugh about this, then corrected his misconceptions, and we were all back on track. end digression.**
so, meet Jesse.
again, no baby pictures. sorry.
Jesse Daniel was born 9/1/1995, but he didn't actually come home until 1/25/1996. he's the special one who didn't come home super close to his actual birthday, so my family celebrates Adoption Day every year, on January 25th. there's cake. and candles. and everyone who is adopted gets celebrated. it's awesome.
i think my parents had actually only envisioned adopting twice, but we all still felt like there was still a hole in the family. a hole that could only be filled by Abby. so 3 years later, there we were again.
|so proud of her Thanksgiving turkey.|
Abby Noel was born 5-8-1999. she was named "Noel" because my mom said "it felt like Christmas" when she came home. if you can't tell from this picture, she is the spunkiest, sweetest little chica who still loves to play with babies and doesn't let ANYBODY tell her what to do.
i know this is a long post, but honestly, i'm just scratching the surface of their adoption stories. each one of their stories has so many details and nuances that could only have been orchestrated by God himself. details that i feel so privileged and honored to have been old enough to actually remember. everytime i go home to see my fam, at some point, usually after we've eaten a huge, delicious meal cooking by Mama and we can't move, we lie around and somebody asks to have me tell their adoption story. which usually ends up in me telling all three. but i love it.
being an adoptive sister has been one of the most formative roles i have played...and by formative, i mean that i have been formed by it. i can't imagine life without any one of these precious creatures. being their sister has helped make me who i am today, and i am so thankful for each one of them.
|Jesse will probably kill me for putting this on the interweb.|
|And she still loves kitties. To this day.|
you can refer back to the beginning of this post for the link to the most recent family picture to date, taken in October. a few things have changed.
i hope you have enjoyed this long-winded recap of how my family came to be the way it is today.
if not, oh well.
i'll leave you with this thought, one that has always seemed to be written for situations such as these:
"God sets the lonely in families..."