Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Basic Need

*cracks open blog and looks around*

Hmm...not much going on around here, is there?

*Runs finger over header and discovers an inch of virtual dust*

I've been a bit negligent lately, haven't I?

*Glances at out of date links to the right*

Make that very negligent.

I'm not sure how to do this anymore.  But, since no one's around, I guess it doesn't really matter much. Maybe I'll just hang out a little and chat with myself.  See what happens.

Something very important happened last week.  Maria, one of the most amazing women I know, and her family adopted a little boy. 

It sounds so simple summed up in so few words.  They adopted a little boy.  But I assure you, there was nothing simple about it.  It's Maria's story to tell, and I hope that one day she'll dust off her blog and share some of the story.  But what I will share is that they brought home a teeny tiny little baby when he was just a few days old, fell deeply in love with him, and then had to wait for over a year to complete the process that would make "The Best Baby Ever" their own little boy.

To commemorate the adoption, they had a celebration party which Laura was able to attend and photograph.  Her post about it is entitled The Luckiest Kid Ever. Please take a minute to go there and see the pictures of Ned and his super sweet family.  Aren't they just the sweetest pictures ever?  And the best part is that I've met them, and they are even more awesome than they look.

What's funny about Laura's post is that I had a similar response to Ned's adoption being finalized. But, the luckiest kid ever in my mind, is myself.  You see, I have an adopted brother.  He's the oldest of the three of us, and like Ned, my parents brought him home when he was only a few days old. Eric has always been my big brother and I've always been his baby sister.  I've never known life without him, and I wouldn't want to.  He has always made me laugh, listened to my concerns, supported my every goal, and always had my back.  I could not ask for a kinder, more caring brother.

But, I have a confession to make.  When I was little, I sometimes worried that Eric's biological mom would show up and want to take him back.  I just could not understand how anyone could ever give up such a wonderful person.  I was just a child and could not grasp the realities surrounding a woman's choice to put her child up for adoption.  It seemed so simple to my young mind.  Eric was such an amazing, kind hearted, creative, funny little boy that I figured his mom would ache for him so badly that she would have to track him down and make him hers again. How could she not?

I never voiced this concern to my parents, so they never had the chance to explain to me that even if she did show up, no one could take Eric away from us. It was just something that lived in the back of my mind.  It was never a huge anxiety, just a low level anxiety that was always there.  A constant tension.  A threat that maybe someday, out of the blue, someone would take my big brother away.

It seems silly now, looking back on it, but it wasn't silly then.  And the anxiety from those days still makes it impossible for me to watch or read any stories that involve a birth mother battling for her biological child.  I just cannot handle it.  No matter what it will always come back to the very simple fact that ERIC IS MY BROTHER. He always has been, and he always will be.  Do not question that fact because I cannot deal with it.

Once Maria got the final court date set for Ned's adoption, she started a beautiful countdown on twitter.  Everyday she had a picture of people who love Maria and Ned and their family showing the number of days left until Ned was legally theirs.  It was exciting and touching the way we all got to share in the final stretch of their journey.

But for me, that countdown started the moment I knew Maria had met Ned.  Because I knew that no matter what the courts said, Ned was their little boy.  He belongs with them.  And I also knew there were many obstacles in the way of making that official.  And just as I worried about someone showing up and taking my brother away, I worried that something would happen and the courts would take Ned away.  And while in my situation, it never really was a possibility, in Maria's case, it was.

So, for the past year I've held that tension, that fear.  I've held my breath at every step of the process.  And at times I probably failed to be as supportive to Maria as I would have liked because I didn't want to turn into a blubbering  mess in front of her and stress her out more. 

When Maria finally posted the pictures last week showing the judge who sealed the deal and Ned's adorable face, I cried.  I cried tears of joy and tears of relief.  And then, I called my brother up and told him just how lucky I was to have him in my life. 

I am so elated for Maria and her family.  They are truly blessed to have such a wonderful little boy in their family, and he is blessed to have such great parents and caring and funny big sisters.  I'm also truly relived for them now that this process is over.  I hope that they can finally relax and breathe knowing that Ned is home for good.