May 28, 2010
Brother & Birthday Blessings
© Photographer: Chepko | Agency: Dreamstime.com
I've known my half-brothers since first being reunited in 1990.
I so wish I had known HOW to grow close to them at that time, because it was then they were more open. The relationship was new and exciting, but I was shell-shocked and unprepared, and was scared they didn't really want to know me, even with the clues they gave otherwise.
It is now 20 years later and I am ready to be close, but they don't seem as interested now.
I still try, though, and my youngest brother had a birthday yesterday. We had just seen each other at a family gathering a few days earlier. In person we always seem to hit it off but just don't seem to go any farther with communication or closeness.
Anyway, he had mentioned something about how he wished his life could count for more at his age and even appeared a little discouraged. I took the opportunity to write a him a short email on his birthday about how he is an asset to everyone who knows him because of his sweet personality and character and how I am so glad to know him.
He emailed me right back (unusual) and said how much he appreciated that. He even called me "Sis"! Wow! What a beautiful gift he gave me on HIS birthday!
It reminded me of a few years ago when he had given me the sweetest card on my birthday ~ one for "Sister". My heart melted and still melts. I just so wish we could spend more time together and actually have those every day moments we lost as brother and sister. Lord, help me to keep taking the risks and reach out. Give us these moments of time and closeness.
This goes to show how in reunion we can never give up on building these connections, even through the years. I'm glad I kept trying, even though it was (is) such an emotional rollercoaster. There have been several times I've thought about just giving up.
I am convinced that the emotions of reunion are so deep that it causes everyone involved to do the "two steps forward, one step back" dance their entire lives. Many reunions become casualties because of it. I'm so thankful for books and healing, because it wasn't until I faced my own disenfranchised grief and walked through it, that I could become a real person and actually accept myself.
I'm also profoundly thankful for knowing my beautiful families with all their (and my own) quirks, pain, humanity, and joy. Twenty years of slowly soaking it in has done wonders for me, even through the tears. I know who I am and where I came from.
I think my little brother needed someone to reach out to him and if I could have done that in younger years (instead I was so fearful of rejection that I was a people-pleaser and didn't really let anybody get to know me - probably because I didn't even know myself), my brothers and I could possibly be closer now.
I'm so thankful that adoption and reunion is being explored more and talked about. It will help so many as we navigate these unchartered waters, these overwhelming feelings, and these beautiful opportunities.