Your biological dad, C, has two adopted siblings. He’s the oldest – he has a younger sister and a younger brother, both of whom were adopted by his parents. When C and I dated, I got to know his siblings pretty well. They’re both great kids – actually, C is about six years older than his little brother, just like you and Sports Man.
After I had been working with my adoption agency for a while, Bethany Christian Services, they had me go through “prospective family profiles.” Moms and dads who were looking for a little one to bring home would put together “books” that would tell birthmothers a little bit about themselves. The B’s had the coolest book by far (I still have it), but one of the many reasons I chose them was actually your big brother, Sports Man.
When I was first considering adoption, I thought that if I went through with it, I wanted you to go to a family that had no kids. I thought that a couple without kids would appreciate you more since you’d be their “first.”
But then one day, my dad – you call him Pop-Pop 3 – made an offhanded comment about couples who already had a child. He said, “If a couple already has a child and he or she is still alive, I’d say that’s a pretty good track record.” I found it humorous, but the more I thought about it, the more truth I found in it.
I always wished I’d had a sibling. I thought it would be fun to grow up with someone, to have someone to share secrets with or play games with, someone who would always stick up for you and have your back, someone who would never judge you too harshly, who would always be there for you – I thought it would be like having a built-in best friend. Of course, never actually having a sibling, my idea of one is rather idealized; I know siblings get annoyed with one another and fight and call each other names. But I figured the days when you’re each other’s best friend would make the rest of it worth it.
I picked The B’s to be your family for many other reasons that I’ll tell you about some day, but the fact that you would have a big brother was definitely one of them. It was comforting for me to know that you would always have a playmate, a “partner in crime,” someone a little closer to your age who could teach you the fun stuff about being a kid. And if anyone knows about fun kid stuff, it’s Sports Man.
Sports Man has his name for a reason – he is a sports encyclopedia. He knows stats for every NFL or NBA team. He knows who plays what positions now, who played them in the past, how many winning seasons each team has, how tall every NBA player is, how many yards every NFL player has, the history of Super Bowl wins…I am astounded by his intellect most of the time. Maybe even a little intimidated. We met him when he was six and now at eight years old, he’s only gotten cooler. He loves to play games and learn things, and most of all, he loves to do those things with you.
And he was so, so excited to get you as a younger brother. J and E told me all about how, before he even knew about you, he would go on and on about the things he wanted to teach his little brother or sister, or the games he would play with him or her when he finally got a younger sibling. The same August your adoption became official, Sports Man had to go back to school and he cried on his first day because he didn’t want to leave you. So on the days that you two fight or get annoyed with each other, just remember – you were a dream come true to him.
And even more than that, Sports Man was a dream come true for me. It made me feel like I could truly give you absolutely everything by placing you with The B’s. As if J and E weren’t blessing enough, I got to give you something I never had. And Sports Man is a gift to me because he is a gift to you – you love him to pieces. You follow him around and play with his toys and you want to do the things he does. Sometimes, he is the only one who can make you smile. I’ve seen him make you laugh when you’re in the middle of crying. He loves you and you love him and one day, I hope that you’ll be the closest of friends. Grown men who come home for Thanksgiving and joke about the “younger days.”
And not only that but I got siblings out of this deal too. I got a brother in E, and I finally got the sister I’d always wanted in J. While I may not have grown up with them, I tell my secrets to J. We go shopping together and go to lunch together and talk about the future together. She is on my speed dial and we talk frequently in between visits. I swap music with E. We have our morning routine of coffee and chit chat whenever I come to your house for a weekend. He send me cute, e-mail videos of you. I share stories and joy and laughter with both of them. I love them and they, like you, are my gift.
I suppose this means that Pop-Pop 3 does have some wisdom in him after all ;)