We're very lucky as our family is very close and we do a lot together. It's funny though, because we're all so different! I think maybe that's what makes it so fun to get together!
Looking in at our Easter dinner, you would think that we were just an average family. You'd see my mom and dad, sitting together and talking. You'd see my grandma taking it all in enjoying the time with everyone. You'd see a bunch of children running around laughing and playing, and maybe a fight here and there between the little ones. You'd see husbands and wives, brothers and sisters. A picture of an average family. But what you wouldn't see, by looking in, would be the little quirks that make our family different. You wouldn't know that one of my brothers is adopted. You wouldn't know that one of the people missing at the family dinner, was my other adopted brother. You wouldn't know that one of my brothers has special needs. You wouldn't know the trials, fears, accomplishments and achievements that our family has gone through that has made us who we are today.
Adoption has been a huge part of our family and I strongly believe that it has played an integral role in the person that I am today. My parents raised foster children in our home as we grew up. Two of those foster children became my brothers! They have been with our family since they were one and two and I couldn't imagine a life without them. They have brought so much to our family. They have taught me how to be empathetic and sympathetic. They have taught me to be patient and understanding. They have taught me the power of love and prayer. They have shown me what it means to struggle and conquer and they have shown me the meaning of excelling in situations where it may seem impossible. I won't get into the details of their childhood before they became a part of our lives, but every day that I see them, they amaze me. My one brother, who was missing at our dinner, would maybe not seem successful or lovable or special, to the outside world. He may look haggard, dirty, unkempt. But looking beyond that, he is an individual who has been making it on his own for a very long time. He is someone who has survived living on the streets, has held down jobs to pay his rent once he found a place to live. A person who is kind to his nieces and nephews. A person who has beaten the odds and has made it. It may not be the vision of success that modern society expects of someone but he is definitely a success in my eyes.
My other adopted brother, lives at home with my parents. He contributes to the family and is wonderful with my kids. He too, has beaten the odds and made it! His passion in life is swimming and he has done so well with it! Last year, he was chosen to go to Athens, Greece to participate in the World Championships for the Special Olympics! Amazing!!! What an amazing accomplishment. He worked so hard and was rewarded with the incredible opportunity to compete in Athens. Our family was thrilled to say the least. What was even more incredible though, was that he competed and won! He came home from Greece with two gold medals and a silver!!
|Wating at the airport to pick him up!|
|The kids made signs to welcome him home from Greece!|
|Showing off his medals when he got off the plane!|
Growing up, there were many tough situations that involved trying to teach them right from wrong. My parents worked tirelessly to raise them to be contributing members of society. There were many bumps along the way; for all of us. As you look through the window of any family, try and look beyond the four walls and try and see what the family is really like. Get to know their stories, as every family has one. Every family is just an average family, with a few tales of their own.