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Saturday, October 05, 2013

My Big Brother

My post this morning was inspired by the picture below.

I post this because my big brother was given up for adoption.  I'd known about him since I was 10 but I didn't get to meet him until we were both in our 30's, after my dad died, and my mother decided to try to look for the son she'd given up for adoption.

The internet had made it easy.  My younger sister showed my mother how to find sites and how to sign up on them.  Neither one of us expected much to happen.  It was back in the early 60's.  He might never have been told he was adopted, he could be, God Forbid, dead after saving kittens from a burning building.  We had no idea, but we were nothing close to hopeful.  We were stupid.

My brother had been looking for his birth mother for years online.  He had given up hope as well.  He was going to various sites he'd signed up on and was removing his search.  Then he got an email as he was dismantling a profile.  He had a hit.  In all the time he'd been search he'd never gotten a hit.  Not once.  My mother called both me and my sister to tell me.  They exchanged emails, figured out they were both who the other was looking for and surprise of surprises, he wanted to come down and meet her.

I can tell you, I was nervous as a whore in church.  I had horrible visions of some scam artist coming down to Texas to take advantage of a grieving widow, or wanting money for some pie in the sky plan.  That's where my mind goes to because I've seen to much of it to pretend it doesn't happen more often than not.  But my mother was giddy the day my sister drove her down to Austin to pick my brother up.  They got to my house, where my mother was living at the time shortly after I got home from work.  A very tall, dark haired, dark eyed man rushed up and gave me a bear hug and it was like we'd been raised together our entire lives.  Jim completely clicked with us, fit right in and was very much the piece that had been missing.  We even had the same 'in' jokes.  And, my mother couldn't deny him or my sister if she tried.  Evidently my DNA wash worked.

To many people he is my half-brother.  I don't see it and don't care.  My sperm donor had more kids with his second wife and I adore them more than they will ever know.  They are mine, full siblings be damned.  They are all younger than I... so I have one big brother.  He's the only one I will ever have and I love him with my heart.  I want other people to have the chance to know their brothers or sisters if there is that chance.  Not everybody has the wonderful experience I did.  I have a cousin who was adopted and met his birth family a few years back.  It was not en edifying experience, but I think he might have been denied touch as an infant as he never did really connect or bond with other people.

But if both mother and child or in some cases the father, too, want to find each other, I will help in what small ways I can.  I can't imagine a greater hell than knowing you have a child out in the world and not know how they are, what they are doing, if they are safe and no way to find out.  I lived that hell for three tours in Iraq with my boys, but at least I knew I'd get emails, phone calls, and the last tour, IMs almost daily.  My bosses were great in letting me take calls and being online talking to him for the few minutes he got.

So anytime I see a picture with someone looking for a mother/father/child, I pass it along.  I know a lot of people all over the world and there is the hope that they might pass it along and eventually it will get to someone who knows something and might be able to help.  It's my way of saying thank you to a Universe who saw fit to give me a Big Brother who always calls me Jan, since now I'm the middle sister.  I guess that makes him Marsha.

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