I thought of several ways to start this, but considering it is Adoption Awareness month, I believe I will start there.
I found Patrick’s birth certificate Saturday while reorganizing some files. After a recent conversation I had with another adoptive mother, I looked a little closer at the details and once again loved seeing mine and my husband’s name on the father and mother lines, just as if they came from my tummy. I figured it up again and I was thirty-four years old when Patrick was born and thirty-six when Zachary was born (they are seventeen months apart). Part of me felt like I was the oldest mother ever, yet another part felt young again, almost like life was starting over.
Many ask if we knew they were “special needs” when we got them and though we knew there were some challenges when they were born, sincerely believed everything would just be ok…….and you know what? It was..and is.
Speaking of the “specials”, Patrick also turned eighteen years old this month. The school system has talked of this day many times to where I was wondering if there was some major change going to happen as soon as he turned that age. Guardianship, attorneys, medical power-of-attorney, SSi and many other daunting words have been a part of ARD meetings for the last two years.
After a bit of panic as the date approached, I then realized that the “normals” that I know don’t move out at eighteen years old, yes, I realize there are some changes that we have not encountered as of yet, but it is not like they are going to be out of the house on their own as soon as they turn eighteen. Ken and I both lived at home during college time until we were married.
I realize my family and even my community of people are not inclusive of everyone and perhaps there are families that turn their kids out of the house as soon as they turn eighteen. I am aware different family situations can be a factor and I also realize there is an age that a person needs to be on their own and learning how to provide, but eighteen is not that age.
So, now to combine my adoption and “special” theme, I also want to share one more item with you. If you are on my Facebook or Instagram, you have most likely already seen this, but for those who may just check out this blog or did not see it, here’s a bit more extensive back story.
My two boys have the same birth parents and we have told them from the beginning that they are blood brothers. I sometimes wonder if Patrick made a special protective bond with Zachary, even as a seventeen month old, due to the loss they both experienced even if they were really too young to realize it. We have also told Patrick for years that he was the big brother and he needed to protect his brother, especially since his brain did not work as well as other people.
That’s probably a tall order for one who also struggles with some “normalcy patterns”, however, Patrick does use reasoning in dealing with Zach (most of the time)
Zachary adores Patrick and as long as he is around, feels safe (if Mom and Dad are gone). Yes they fight and argue, but if one is missing, the other is concerned. I will admit I do not understand sibling bonds, but these two are tight.
Zachary had to present a speech in his Drama (with the normals) class, which he has just started this semester and even got in the class late in the year. His teacher told me he had to perform his speech from memory and she brought his whole class down to hear him. She also wrote it down for me and sent it home so we too could read it. (Don’t you love those kind of teachers?!)
“Patrick is my brother and we love to play video games. Our favorite game is Lego Movie on XBox. We also like to watch Paw Patrol. We eat honeybuns and Mac and Cheese. Patrick is my big brother and I love him. He makes my life better because he’s my best friend. He makes me smile. It makes me excited because I know that I am going to have fun when he is around. I know that Patrick will be my best friend throughout our lives.”
Patrick’s reaction, “I don’t like Paw Patrol!”
As I said before, I do not know a sibling love, but I do know the ultimate Giver of love everlasting, in fact He created it and showed it like no other ever. I hope you know Him too! #JehovahGod #JesusChrist #HolySpirit #threeinone
Love to all,