It's a little ironic that I'm publishing this post as, this morning, I'm flying to Saskatoon with the kids to see my parents. "Ironic" because Saskatoon is where I grew up as the oldest of four children, yet most people who get to know me later in life, think I'm an only child. And honestly, most of the time, I feel like one.
All four of us kids were adopted. I was six days old and I was quite fortunate. My birth mother took care of herself during her pregnancy with me, and as far as I know, I have no ill effects. My siblings were not so lucky, especially the younger two.
My brother, Jason, is a year younger than me. He and I were close as kids but have grown apart. He lives about eight to ten hours away from my parents, and I haven't seen him since Sam was a year old. I'm Facebook friends with my sister-in-law and we send each other money for gifts for the kids but that's about all the contact we have. My parents have also only seen them a handful of times in the past few years.
My sister, Wendy, is two years younger than me. We adopted her, and her brother Chris, when she was almost six years old. It's hard to adopt an older child, especially one who has major trust issues. It was a turbulent ten years and then she ran away from home when she was fifteen and a half. I've only seen her about twice since then, and that was twenty five years ago. My parents do have some contact with her, however.
My brother, Chris, is five years younger than me. He was almost three when he was adopted. A lot happens in a child's life by the time they've turned three, and for better or worse, it shapes who they are and how they interact with the world. I've only seen Chris twice since Dave and I started dating almost nine years ago.
So, technically, I have three younger siblings. Practically, that doesn't mean all that much in my life.
In February, I wrote a post about my relationship with Janice, Tim, Tessa, and Willem. Whenever I start to feel sad about the realities of the relationships with my siblings, I just remember that, sometimes, brothers and sisters are those people we choose for ourselves.