The very first time I saw my brother Robby. I don’t even need to explain the excitement I felt…you can see it all over my 12 year old face! Aren’t you loving the outfit, the perm, and those bangs?!
*Robby was just one day old. I had waited my whole life to finally have a sibling and here he was!*
The road to being a big sister was long and hard for me (and SO much harder for my parents). My first little brother, Lyle was born when I was 8 years old. Tragically, he lived only a few hours. After so much excitement about getting to have a brother, it was heartbreaking to have to say goodbye before we ever got a chance to be brother and sister. It was devastating for 8 year old me to see my parents so sad. All of this heartache made the day that Robby came home so much more wonderful.
The first day he was home (at just 1 day old), I wanted him to sleep in his bassinet in my room. I promised my mom I would wake up when he cried. I was 12. I didn’t wake up. I’m sure my mom knew I wouldn’t. The next morning he was magically gone from my room.
*Aren’t you loving the bangs!*
The story of how Robby came to be part of our family is such a wonderful one. He’s the reason that from the time I was a teenager I knew that I would adopt one day. He’s the reason that I told my mother-in-law when I was just 21 that I wanted my first child to be adopted so that they would know that they were just as wanted as any biological children I would have. I think she thought I was a little bit crazy. Years later (after some twists and turns through infertility) it turns out that I was right all along…my first child (and probably all of my children) will be adopted.
*At the courthouse the day Robby’s adoption was finalized*
Robby’s adoption was amazing in many ways. The same week that my parents signed up with an adoption agency after coming to terms with their own infertility, Robby’s birthmom called my mom to tell her that she was pregnant. Robby’s birthmom is my aunt’s best friend from childhood. She grew up knowing my mom’s family. My aunt had told her my parents were pursuing adoption. Only God could have orchestrated the timing of my parents deciding to adopt at the same time that Robby’s birthmom was deciding to place her baby for adoption.
Soon after Robby was born, I remember writing to Robby’s birthmom (I sure hope I sent it to her!). I remember thanking her for making me a sister. And more than that, for the joy and happiness she brought to my parents with the gift of Robby.
Robby’s adoption is open. His whole life he has had a relationship with his birthmom as well as his other siblings. Robby has a brother and two other sisters. In fact, from the time he could talk he knew that he knew that he was adopted.
Robby was 3, I was 15. Just a couple weeks after this picture was taken Robby would go from being a perfectly healthy boy to fighting the battle of his life. He spent two months in the ICU and had 15 surgeries. This was the hardest time for our family, but Robby fought hard and survived. The first time he left the hospital was to go across the street to the hospital housing for Thanksgiving dinner prepackaged from the grocery store. We were so thankful that he was home before Christmas.
*My love of cake decorating started with making Robby’s birthday cakes every year*
*That cute little boy broke that light saber in half hitting me in the leg-Little bully*
*Camo Robby…blends right in with the couch!*
*Valentine’s Day 2002-My Senior year of High School-Robby’s Kindergarten year of Elementary School*
*My wedding day-Robby the ring bearer and my twin cousin flower girls*
*Robby and Craig after slip-n-sliding in the rain*
One of the reasons I knew that Craig was the one was because of Robby. Robby has always loved Craig. In fact, when Robby did a project for school where he had to name his hero, he chose Craig! Craig and my current journey through adoption would not be the same if it had not been for Robby. Robby’s adoption opened my heart and mind to adoption from such a young age. Growing up in a household where I had no blood relation to my brother or my stepfather taught me that a family isn’t built from blood, but from love.