National Adoption Awareness Month ~ Day 6: Captain Knuckle and the Curious Case of the Missing Sister

Dear Ms. Feverfew –

Today your little brother turns 14 years old.  I only use “little” in the most general of terms since he is nearly 6′ tall and is starting to fill out with what he proudly calls his “man muscles.” In spite of his newly sprouting mustache (of which he is equally proud) and the deepening of his voice to a mellow chocolate sound, he is still my baby boy. His heart is still as tender and his spirit just as precious as it was when he was a tiny baby.  Even though he is nearly 6′ tall teenager, he will still let me put my arm around him and give him a kiss on the cheek in public.  And I do. Frequently.

His birth made me a mother for the second time. His birth brought a measure of healing to me. His birth re-awakened within me the knowledge that I am a capable, competent mother. His given name means “gift of God” and that is what he has been to me every day of his life.  I treasure the fact that I have been lucky enough to be a mother to this incredible human being.

Unfortunately, adoption has robbed him of you. Ever since “celebrating” his own version of adoption awareness when I told him of you, he has always wondered if you would ever get to meet.  A few years ago, when he was still small enough to fit on my lap, he climbed up and gazed into my eyes with his blue-green ones and plaintively asked, “Mom. Do you think my sister will like me?” When I told him that yes, he was inherently lovable and you would be crazy about him, he wrapped his pudgy arms around my neck, put his cherub cheek next to mine and said, “Good. Because I know I will like her because she is my sister.”

Out of all the sorrows in my life, this is my greatest: That your two brothers and your sister will most likely never know you. Even if they do, the chances are fairly high that they will be the “others” in your life, the less than, the not quite.  Not only will they always be your not quite siblings, but I did this to them. My foolish, trusting, believing heart that thought I was doing what was right and good has severed not only my ties with you but theirs as well, all in the name of love.

Little Penelope is calling for me – I guess I should go rejoin the world.  I just want you to know that there is a young man who is longing to meet you, just as much as I am.

Much love,

M.

They Told Me I Would Have Other Children

Dear Ms. Feverfew –

Yesterday, the Professor came into my bedroom where I was dressing Princess P. for church.  He climbed up on the bed and put his little nose up to hers and declared, “Mom, this is the most beautiful sister ever!”  She squealed with delight, he stroked her chubby cheeks, kissed her downy head and then skipped merrily down the hall, leaving me breathless.

The Professor loves his sister. I know he loves his older brother, but he gets all mushy and soft over Princess P. How on earth am I ever going to tell him about you? Captain Knuckle was told as a matter of necessity when he was five.  He has handled it much like he has the other hard things in his life – with great maturity and resiliency.

But the Professor…I don’t know how to tell him he has another sister that doesn’t live with us. I don’t know how I could answer the questions and sadness that will certainly shade his luscious brown eyes.

They told me I would have other children….they just didn’t warn me of soul-deep sorrow that would gnaw on my bones. They told me I would have other children….they just didn’t tell me how to explain to them that I gave away their older sister to strangers.  They told me I would have other children….they just didn’t tell me how to answer the question, “If you gave her away, will you give me away too? I don’t want  live with anyone but you Mommy.”

With much love –

M.