Gary tickling Ariana
Family is precious to me, both my family and the one I was born into. Unfortunately, while I do come from a large family (I am the youngest of six), we are not close. That is a fact that grieves me deeply.
However, they have taught me some important life lessons. For instance, being blood related means nothing; connection is still a choice. Relationships take work to build regardless of how they are formed, and actions will always speak louder then words.
Those lessons took on a whole new meaning when we choose to adopt. Choice. Everyone has a choice, and our families had choices on how they choose to respond to our children—and us, for that matter.
I am grateful for the one sibling I have that not only accepts and cares for me but also for my children. Meet my brother Gary. Gary and I do not always get along. In fact, there are times when we could not possibly disagree more. However, I know he cares about me, and I know he cares about my children. I know because of his actions and the choices that he makes.
Like tonight. Tonight he purposely spent time with each of my kids, loved on them, talked with them, tickled them. Never before in my life has such a sight been as precious at it is right now. To have family that cares is a gift. To be loved and cherished is amazing.
So, dearest brother Gary, though I may not say it enough, and though there are times I would like to bop you upside the head, I want you to know that I am deeply grateful for you. I love that you are getting to experience the gift that my children are and that you have made the choices that you have to care about all of us. We love you!