Bigger is better in my family – including adoption
Just over 20 years ago, my 12 year old sister passed away after a battle with leukemia. I was about 18 at the time and was at Iowa State University pursuing my music career.
All of those raw emotions we experienced dealing with cancer led to a huge change in our family that I never saw coming. At the time, I was devastated that my music career turned into a marketing career due to being away from college music theory classes too long. I didn't realize at the time though that the biggest change was yet to come.
What I did feel during those moments was the missing person. Our family went from being an active family of 5 with loads of hospital visits on our plate to an empty room and only 4 people to hug.
I never knew why my sister was the one to get sick or why our family was picked randomly for the horrific cancer battle...and why a child.
A few years after we all started to find out new normal, I got a phone call from my parents.
"Jessica, we are thinking of adopting."
Most people probably gasp when they hear those words and say, "what!?" or think of babies and adopting just one child. Well, my family has never been the typical family. Things are always bigger in my family. Everything. That includes adoption.
I remember taking a drive home to meet the kids for the first time. They were having fun with my parents at a county fair and their big eyes would occasionally stare at me. They eyes were full of questions and I have to admit, mine were as well. Eventually, those 3 kids became my siblings and I loved every bit of them.
Remember how I said in my family we do things bigger than most? About a year after the first 3 kids and I met, a set of four siblings were shown in pictures to my mom and dad. They needed a home too. Our family soon added bunk beds, buckets of clothes and opened our arms and hearts.
November is National Adoption Month. The need for a forever home for kids in our area and throughout our country is huge.
If you are curious...that thought has been on your mind or heart, take a sec and read a bit about what adoption might mean for your family and for the kids that are out there waiting.
Here are a few great links and also a few people I have met and know who have taken the adoption journey and have a story to share too:
- Childwelfare.gov (pictures to view of kids that are waiting for their forever family and resources for people who are thinking about adoption.)
- Story written by a Rochester mom about their journey overseas with adoption
- Author and Speaker, Tricia Goyer, shares about her family and their adoption(s).
- Olmsted County information on Adoption Services
The emotions are still very real as I write all of this today...I don't think that pain will ever truly go away with the loss of my sister. I do know though that I have gained some amazing siblings...and I am not sure if I would have ever met these kiddos if our story was written any other way.