Life as a Writer, Disney World Cast Member, and
Big Sister through Foster Care & Adoption
Welcome back to Taylor Talks!
I was talking to my mom last night, somewhat about this blog, somewhat about memories of our experience, and somewhat about our family friends who have started doing foster care. I love when we are able to sit and talk together, even if we need to wait until late at night when all of the kids have fallen asleep. I was especially thankful for the time we got to talk together last night, because yet again, one of my little sisters was up sick. At least this sister, unlike her twin a few weeks ago, was able to throw up in a bucket, instead of all over my mom… (did I forget to mention that story?? Yeah, that was fun. Calm cries of “someone come help” coming from my mom while everyone else was in a different room, and when we all got out there, she was holding my little sister who was just a little fountain of joy all over my mom. As lovely as it was that we could all work together as a team and help the two of them out though, I was thrilled that we weren’t going through that again last night!)
So anyway, my little sister wasn’t feeling well, so she was laying on the couch next to my mom all night. But, being sick, she was laying there quietly. So my mom and I got to talk for quite a while, which was really nice. She shared a memory with me, back from when the oldest of my siblings, my brother, was still in foster care with us. This was long before he was adopted. I really liked the memory, so I thought I would share it here today, even though it was her memory, not mine (hi Mom!! Thanks for the stories!)
Back when my little brother was first placed with us, I was six years old, and he was four. He was a pretty shy little kid at the time, as most of the kids are when they first arrive at our house. My brother was the second placement we ever had, after the brother/sister duo that had lived with us for two years.
One day, my mom wasn’t sure how long this was after my brother was placed with us, my brother and I were playing in my room together. My parents were in the living room, and they could hear us begin to argue. My dad was like, what’s going on in there? He almost got up to come tell us to stop fighting. But then my mom realized that, wait a minute, we were fighting. We were fighting like siblings. My brother and I, for the first time, were really siblings, not just two kids getting along because they’re living in a house together. And my dad relaxed, in complete agreement, and they let us work it out on our own.
Since I’m not a parent, I don’t know if all parents remember the first time their kids argue. Maybe it’s not as big of a deal in other families, where the kids have been together since the younger ones were born. But in our family, that was a big deal. Now, I don’t think my parents remember what we were arguing about. I don’t remember this day at all, and I’m sure my brother doesn’t remember it either. And why don’t we remember the little details? Because for the past fifteen years, there have been approximately 1,000,000,000 other arguments that have wiped that first one from memory. My parents probably wish that they’d stopped that first argument, and maybe we wouldn’t have bickered so much over the years, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I may not remember each of our arguments, but I can tell you that each time my brother and I fought, the outcome was always the same; our differences were put aside the moment we needed each other, we wanted to stand up for one another to anyone else in the world, or (because we were little kids) the moment we wanted our playmate back.
Parents reading this right now, you probably get sick of hearing your kids constantly bickering. You probably want to pull your hair out, or throw those kids out in the snow until they figure out their issues and you don’t have to hear it anymore. I feel the same way with my younger brother and sister (that must be karma for how often my brother and I annoyed my parents!)… But you know what? Cherish those arguments. Someday those kids are going to grow up, move out, and you won’t hear those arguments anymore. Even though my brother’s only an hour away at college, it’s still completely different than when we were kids. I’d give anything to go back to being eight years old and having him pop out of the shadows to scare me again.
Well, maybe not… he is coming home for winter break next week. What’s that saying? Be careful what you wish for!
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My family has been doing foster care since I was three years old. I'm the only biological child in my family, though I now have five permanent siblings. Having nineteen siblings over the course of my lifetime has been an incredible experience, and I'm hoping that by sharing some of the ups and downs of being the only bio kid in a foster family, other foster families or people looking into doing foster care will be able to learn a bit of what life can be like. I also like to share what life is like on my journey to becoming a published author, as well as where my schooling and career choice are taking me.