As you can imagine, the arrival of a new child is a very big deal in any family. Whether a baby is born into the family or adopted, or they arrive in the family when they are a little older, it is always exciting to meet a new family member. For all of the years that my family has been doing foster care, I have always been home when I have gotten a new little brother or sister. From the phone call asking if we can take in a child, to the time of their arrival, I have always been present for the newest addition to the family. That is, until this year.
My mom texted me: How many siblings have you had?
I responded: 18, why?
Her answer: Wrong, you’ve had 19. Meet your new sister!
And she sent me a picture of the cutest little girl sitting on our couch looking completely mystified by where she was. I was in shock. I nearly dropped the phone from shaking so much, and I was freaking out. I had just gotten my braces off the month before, and was still figuring out how to talk with a retainer in my mouth. I knew my mom wouldn’t understand me over the phone, but I couldn’t get the retainer out quickly enough to call her. I could hardly contain myself as I dialed my mom, and I just remember saying things like “What?” “How?” “When?” “Are you serious?!” and I was in disbelief. My mom thought it was hilarious… I had been through this eighteen times already; shouldn’t I be used to it? But it wasn’t the same being away from the family. I wanted to run outside and drive home right then, but it was already 7:00 on a Sunday night, and by the time I got home, everyone would be sleeping. I had classes in the morning. I could go home right after that, so I packed a bag and made sure that I was ready to go as soon as class ended. After I hung up with my mom, my roommate yelled from the next room, asking if everything was alright. I pulled up the picture that my mom had sent me again, and ran into her room. She couldn’t believe it either. This was the first time she was going through this with us, and between the two of us, we were as excited as a kid in a candy store. It was an incredible feeling.
The surprise of my nineteenth sibling was incredible. Although we thought it was a temporary placement (about a week long), it turns out that my little sister is still living with us six months later. Having her with us is an amazing opportunity, and I’m so glad that we were able to take her in. It was a wonderful surprise.
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