Friday, March 23, 2012

Being the big sister...

Before I was a Mom, I was a sister. A big sister.

I was six when my first little brother was born. I will never forget the day -- my first grade teacher, Mrs. Carter, used the event for our copy work that morning. Right on the board, she wrote in her beautiful teacher's print:

Carol Leigh has a new baby brother.
He has red hair and his name is Talley.

I was a celebrity all day -- and that's important because when you go from being an only child to sharing, you need to feel pretty special!

I was fiercely protective of the little ball of red that was my baby brother. I thought he was the cutest thing ever and talked incessantly about him and his antics (such great antics!)!

I was 11 when our next brother was born. Completely different than the first, his blue eyes let everyone see how adorable he was -- but I talked constantly about him anyway.

The role of big sister was not taken lightly. In true form to my nature, I fretted over the example I was setting. At youth camps, I would commit to being the best sister they could have. I prayed about their little lives. I tried to protect them. And yea, I fought with them. Yelled when I had to chase their little boy selfs around the neighborhood and almost exploded the day the cute little redhead got "lost" but was really just at a neighbors borrowing peanut butter! (And we won't even talk about the day the blue-eyed boy flashed all the Jr. Civitans having a meeting at our house....)


Me, Talley and our Dad.

As I got older, I grew smaller comparatively as they began to tower over me. And yet, I still took my role as BIG sister seriously. I loved nothing more than riding to their rescue -- whether through helping with school projects or ahem, writing a scathing column when their little league coaches did not play them as I felt they deserved. (I worked at the local paper, by then.)


Me and my little brothers -- Talley and Len.

After our Dad died -- when I was 25, Talley 19 and Len only 14 -- our roles changed a bit. I still fiercely tried to protect them...but I also turned to them for that unconditional love that our Dad had given us. Being where they were, hanging out with them, loving them -- I felt like a princess. Their love for their big sister was a gift that sustained me and honored our Dad in those days of grief. I am so thankful.


Grammie with the little Shraders and me, Talley and his beautiful wife, Sarah.


The day Talley married, almost 10 years ago, our roles shifted again. I passed the mantle of protecting this amazing guy to his wife and alas, I passed the right to be treated as a princess by him to her as well. But getting a sister was a treat I couldn't even imagine and I just wish we lived close enough to truly enjoy that gift frequently!! 


Little Shraders, Grams, Talley & Sarah and Baby Len!

But being the big sister never fully goes away. I want to help. I want to encourage. I want to make things easier for him. It is what I tried to do for the 30 years BEFORE he married and stopping has not come easily....I have to just force myself to ahem, butt out, and just love love love them from here.

But today, oh today, is a good day. Because today, I get to butt in....my precious brother and his dear Sarah are on a road that I have not traveled. They are walking a path that I can not advise them on -- or offer any direction. They are working to adopt a precious child -- one God has already ordained as my niece or nephew -- and they need our help, our prayers, our support. So I am doing what I know how to do....I am writing and asking you to help me help this little brother of mine to become a Dad -- something he will absolutely ROCK at -- and his dear Sarah to become a Mom! Will you help me?

If you click here right here, you will find a site selling t-shirts for Show Hope, an adoption-help organization. Show Hope is giving Talley and Sarah a portion of the proceeds from all the t-shirts sold at this site -- and all monies will help them pay for costs associated with adoption.

Will you go, help them? Oh, it would bless me.

4 comments:

John Correia said...

I think that is SO great! Seems like so many people are starting foster care and/or adoption lately. What a blessing!! I will add them to my list of people I think about when I pray for the blessings (and adventures!) of a adoptive child in our futures... :)

DoulaLauraC said...

I think that is SO great! Seems like so many people are starting foster care and/or adoption lately. What a blessing!! I will add them to my list of people I think about when I pray for the blessings (and adventures!) of a adoptive child in our futures... :)

DoulaLauraC said...

I think that is SO great! Seems like so many people are starting foster care and/or adoption lately. What a blessing!! I will add them to my list of people I think about when I pray for the blessings (and adventures!) of a adoptive child in our futures... :)

Wren said...

Fantastic...a true blessing. Thank you for sharing.