Twelve years... Twelve years of being an only child.
Did I mind? Nope. Was I lonely? ...Nope.
Well, that all changed when my dad and step-mom adopted a little girl. But hey, it's just one sibling, right? Not that huge of an adjustment.
One year later...one short, brother-less year later... My mom remarried. And her new husband...had three children.
*cue dramatic music*
Okay okay, so this is a little exaggerated. Honestly, having siblings was a nice change. I'm an extremely social person, so an extra sibling...or four...was enjoyable for me. Well, once we established the pecking order and they all knew who was really in charge (me, in case you were wondering) everything was just dandy.
In all actuality, the biggest ripple caused in the ever-growing river of my family was my littlest sibling. Sheppard Kristian, the hybrid product of my mom and stepdad, my only blood related sibling, the kid who topped a blended family off with whipped cream and a cherry...the tiny little whirlwind of energy that sets the house ablaze and then douses the flames with an outpouring of adorable...
This is the story of the entrance of that little boy on a (very unsuspecting) family.
I guess before I start this off, I should clarify that my dad and my stepmom lived in Knoxville, TN, and my mom and stepdad lived in the west coast. At the time, I alternated living 6 months in Tennessee and 6 months in Washington. Well, on the day I received a very special phone call from Washington, I was sitting on my couch in Tennessee.
I looked at the phone to see that my stepdad was calling me. I answered, and he put me on speaker phone with him, my mom, and my 3 step siblings. "We have a surprise for all of you," he said. "I want you each to guess what it is." I, being the smart mouth that I am, jokingly said "Ha, Mom's pregnant." My counterparts all guessed random things, like "Dad got a new job" "We're moving to Alaska" etc.
"Well, one of you was actually correct." Uh oh... "It's Amberly. Mom's pregnant." At this point, we hear an eruption of "WHAT!?!?" exploding from me and my siblings. "Are you serious?!" "There's more," he added. "It's a boy...and she's 5 months along."
Speechless. Utterly speechless.
A few short weeks later, I was sitting on an airplane across the row from my mom, heading back to Washington after they met me down in Tennessee for my stepdad's family reunion. I just remember sitting there, looking at her, thinking about how I never would've imagined seeing my mom carrying another human...wondering if she looked the same when she was pregnant with me. Also, I was marveling at the fact that she was on board an airplane while in her third trimester...
Three months after that, I was sitting in a doctor's office with my mom for her pre-op appointment. Because she had me by c-section, and since she was...*cough*...older...now, she'd have to have Sheppard by a scheduled c-section as well. All I remember of that pre-op appointment was the reality of my mom going into a major surgery and the fact that they'd have to put a needle in her spine - the explanation of which nearly put me on the floor.
On an afternoon in September, I sat in the waiting room with my stepbrother and a couple of friends, awaiting the arrival of my little brother. I was anxious out of my mind, thinking of my mom on an operating table, when the only other surgery she'd ever had was when I graced the world with my presence (ha! As if...)
I don't remember how long the operation took, or what I did while I waited (aside from being amused by my youth pastor purposely tripping and falling on his face in the middle of a hospital hallway.) What I do remember is finally being allowed in the room with my mom, turning the corner and seeing this tiny 5 pound human. I looked at him in awe, trying to fathom the fact that he was my brother - and how crazy it was that the 15 year gap between us didn't seem to change how that felt. I vowed right then and there that I'd love and protect him no matter what, and that I'd always be his big sister.
It's been almost 6 years. That little boy has turned into this whirlwind child who has a mind that sometimes confuses my own with its genius. He got his daddy's brain and his mama's heart - he got the energy, adventurousness, and stubbornness of both of them combined.
That little boy is going to change the world someday. He comes from a dynamic family of creative, logical, forwarding thinking people who are passionate about the Lord and never stop working hard. I'm blessed to be called a part of that family.
I'm blessed to be called a big sister.
I love Jesus. I think my two daughters can change the world. I think you can too.
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