Today I am thankful for a bunch of testosterone known as the Munchkin’s many brothers. She has three older brothers and two younger brothers. (One of them being Nicholas.) She is, as my grandparents would say, a rose among many thorns! Well, they’re not that thorny. They’re actually quite awesome.
In searching for parents for the Munchkin, I wanted a family who had other children. It was not of my concern at the time whether they were biological, adopted or aliens from outer space; I just wanted her to have siblings. Munchkin’s three older brothers come to her from J’s previous marriage. They are all of the teenage years and they love her like crazy.
I have delighted over the years in seeing pictures of the Munchkin interacting with any of her older brothers. There’s the set of pictures where Brother Two is playing the guitar for Munchkin and she is singing and dancing. There’s the picture of Brother One leaving for prom and bending down to give the Munchkin a kiss in his tuxedo. And of course, Brother Three is just absolutely adorable and, by random chance, they actually look like they share some genetic makeup due to the colors of their skin. Yet, they don’t. And it matters to neither of them; they’re siblings through and through.
Right at the same time that Josh and I decided to try and conceive Nicholas, J & D came to me with the fact that they were giving IVF a try. I’ll be honest; I hated the idea at first. It took me a few days to process the information, understand where that left the Munchkin in their family and realize that J & D had nothing but the most pure of intentions on any decision regarding their family. Perhaps I’ll talk about that bump in the road at a later date. For now, all we need to know is that from that attempt resulted JD, Brother Four, born sixteen days before Nicholas.
To be honest again, the Munchkin wasn’t always fond of JD. I mean, what two year old always loves a new baby that comes in and steals time and attention? I didn’t when I got a new baby brother… and I was eight years old! However, she now knows how to play gently with her little brother, how to make him laugh like no one else in the family can and, yes, even exactly how to press his little toddler buttons. Oh, siblinghood. It’s so beautiful.
And then there’s Nicholas, Brother Five. For me, it’s been a hard thing to grasp that J & D are accepting Nicholas as Munchkin’s brother. Again, it’s been another thing that has amazed me about their unconditional love of their daughter and her biological roots. I recently asked D if it was okay for Nicholas to send cards that say, “Sister.” She laughed at me. SHE LAUGHED AT ME! Apparently I freak out about way too much. Of course it’s okay, she told me. And now that the Munchkin refers to Nicholas as her brother, some more of my fears are alleviated.
I grew up with only one sibling. He wasn’t born until I was eight. I always longer for a brother or sister. I knew that the Munchkin would have, at the least, three siblings in her new family. I didn’t know that J & D would have more or that they would accept into their family reality any children that I have as siblings for the Munchkin. It warms my heart to know that she will always have the joys and pitfalls of having siblings left and right.
I am thankful that I was able to find a family who already had children, as that was one of the things I sought. (Not all expectant Mothers search for that; don’t fret!) I am thankful that the Munchkin has so many brothers. I am thankful that J & D are accepting of our family into theirs for the sake of the Munchkin.