Adding a new branch to our family tree

Published 7:59 am Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Editorial by Chris Kovatch

I must confess that there are aspects of adoption that I love and then there others ones that leave me with a sense of uneasiness. The concept of giving a child a home and a chance at a better life is truly what adoption is all about and what I love about it. It’s the little slivers of doubt and worry that cause me to overthink situations.

We are quite open with Summer and Stryker about the fact that they are adopted. The challenge is that they don’t really comprehend what that means. They know we are Daddy and Mommy, but they came to us through different means than their older siblings. The things that I worry about have to do with them growing and getting older and the questions that will be posed to us. Why didn’t my parents want me? What was my biological family like? Do I have other brothers and sisters? My children will have no doubt how much I love them and what they mean to me, but the questions will be natural.

I was recently going through paperwork to get Summer’s birth certificate corrected. I came across the name of one of their half-brothers. What was the first thing I did? Search Facebook of course! Surprisingly, I found him. That’s where the real hard work entered the equation. Do I reach out to him? If so, what do I say? Is it better to keep quiet and share the information with them when they are older? After much internal wrestling over what to do, I tried to put myself in their shoes. As a child, would I want to know about my sibling or would I want to be left unknowing? I have to believe that knowing that I have siblings and having a relationship with them is the right answer. The kids might not have had control over how their biological parents acted or what they did, but they can make the best out of a bad situation.

I typed a message over and over in Facebook Messenger to reach out to their brother’s grandmother. What should I say? Will my message be received with happiness or am I creating another problem for a family that has already been through so much? As I hit send, I felt my stomach turn a flip. Now the waiting game would begin and my mind began running through every possible scenario. Luckily, I didn’t have to wait very long as I had a response the following morning.

The response was nothing short of what I had prayed for; their brother would love to meet them. This past weekend we had the honor of bringing together three lives that shared so much heartache over a few short years. The result was nothing short of a miracle. A family that hadn’t had a real chance to develop slowly took root. Sitting back and watching an older brother get to realize his dream of completing his family was easily one of the most moving experiences I have ever witnessed. Summer and Stryker meshed so well with him it was obvious that something greater was at work than any plans we could have made. What made the experience even better is that Jackson, Rosie, and Thayer are as much a part of this motley crew as the others.

This past Sunday we added a new branch to our family tree. My children gained a new brother; Christi and I gained a new friend and confidante in his grandmother, and will soon meet his Dad. Could a better ending have come from such a troubled story? I don’t think so.

Unconventional describes every aspect of our family, and you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.