Posts tagged Family
To most people, being a twin means everything is the same whether its being dressed the same, playing with the same toys or being interested in the same things.
At first that’s how it was with Jay. I remember the first time I noticed it.
My twin brother, Jay, didn’t talk like me, didn’t draw like me and I was beginning to think he didn’t think like me. At the age of three, I started to realize that Jay was Autistic.
Although we’re twins, always dressed the same way and given the same gifts, our lives started to go in very different directions early on.
When I went to kindergarten, Jay went to a different kindergarten.
When I learned to ride a bike without training wheels, Jay just started using training wheels.
Our father died when we were both eight years old. I was devastated, and it seemed like Jay didn’t know what to think.
After our father died from an aneurism one night, my Mother and I were never sure if Jay fully understood what happened, but we moved on.
Growing up with an autistic twin brother was difficult.
While other people become best friends with their twins, a communication gap prevented us from becoming close.
From kindergarten through eighth grade, Jay and I went to different schools, had different teachers and got to know different people. But, when we got to high school that changed.
Most people met Jay for the first time in high school when we were 14. I chose not to share much of my home life before then because I didn’t understand all of it. I didn’t understand Jay.
To some of my friends Jay wasn’t “normal.” To them he was disabled, special needs or even “retarded,” as some people called him when I wasn’t around.
Even though I didn’t completely understand Jay, there was nothing abnormal about him to me. Jay was the “norm” to me, because he was the only brother I’d ever had.
Instead of going to study hall, I felt more comfortable helping out in my brother’s class. It was then, when I started understanding.
Even though we could only talk a little bit, we bonded and at the end of high school my brother became my best friend. This time, when life started splitting us apart, we still stayed close.
When I graduated from high school, Jay stayed there for two more years.
When I started working at my college paper, Jay started working back home.
This summer I’ll be working in Chicago, while Jay will be back home relaxing.
Things are still changing, but now Jay and I aren’t just brothers, we’re friends.
Thirteen years later, I still take Jay to visit our dad’s grave, but he never wants to get out of the car. Instead he plays with his iPad in the car.
What’s different now is that I understand Jay and I now know that he’s understood everything the whole time.
Our mom thinks Jay still doesn’t fully understand what happened to our dad, but I disagree.
Jay still doesn’t like to think about how our dad is dead . It upsets him.
Jay chooses to act like it didn’t happen. So, he waits in the car.
Jay feels and understands everything. His company and personality allows him to be a good brother and friend, just like anyone else.
To me he’s not just one in 110 because his personality truly makes him one in a million.
I’ll be there to help Jay as much as he’s been there to help me understand everything in his world, because now I understand that he understands too.
I believe that over time, brotherhood can breech any barriers.
I believe in Jay.
By Sarah Bailey
My parents have always been there for me. Dance recitals, auditions, award ceremonies. Every little moment, whether happy, sad, funny or dull, I spent with the best parents someone could have ever given me. And that’s just what my birth mother did.
My mom says God chose me for her and my dad to take care of. It was the way our family was meant to form.
“We just wanted a child, prayed, and left it in God’s hands,” she says.
When I ask, my mom tells me it was hard for my birth mom to give me up for adoption. She explains that my birth mom wanted me to have a happy life she didn’t feel she could provide then. When my mom and I talk about it, she says that it was the most unselfish gift anyone could have ever given; the gift of a daughter.
I was adopted through Catholic social services when I was around six months old. I believe it was the nurturing of my mother Chriss and my father Gary, that I have been given countless opportunities in life.
I believe that a relationship between children and their parents has nothing to do with if they are blood-related, and everything to do with their bond.
I don’t recall a specific moment when they told me I was adopted. It’s something I’ve always known, something that was openly discussed within our family. My older sister is adopted from a different birth mom. Sit down with us for one moment and you would instantly see our connection as sisters. Our voices even sound the same on the phone.
When people find out I’m adopted, they look at me differently. They act as if it’s a sensitive topic that I would be offended they brought up. I quickly stop them.
I explain that being adopted is part of who I am, and that it doesn’t make me uncomfortable. It’s not politics and it’s not the abortion debate, and I am perfectly OK with them asking me questions.
I’ve come to learn that it is a rare relationship where someone feels like they can open up their hearts to their parents without holding back, which is exactly what I have found. I realize that it takes both the love of the parents and the acceptance and response of that love back from the child. I think that now I am capable of giving that love back as a young adult. And that is what I hope to do.
As I’ve gotten older, I realize it is inevitable for people to not wonder about whether I want or have met my birth mom. I tell them that at this point in my life, I have everything that I need.