Since there is so much to tell, I am breaking it up into multiple posts. I am going to start with my brother and his wife:
My brother was mad. My dad told him one day a few hours before we were going to have a family get together. My dad had to walk around with him for a few hours while he cooled off. However, he never showed that anger to me. I just heard about that. We haven't talked in depth about how he felt, but just from the conversations we have had about past mistakes I've made, I know his anger was mostly out of love. How could I have so little respect for myself? How could I put my family through this after everything else I had put them through? What was I thinking? How was I going to handle this? I know that's how he felt and what he was thinking, a long with plenty of other things I am sure. When it came down to it, he was fully supportive though. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, one day we were driving to lake, and he told me, yes he was disappointed, but no matter what I am his sister and he loves me and he's here for me and he has my back. I know he would defend me against anyone, even thought I hurt him so much. What a great example of God's love for us. Truly. I have so much respect for my brother.
We also had several conversations that were hard to hear, but that I definitely needed to hear. He talked about how much everyone loved me, but they were all hurt, and it was going to take a lot for them to learn to trust me again. That's hard to hear, but it was true, and I am glad he was brave enough to lovingly tell me what I needed to hear. I NEEDED to know how my actions affected those around me; and now looking back, it just confirms how much I am loved by my family members. Thank you Robbie for your strength, love, and loyalty. I love you!
Eventually things got better. We went to an Alabama football game together with some friends and family and had a great time. We spent a lot of time together, and continue to do so. It's amazing how close we have gotten. I am so thankful for that! We were close when we were younger, but then I started down a path where I was living a destructive lifestyle, and we grew apart. My brother and his wife are two of funnest most amazing people I know. It's great to have them back in my life in a deeper way. We don't just see each other on occasion anymore. We are friends, as well as family. If I don't see him at least once a week I start to miss him.
As for his wife, Joanna, she has a very sincere and compassionate heart. She and my brother balance each other very well. I am sure she was disappointed, but she always showered me in love and encouragement, and she didn't bring it up unless I wanted to talk about it. She, along with everyone else, encouraged and supported my decision with adoption. Her adorable, fun-loving personality lightened the mood when things were tense. I know she played a huge support role for my brother. She also played a huge role in helping me to see how great the whole adoption situation was... for what the situation was, it played out flawlessly. You couldn't have asked for it to go better. I love my sister-in-law so much. She has an amazing heart. She is super creative and crazy fun! She is a blessing! The balance of her love while everyone else was expressing UNDERSTANDABLE disappointment was definitely needed. Thank you Jo!