Meeting a New Family Member
Photo courtesy of Preston Smalley.

Meeting a New Family Member

Written by Emilie

Topics: Life

I remember the day well. I was 7 years old. My dad and I drove to the airport to pick up my mom, who had been in Romania for a very long three weeks.

She came through the gate, beaming. She walked up to us and introduced me to my new little brother– a tiny, red faced, smooshy thing, who proceeded to make the most horrendous noises I’d ever heard on the car ride home.

I was in love.

I’d always wanted a little brother. (Well actually I wanted a sister or a dog, but I’d decided that a brother would work. ;)

I thought it was so cool that he was adopted. It made him special. It made our family special. I never once thought that there was anything weird about it.

My parents did a good job of that in general: teaching me to be proud of the things that make me different, like my multipotentiality, and like being a sensitive person. (It was the rest of the world that later made me feel bad about these things… But that’s a different story.)

It’s funny, I sat down and was planning on writing about how I’m driving to Astoria, Oregon to meet my new puppy today. But this is what came out.

I guess thinking about adoption got me thinking about…adoption.

I know it’s not even remotely the same thing, adopting a brother and adopting a dog. But there are similarities (possibly more than a few. Heh.) In both cases, you’re getting a new family member. It doesn’t matter if they come from another country, or if they’re another species entirely. Either way, they’re family.

It’s still going to be another six weeks before Grendel comes home to live with me (a compromise I struck with my landlady who was hesitant about having a young puppy in the house). But I’ll be meeting him for the first time today.

I’m excited beyond words.


Do you have any adoption/new family member stories that you’d like to share?


  1. Jenny says:

    When I was seventeen, fully convinced that I would go on to earn my teaching degree, I began working for a family as a caregiver for their biological son and two adopted daughters (also from Romania). I fell in love with the children and would have cared for them until adulthood. They were like my family. While these kind parents officially adopted the baby girls, at the same time, they unofficially adopted me. I learned a great deal about family, parenting and care giving before I was even married or thinking about starting my own family.

  2. Holli says:

    Love your story!

    No real adoption for me, but I do have two step-sisters and a step-brother. In a way I have adopted siblings! They’re like bonus siblings to me:) They each entered my life at different times, and have enriched it in many ways, sometimes by just exposing me to people very different from me (step-sisters).

    I like the idea that friends are the family that you choose for yourself.

  3. Janet says:

    i remember when i had jack russell terrier puppy. i raised it for two years with my ex. miss him! i definitely want a dog in my lifetime again!

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