Seven was the year I became a big sister. My parents had begun the process of adopting twins and I was excited to lose my status as an only child. There was an aura of excitement and nervousness around the house with the rush of trying to get everything ready before the babies were born.
But, then it all ended; the birth mom had decided to keep the twins. We were all disappointed and the baby’s bedroom remained absent of new life’s presence. Little did I know, we would cross paths again in the future, but more on that later.
Determined, my parents started the process again; adoption agencies, house visits and loads of paperwork, until it was finally time for a new life to enter ours. My new sister was born and we welcomed her home a few short days later. I remember seeing her for the first time; her button nose, her fuzzy head, her tiny fingers. I couldn’t wait to hold her. I was officially a big sister.
Seven was the year I felt loss. My sister required a lot of attention, as all infants do and my mom and dad were there for her every need. When she was hungry, they fed her. When she was tired, they rocked her to sleep. When she was dirty, they changed her diaper. She completely depended on my parents and because they were able to fulfill those duties, she was able to attach and trust in them easily.
I had missed this.
As I talked about in choices, I didn’t have the chance to bond with my birth mom. By the time I was adopted, I hadn’t learned how to trust and I pushed away those who tried to get close. What I had missed out on was being displayed in front of me and it began to nag at the triggers of loss, sadness and grief.
Seven was the year everything changed. Parents have a longing to fulfill. Although I wanted and needed my parents, I wasn’t able to outwardly show it as easily as my sister was able to do. She trusted and bonded; I struggled with both.
I slowly became the problem. I got into trouble when there was no reason to be and I could rarely measure up to my parents’ expectations. The bonds between my sister, mom and dad continued to tighten, while mine with them continued to fall apart. Throughout a long and painful 12 year process, it eventually fizzled into nothing.
Everyone has that year. A time that has shaped and molded them, influencing how they interact with the world. We can stay stuck in that year or we can learn and grow from it, fully embracing the present.
As for me, I’ve chosen the latter.
Now it’s up to you. What’s your year and what are you going to do with it?