celebration Wednesday Wishes

That one Halloween I got a baby brother.

October 29, 2014
I remember it like it was yesterday. It was Halloween evening, and there I sat under one of the kitchen bar stools, fully decked out in my costume, although I can’t tell you what kind of costume it was that year. I was not quite 3 at the time but I do remember this part, I do. I was hiding under the stool because I knew that a man would be ringing our doorbell any minute, and he would have a little baby with him. I don’t remember what my parents were saying, but I remember my mom’s rosy cheeks and the smile on her face. I remember feeling uneasy over the thought that a stranger would be coming into our house, and the minute the doorbell rang, my parents ran to do the door but I stayed right in my spot, under the stool. In walked this man carrying a tiny little baby in a car seat. He walked into our family room, put the carseat down and my mom said, “Emily, come meet your brother!” and the second I laid eyes on his face, I became instantly protective over him… something that would never go away. Immediately I wanted this strange man out of our house and absolutely did not want him touching my brother. I don’t know if I ever said anything to the man, but I do remember coming out from under the stool and thinking that I should be mean to him… to make him leave. (Because clearly a 3 year old has that kind of power over a grown man, I know.) Even at such a young age, I remember that moment… that night… the Halloween I got a baby brother.

My brother was born on October 29th and brought to our home on Halloween night 🙂 This “man” mentioned in my memory above was the attorney who helped my parents adopt my brother, and this baby would be the greatest gift of my childhood life – even if I didn’t always know it back then, I know it now. It’s true when I say I felt protective over him within seconds of learning that he was “mine,” and I still feel this way today. It wouldn’t have mattered if he was adopted or not – he was and will always be my baby brother.

Growing up, I learned that family has nothing to do with sharing the same “blood and genes”… family is in fact so much deeper than that. The bond of family is something that lies deep within the soul, and the bond between siblings is so, so many things – it’s playing Legos together for hours, and watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Hook on repeat. It’s dressing him up in all of your favorite dresses, making him drink tea with you and calling him ‘Sarah.’ (Sorry, bud.) It’s being able to make fun of your parents together, but unfriending anyone else who ever tried to. It’s the inside joke glances to one another during big family get togethers, and the sharing of sympathy when one of you gets grounded. It’s being able to be your dorkiest around this person, knowing that even though you’ll totally make fun of each other, you each probably totally get each other too.

It’s driving to school together and ramp-jumping the car on an old country road when no one is looking (true story) (sorry, dad – it wasn’t a raccoon… that was us.) It’s going through that phase when you seriously hate each other and find each other SO annoying… but if ANYONE hurts your sibling, it’s not okay and they’ll have to deal with you.  It’s going through crazy and hilarious times, and also the seriously hard and painful times together as a family… but knowing deep down that never, no matter what, will the other person not be there for you… after all, your bond is forever.

Today my baby brother turns another year older, and I suppose this makes him not so much my “baby” brother anymore.

Happy Birthday, Andy! I’m so glad God chose you to be my brother, and want to thank you for making every Halloween since “that” Halloween seem totally drab. (Apparently ‘candy’ is what most kids get.) I hope this birthday is the best one yet, and I wish you lots and lots and lots of happiness – for this next year, and for always.  Love you so much, bro 🙂 xo, em.

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  • So sweet, Emily! When I read about y'all riding to school together I was reminded of when I my brother would drive us to school, and for no reason other than to torture us on a cold morning, he'd roll the windows all the way down, lock them, and yell, "FREEZE OUT!"

    Time has the ability to turn anger into humor. Even though I hated those moments back then, I love the memory of them now. =)

    Cheers to Brothers! And Happy Birthday, Andy!!

  • Lindsay

    Happy Birthday to your brother! My little brother was born the week before Halloween… He's the sunshine of my life! Little brothers are the best!

  • TEARS. This is so precious. There's nothing quite like having a bond like that with your little brother!

  • This reminds me so much of my relationship with my little brother. He's six years younger, so that "I hate you you're so annoying get out of my room" phase lasted for like, 5 years. But the years of torture we put each other through now are some of our favorite memories…mostly because we were hilariously awful. I'm definitely sending this to him. Thanks for the smiles this morning =)

  • I love adoption. And this makes me want to cry. It's so true that blood is nothing, especially when we are ALL a part of the family of God. I love that you guys have such a special bond. Happy birthday to your brother!

  • Happy Birthday to your brother! Sibling relationships are wonderful. You have the range of emotions that you talked about…love, adoration, annoyance, acceptance. There's a bond that no other relationship has. Its a beautiful thing!

  • SUCH a great post. I love that y'all have such a close bond. True family indeed. Happy Birthday to your brother! 🙂

  • So sweet. This is what I hope for my girls. The sibling bond is one like no other… and SO hard to explain, but you've done it!

  • I love this post and your story. Happy Birthday to your brother!

  • So sweet!! And I love that the memory of him coming home is so vivid in your mind!

  • I loved this post! You told about the sibling relationship so well…It's all so true! You can act completely yourself around your siblings, regardless of how silly that is. You make memories with your siblings that you won't make with anyone else. So glad you and your brother have a good bond!

  • This post made me so happy! Happy Birthday Brother Ember Grey 🙂

  • Awwww so sweet!

  • This is so sweet!! What a beautiful relationship you two have. Happy birthday to your brother!

  • Happy birthday to your brother!

  • Awwww that is so sweet!! Happy Birthday to Andy!

  • So sweet! Happy birthday to your brother, hope he enjoyed his day!!


  • Happy Birthday to Andy! Such a sweet post, Emily–you are one great sister!

  • This so so sweet! Happy Birthday!! Hope it was a great one!

  • You paint the picture so clearly with your writing Emily. What a lovely story, and memories to last a lifetime.

    Loved your Dad's response! Lol.


  • This is an awesome post!! That's the perfect description of siblings — even when you think you cannot stand them, *nobody* better ever say anything bad about them! It's clear the bond you two have 🙂 What a great Halloween memory! XO

  • Elizabeth Spenner

    What a fun post!! I was a middle child, and my little sister and I are only 14 months apart, so I definitely don't remember any of that. What a fun memory and great story 🙂

  • haha! "Freeze out" – that's hilarious and a very brotherly thing to do. I'm so with you- there are many memories to look back on and laugh at now. And that's one of my favorite things to do with him… remember back when and laugh and laugh 😉

  • So sweet!! Little brothers are the best 😉 Hope yours had a great special day too!

  • Nothing like it!! 🙂

  • Same!! 🙂 Had you told me back then I'd be laughing over some of those things I wouldn't have believed you. But it's true- they are our favorite times to look back on! Thanks for the note, Kathryn 🙂

  • XO Thank you for the sweet wishes, Cassie. He said it was his most favorite birthday yet… which of course just makes my heart so happy!

  • Reading the actual emotions listed out the way you did made it all come together in my mind and make so much sense 🙂 He had a great birthday!!

  • Thanks, lady! 🙂

  • I could have gone on and on, listing so many more favorite memories but figured they'd fit into future posts 😉 I love that there are so many memories. Family is such a gift!

  • Thank you, Nina!

  • I feel like it's such a gift to remember that night! I don't remember much from when I was really little but that one sticks out 🙂 Life changing!

  • I'm so glad we have such a special bond too, Chelsea 🙂 I'm excited to have more moments together to make funny memories!

  • Thank you, Jules!! 🙂

  • Thanks for the birthday wishes, Alex! 🙂 He said it was a great one this year!

  • Thanks, Kenj! 🙂

  • Girl, you always make me smile! Thanks for the birthday wishes!

  • I could not stop laughing over my dad's email. He is a riot!

  • it's so true, haha! I remember getting into a huge fight with him on the way to school one day and then learning that a kid in his class was picking on him… naturally I had a serious "talk" with the bully… no one was gonna pick on my brother! 😉

  • Wow! Only 14 months a part, that's awesome. Thanks for stopping by, Elizabeth 🙂

  • That is so neat that your brother is adopted!! I totally agree with you – family is not all about blood and genes. It's about the no-nonsense kind of love 🙂

  • I know you understand this, Kelly! 🙂

  • I love this so very much.

  • I ADORE this. Beautiful, sweet, funny, lovely. All I ever got was candy…

    • Thank you! 🙂 haha, I know. It was like the absolute best Halloween and then every year after that was like, what- just candy?! 😉