Those Deep Breaths …

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Those Deep Breaths …


I am hardly ever left speechless, but for a few minutes tonight I was. My adopted brother who passed away last year had two sons. Unfortunately, I never met my nephews. Not too many years ago, my brother shared a sad story with me that his boys’ mother would mail our parents Christmas gifts from the kids and they would return them unopened. I can’t fathom how anyone could be so cruel to children, no matter if the relationship with my brother had been strained for whatever reason.

We only met my brother’s wife one time and all of our family liked her. I truly believed she would have been the one person to help my brother finally turn his life around. As his sister, my heart’s desire was for him to know how it felt to be genuinely loved and accepted, something neither of us had experienced while growing up. I remember crying with disappointment when I learned that they had divorced.

After hearing the nonsense of the unopened gifts, I felt so bad that I sent his older son a letter and apologized for my parents’ unacceptable behavior, and said that I would love to stay in touch. I’ve learned the hard way that trying to cover for my parents’ many poor choices usually backfires on me. My brother relayed a message from his ex-wife that his son didn’t want anything to do with me. Actually, I didn’t blame him for lumping me together with his uncaring grandparents. The truth is — I wasn’t even aware that my brother had two children because he had been such a lost soul for many years.

My late brother’s FB page came up tonight when I was bringing up a friend with a similar name. I decided to look at his oldest son’s FB page. Oh, how exciting for him and his wife — not too long ago they had their first baby :). I had to take a deep breath when I read what they named their precious son because it had such a deep significance to me as well.

My brother unexpectedly learned back when he went into the service that he couldn’t legally use our stepfather’s last name: Bell. Our stepfather had never adopted us like our parents had always led us to believe. My brother would be required to go by our first adoptive father’s last name: Starr. As it turns out, my predicament was a little more complex than that of my brother’s. When I was searching for my birth certificate, the courts concluded that I wasn’t adopted by my first adoptive father either, and, for legal purposes, my maiden name would have to be that of my birth mother’s. Neither of us could use the last name we thought was ours since we were the age of 7. Sadly, my brother and I didn’t have each other to lean on through such a difficult revelation.

I don’t quite understand why my brother went by the last name Starr, yet his sons go by our stepfather’s last name: Bell. His oldest son must have given his first born the extra measure of adding Starr to his name. It would have made my brother happy to know his son recognized that his life mattered, even if he struggled so to find himself.

Why do adults have to make life so unfair and complicated for children?

First day in the world wonderful boy: Caspian Ari Starr Bell

Prince Caspian (from Narnia). I hope life is good to you and your family!


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  1. So sad, what a terrible experience. and I know it was only one of many for you. Love you friend!!!
  2. This fills me with sadness: “No child should have to continually try to make a parent love them.” What a tragedy that your mother was not able to accept love from you. My guess is that deep down, she didn’t feel lovable, and she had to cover that shameful fact up with a bunch of br…
  3. It’s insane that these findings were made but nothing was done about it. All these years later, you are still waiting for the wrongs to be righted.
  4. I love you❤
  5. I hope you are able to find more on the first chapters of your life. How twisty things became when people had to hide things…ugh. Sad.