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What's your name?  MaryHannah 

Where do you live? Knoxville, TN

Does your sibling(s) have any special needs?  FASD, hearing loss, autism, dyslexia

How old were you when your family adopted? How old was your sibling(s)?

I was eleven when started fostering, and a year or two later we adopted my two brothers. They were (I think) four and three, when we adopted them officially?

What were some good things that your parents did to help you adjust before and after the adoption?

We had open conversations about everything that happened and my parents explained the ways our life was going to change. They also helped me see just how important what we were doing was.

What were some things you wish your parents had done differently?

I can't think of anything. I really believe the fact that I knew I could ask them anything made life fostering and adopting much easier and far less unknown for me.

What was your initial reaction when you learned you were going to get a new sibling(s)?

If I remember correctly, I was cautious at first, wanting to know what that would look like. I was also delighted, since I wanted another sibling.


What was your initial reaction when you first met your new sibling(s)?

It was weird. We met Phin at a mall playground and he was terribly quiet and shy. We got to watch him one weekend and that was better, since we got to play with him and have him in our daily life. I think it was odd at first because I didn't know what to expect, it was all so new! JM, I was delighted and ecstatic. I already knew what this looked like, so it was normal hat. I was delighted to have a baby, since it meant I could help take care of him. With Babita (who I will admit, was never legally adopted, but that just means we never got a piece of paper according to my heart) it was awkward, since she was the same age as me and we hadn't grown up together. We bridged the gap by playing board games and laughing as we did.


How long did it take for your sibling to adjust to your family? How long did it take for things to feel "normal" again?


JM fit right in, but he was four months old. Phin was quiet at first (he was 18 months), but in spending lots of time with us, he eventually opened up. Babita I think struggled since she hadn't grown up with us as her family. Adjusting has taken years for her, but I think she's finally more comfortable with how she fits as she's married.


Has there ever been a time you wished your family hadn't adopted (even briefly)?


No. Never. As a matter of fact, I'm sad that we can't foster right now due to regulations. I loved being able to care for little ones in a hurting place, and then being able to watch God move in their lives. I'm always up for another sibling!


How is your relationship with your adopted sibling today?


With Babita, it's hard to keep up, since she lives overseas with poor options for contact. With the boys, I don't think about them being adopted. They're part of my family, mine, and I can't see them any other way. I love spending time with them,and have special things I do with each.

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