Latter-day Saints Channel

Happy Families: Choosing Family

05/27/15 | 2 min read

How do you think having siblings, some of whom are adopted, has shaped your life?

Having siblings has helped me learn how to get along with and take care of others. It has helped me think less of myself and more of others, which is truly how it should be at all times. Jesus Christ is the perfect example of living life for others, not for Himself. Having adopted siblings has helped me understand that family doesn’t have to be confined to blood relatives who look, act, and sound like me. If I make room in my life, family can be anyone I choose to love and serve.

What were your thoughts and feelings when your parents told you they were going to adopt?

As a young boy, I was thrilled when my parents said they were going to adopt. I didn’t care where my siblings came from or what they looked like. I just wanted more. I love having a big family. When just one of my siblings is missing, the family feels incomplete.

What it was like to meet your adopted siblings? Tell us about one of those moments.

It was always very exciting to meet my siblings, having the understanding that they would soon be joining our family. Sadly, I remember one occasion when our family had been chosen by a birth mother—I held the child in my arms—and then she changed her mind and decided to keep the baby. I was devastated. He was to be my first brother. I returned from school one afternoon expecting him to be home from the hospital, and my mother broke the news. I ran straight up to my room and cried inconsolably. I wonder where he is now or what has become of him.

The adoption process was different for each child. The process with Trevor was the most unique. Usually we had months of preparation, but one night we received a call from a family friend who worked as a nurse, informing us there was a baby boy at a nearby hospital and the mother had chosen to have him placed for adoption. My parents prayed, felt good about it, and we drove to the hospital. Other families arrived soon after us, but since we had arrived first we had essentially claimed him. I finally had a brother!

Holding any infant is a blessing, as they are so recently removed from the presence of God. But knowing that they will be part of your family takes it to a deeper level of gratitude and love. You automatically envision the wonderful times you may have in the future. Today, those feelings of gratitude remain for all my siblings, and many of the visions of happiness are now fond memories.

In your opinion, what is the key to a happy family?

The key to a happy family is sincerely loving everyone more than yourself.