God's Child, Our Joy

An adoptive family's journey in faith and life

The View From Down Here : Big(?) Brother

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Mom gets a text message and relays the information to dad. Immediately the tension moves up in mom and the excitement rises in dad. See, unlike you silly humans I can see a Sim bubble above each of your heads. I can tell when you are anxious, happy, angry and nervous just by looking. This night the bars are moving up and down crazy fast. Something is happening. I run around and bark at random times because I’m just not sure what’s going on. Mom and dad put me in my kennel and take off. A lot of nervousness for dinner, if you ask me. Only they don’t come home for a VERY long time. A recognized stranger comes over and lets me out to potty, but it’s back in the kennel for me soon after, and no mom and dad. Where are they?

The next three days are similar, lots of time in the kennel, along with more visits from the recognized strangers, and the occasional visit from mom or dad (never together). They shower, and then shower me with love. I know I should play to keep active, but all I want to do is lie down with them. They offer no fight against that. One time dad brings home a hat. Too pink for him, and too small for mom. I detect a new odor, and investigate it. Not only is it on the hat, but on dad too. Does dad have a new girl in his life? Is this why mom was nervous and they don’t sleep at home anymore? Finally, one afternoon they both come home. They let me out and I jump up and down with pure excitement. Mom and dad are home, and together! Never leave again! After running back and forth between them, I notice there is something new in the living room. Did they bring me a new toy?

The toy makes a noise. It’s a squeaky toy! I run over and stand up to look inside. Inside this plastic contraption is a giant toy, that smells like the hat. Then it moves. Hmm, maybe not a toy.

As a dog I have many tools for investigating. We are well known for our noses and have very good ears. I can read the Sims bubble a human projects. The tool that I’ve chosen for this particular investigation is my tongue. So I start to lick.

Mom and dad pull me back. I’m not done yet. I’m not sure if it’s a toy, food, intruder or something else. Don’t they want my opinion? Mom takes it from the contraption and sits in the rocking chair. Dad hands her a bottle with milk in it and she places it in. If it is an intruder, why does it get milk and I don’t (you know, besides my lactose intolerance). It’s unfair, and what’s worse is I’m losing attention to this thing.

Throughout the rest of the day, I continue to unleash licks. I’m learning quickly that A) This is not a toy, B) While not food, it sometimes is covered in food, C) That it’s an intruder in MY HOME, and D) mom and dad love it very much.

That night we go to bed, but not before placing it in the other room. We all climb in bed and mom flips on the new white noise machine. I’m on edge. There is an intruder across the hall and we’re going to sleep? I may sleep, but not without one ear open. All the sudden I hear a whimper. How could that be, it’s in the other room! I dash out of the covers and let out a bark. Mom and dad assure me it’s a normal sound, and to go back asleep. A minute later and it’s happening again, so I dash out again to let them know that something is different and I don’t like it. Dad gets up and turns off the sound machine and moves into the other bedroom. Throughout the night, and continuing for a while mom and dad trade off. One guards us from the intruder while the other passes out in bed. I enjoy my rightful 50% of the bed.

During the day every couple of hours they feed it and then take it upstairs, without me. Sometimes it will start screaming and I won’t know what’s going on, which makes me angry and sad. I want to be involved, but instead I’m stuck downstairs with only a chair and rag to remember them by. Eventually they come back, but I’m still at a loss of what to make of our new addition.

Over the next week, as I continue my sneak attacks (licking, then running around to the other side and trying again), I’m starting to realize something. This intruder may be staying awhile. It’s not a thing, but a tiny, underdeveloped human (after all, I could walk and drink on my own when I was born). A girl. A girl that mom and dad love immensely. I’m not sure why, she doesn’t do anything other than cry and sleep. I protect this house. I realized something though. She makes mom and dad really happy. Like I did when I joined the family. I didn’t do anything but eat and sleep when I first arrived either. Maybe I should be more loving to her. Maybe I do like her. I’m her big brother, and it’s time I start showing it.

After the second day at home, I now stand guard in front of whichever parent is feeding her. I no longer lick for info, but now I kiss (and occasionally clean a milk mustache). When mom and dad put her to bed, I have to look in the crib to make sure she’s there and doing fine. When she starts to cry, I bark to let mom and dad know that she’s crying (they don’t seem to appreciated that so much). I’m also good at checking diapers.

It’s not all snausages and cream though. She has an odor to her that seems to attract strangers to the house. This must affect women more than men though. I’m on edge all the time now because it seems someone is at the door daily. Sometimes they come in and hold her. Sometimes they are dressed in brown and leave boxes at the door. Always a new outfit. Seems like she needs to change multiple times a day, like a diva. I’ve been wearing the same outfit for almost 9 years now. Guess that’s the difference between us guys and girls.

She has some lungs on her. Sometimes I just look over at mom and dad and just give them a look. I’m trying to nap here. Look at the my before and after pictures and tell me I don’t need some extra sleep.

Before


After

Play time has changed as well. I have a duck that I LOVE to play with. The game is simple. I drop it in front of you, and you either grab it before I do, or we play tug of war with it. If you grab it before me, then we play fetch. Simple.

Now when mom or dad sits on the floor, they play with her. Sure, they play with me too, but not quite as much.

I’ve managed to not be too jealous. Except maybe that she gets milk and I don’t. One day when dad took her upstairs to make her bottom less smelly, I grabbed the milk bottle and took it under the couch. I couldn’t get anything out of it, so I chewed off the top. Dad was not happy when he came down, and mom was really not happy when she got home.

I must have felt bad too, because my stomach started to hurt later. The sad feelings started to work their way through my body. It’s weird how sad feelings feel like a little piece of plastic. Dad took me to the scary place with all the dogs, and they gave him a bottle of stuff to give me, and none for the baby. Ha!

The next day, the sad feelings worked their way out of my body. Much better.

As the days progress, things have been going good for us. As her big brother, I’ve really feel it’s my job to protect her. I even help mom feed her!

Although, my status as “big” brother is starting to be in question. Take at look at this and tell me what you think. Six weeks in and she’s already my big sis!

With the less sleep, the less attention, and the increasing number of visitors, I should dislike her. They have a term for something that drives you crazy, and doesn’t make any sense, but you can’t live without. Love. I love my sis.

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