It wasn’t a question of where my brother and sister would go in my mind. I knew I couldn’t live with myself seeing them somewhere else: with some another family, with the potential to be separated from the last bit of family they have left. Not when I could try to do something about it. So that’s what I am doing. I was able to convince Youth Services that the best place for them was with me.
The day I picked the two of them up from foster care and we left together was one of the best moments I’ve had in a long time. Scary, too, I’m not going to lie, but seeing my brother and sister so happy made me feel happy, too. I also knew that whatever I had to do to keep them would be 100% worth it. Of course, we get frequent visits from the county. That’s fine. I know that they’re as eager for me to succeed as I am. I’ve been able to ask them questions and find out about resources for all of us that I wouldn’t have found out on my own. It’s been a steep learning curve. Growing up quickly certainly has its disadvantages.
I can’t say that I entirely became a good role model overnight, or even if I’m all the way there yet. I’d been on my own through college and since graduation, so it was a little weird to have to be accountable to other people again. It is strange to think that I landed a job out of school, mostly just for money so that I could do things with my friends. And now I need that job in order to pay for this apartment. I need to be here to make dinner, to help with homework, to be physically present for my siblings. I honestly thought I would mind the forced lifestyle change, but I don’t. Not really. Maybe I do, I haven’t really had the luxury of thinking about it too much. At the very least, one thing I do know is that I don’t resent my siblings for being the cause. I have my parents to blame for that, I guess. It is much easier to be angry at them than anyone else.
So I’m going to continue to grow up, as quickly as I can so that I can be the person they need me to be. I want them, at least, to have the rest of their childhoods as much as is possible. And when that isn’t an option, I am going to help them figure all of this out in ways so that they never feel like they have to go it alone. I’m their big brother. It’s my job to be there for them, and I’ll do it to the best of my ability every day from now on.