Brother, Where Art Thou?

My friend called me yesterday and asked if there was something I wanted to tell her.

And I said, No, why?

And she said, Are you sure?

And I said, Ummmmmm, yes?

And she said, Take your time, I can wait.

So I started to panic.

What had I done now? How embarrassing was it?

Were there pictures?

Did I look fat? Who was I going to have to sleep with to make sure they didn’t wind up on YouTube?

Did I look skinny? Who was I going to have to sleep with to make sure they wound up on YouTube?

I slapped my forehead several times, trying to wake up my brain so that it could begin the arduous process of searching through mental check lists to find one appropriate for this scenario. I keep a wide variety of these check lists tucked away in my cerebral cortex. They come in handy when paranoia screeches up my brain stem and squats on my frontal lobe.

Remember, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t meant they’re not out to get you. Have you learned nothing from this blog, for crying out loud?

I found one pretty quickly:

  • Did I cheat on my husband behind my back? I didn’t think so. Does googling Christopher Meloni count? Since when?
  • Did I cheat on her husband?
  • Ewwww.
  • Did I cheat on her?
  • Ewwww. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
  • Did I cheat at Bunco? I was too busy stuffing my face to remember.
  • Did I cheat on my exercise routine by actually adopting one?
  • And finally … no damn way did she see me sneak those cookies off her counter. Besides, her son already copped to it. Not my problem the kid can’t count.

So I said, No! What are you getting at?

And she yelled, Are you telling me you did NOT give birth without telling me?

Blink. Blink. Stare.

I laughed hysterically and then suddenly stopped.

Hang on, I said.

I did a quick check of my nether regions just to make sure they hadn’t up and skedaddled to greener, more fertile pastures when I wasn’t looking.

Whew. Still there, still looking … there.

So I hollered, What in God’s name have you been smoking? Can I have some?

And that’s how I found out that Helena has been busy telling everyone she knows as well as complete strangers that she now has a brand spanking new little brother.

Needless to say, this came as a bit of a shock to me, considering the cargo ship called MY UTERUS sailed off into the sunset many moons ago and was recently replaced by a big ass freighter called PERIMENOPAUSE.

And then I realized what Helena meant.

Meet Ozeas:


Nate put Ozeas under our tree this past Christmas. 

Well, not Ozeas, per se, because that would have been weird and slightly illegal and I think we can all agree that nothing screams CHRISTMAS SUCKS louder than the strung-out meth addict sharing your cell on Christmas Eve while your wife runs around, trying to make bail.

Nate gift wrapped a folder detailing our sponsorship of Ozeas from Plan USA.

I don’t know what shocked me more … the fact that Nate had unglued his eyes from his crackberry long enough to not only notice my existence, but that I was also bawling my eyes out whenever Plan USA’s commercial ran across the TV screen?

Or that he bought something over the Internet that did not resemble an $80 Chia Pet or a framed certificate declaring our kids the proud owners of stars in the universe for the bargain price of $Holy Shit, We Could Rent the Space Shuttle and Grab The Real Thing For This Price and some odd cents.

But as it turns out, he did the former and not the latter and we now sponsor little three year old Ozeas who has eyes that wrap my soul in a warm, soft, fuzzy blanket and make me want to swim to Brazil this instant and hug him for an hour and fix the hole in his shorts with my duct tape and feed him PB&J sandwiches.

So now, Zoe and Helena have the little brother they’ve been begging for since forever. And while they won’t get the chance to snuggle with him and sing him songs and wipe away his tears and kiss his ouchies and wait at the bus stop with him, neither will they get the chance to order him out of their rooms and yell at him for spying on them and make him retrieve the phone out of the toilet and play the game of I’M THE BOSS OF YOU that they’ve raised to an art form.

It’s bittersweet, to say the least.

But they can ensure that he’ll have food to eat and clothes to wear and an education to learn. They can send him hope and hugs and kisses and love and compassion and size 3T t-shirts along with their letters.

They can make a difference in his life.

And he can make a difference in theirs. They haven’t realized that part yet.

And there were no mucus plugs or bloody show or ruptured membranes or GIVE ME DRUGS OR YOU DIE contractions involved on my part.

I did not have to earn my 113th stretch mark in this entire process.

Nate did good.



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30 thoughts on “Brother, Where Art Thou?”

  1. Avatar

    We sponsored Rizaldi Balmores from the Phillipines when I was a kid. I can’t believe I still remember his name! It was through the Christian Children’s fund. Back then it was $12 a month.

    Is it just me, or does the photo look like he was Photoshopped onto the background?

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    Your story about the talk with your friend was just too funny. What a wonderful thing you have done for that little boy. Thanks for sharing this.

  3. Avatar

    Those commercials always make me teery eyed also. I have always wanted to do it, but then I hold back. I can never get passed the episode of the Jeffersons where they sponsored a child (5) years old, and he showed up on their door step a year later as a full grown man!

    Its a wonderful gift, points to your husband, Im not sure If my husband would have been as thoughtful. I have been begging for a dog for months now, and the most I got was a happy meal dog.

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    Andy, that is soooo awesome. I grew up with a sister named Dau Noui in Bengladesh that I never met, but for me, it was sooo cool as a kid to say that I finally had a sister, since I had 3 brothers in my house, i was really wanting a sister. Mom gave up trying after having those 3 boys. (I’m the oldest) hehe..

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    aww….GO NATE!! That’s a thoughtful and great Christmas gift! 😀 James’s class did that this year instead of doing the traditional class party/book-exchange. The kids voted on the charity and decided to sponsor one that allocated the money to several different things like, buy a village a goat, enough seed for a village planting, etc…It was so neat watching him give his own money for that 😀

    If I EVER get the funds to be able to I want to do one to support the Appalachian people. So many of our own in living in poverty.

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    That is so awesome, Andrea!

    Also, I laughed at: “Did I look fat? Who was I going to have to sleep with to make sure they didn’t wind up on YouTube?

    Did I look skinny? Who was I going to have to sleep with to make sure they wound up on YouTube?”

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    Awwww, he has such a sweet little face!! Just when I think there is no way you can be any funnier than you already are, you prove me wrong!!! How funny that Helena was telling people she had a brother but failed to mention how he came into your family!!!

  8. Avatar

    Go Nate!! Great Great Great Present!! Its always so surprising when they’ve paid attention and get it right! LOL

    Loved your conversation with your friend, my sister would call me up the same way! Too darn funny!

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    I’m cracking up at your post as I’m sneaking on at work… at a non-profit that supports orphan homes in Latin America and the Caribbean no less… I am a “godparent” too, to a boy in Haiti. Good for you and still giggling over your daughters comments to strangers!

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    good pressie Nate, nice that he (Ozeas that is, though I am sure Nate has too) has made an impression on the girls.

    Oh and as for new siblings I was congratulated at school yesterday because Riley told his teachers and everyone else he crossed paths with that I was pregnant and it was going to be a little girl named Jessica, I then had to explain she was actually his imaginary friend and the long yearned for baby sister he desired i had told he was never going to happen

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    @Zucchini Breath & @kristin: you guys are freaking me out because my immediate thought was that we were scammed, so I checked the photo … I can see why you might think it’s photoshopped, because it seems like he’s sitting in mid air and there’s a noticeable lack of shadow on his right leg.

    But we have another photo of him where he’s sitting in that same spot. It’s taken at a different angle, and he’s sitting beside his sister (whose arm you can see in THIS photo). It seems he’s sitting on one of those old fashioned school desks, where the wooden desk part is attached to the chair? In the photo with his sister, you can see the leg support under the desk part. I’m assuming it’s hidden in THIS photo behind his actual leg?

    The photos are horrible quality – definitely taken at low resolution. But I’m going to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and assume they’ve not been photoshopped. Because otherwise, it will cause all sorts of doubt to run amuck in my head and my head is mucked up enough.

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    NOw that you say that and I look at the photo even closer, I can see he’s sitting on a desk, not floating in mid air like a punk rock kitten of some kind.

    I didn’t mean to freak you out! I’m sorry. Please forgive? I didn’t mean that the company was shady or anything. I should shut up more often…


  13. Avatar

    OMG…that is so freaking funny…(okay the first part)…and that is the best type of present I think anyone could get….and isn’t he just a little doll baby…so glad you all are able to help him….

  14. Avatar

    That’s a terrific present! BTW, you ever want to know about adoption, email me. My kids are adopted from Russia and Kazakhstan, and they are a joy. It’s not as expensive or difficult as people think. I am a single mom, and far from rich. I could see you and Nate adopting a small boy and completing your family in less than a year… [hint, hint]

  15. Avatar

    LOL. You did not tell your friend about the brandnew baby?

    I think it’s great that your daughter talks about her little brother even this little boy is not right here and there, but is and will be part of her life.

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