Before i continue my story, let me re-iterate a few things... I was a lucky kid in many ways - I always had my needs met, I was always loved, and I never had to suffer like many kids in today's world. My story is not a story of loss, it's not a story of me feeling bad about my childhood, or a story trying to place blame on anyone -- my story is just that - my story. What life looked like through my kid lenses and how what I experienced help to shape me into who I am today.
With that being said, let me pick up where I left. I was 8 and about to welcome my little brother into "my" world. Since I was little I analyzed everything - I have always had a lot of thoughts - I have always felt more than most people. My mind is hard to turn off.
So when my mom and stepdad told me I was having a sibling, I was excited at first and then I realized what that meant - I would no longer be the only kid, I'd have to share my mom, I would have to fight even harder to feel like I kept the spotlight. (even though now I realize I always had it)
When my brother was born I was jealous. He was getting what I wanted. Don't get me wrong, I still had all my needs met, I had toys, I was in sports, I made good grades. I should have been a happy content kid. Instead I looked at him - a cute little boy who had his mom and dad, and it made me jealous in some way. He brought us all much joy, especially his dad. I never saw that kind of happiness in my stepdad until he was born.
During the next year, I was determined to understand this life/creation thing. When I was nine I got baptized. I knew what I was doing. I understood who Jesus was and I wanted to learn more. I had "accepted" Him into my heart when I was 6, after going to a "walk the aisle" revival at my cousins church, but I didn't know what I was doing then. I just knew I didn't want to burn in some fiery place when I died. :-)
But when I was 9, my mind understood, we went to a church that practiced grace and had a children's ministry that knew exactly how to answer my questions. It was the first place I had ever been that made me realize there was a much bigger picture and world than me, my issues, and I had a Father there. The idea that God was our dad floored me. I had to know more. How could it be that I did have a Dad?
From age 9-14 my faith sparked. I grew into a young faithful learner of Him... But I had a lot more to learn, at age 12 I learned one of the most significant things I had been wanting.
After what I call one of the worst blow-ups my step-dad and I ever had I told my mom I deserved to know who my real dad was regardless of whether I never met him or not... I did not want to believe that my step-dad could understand me.
And she took me in her arms and we drove up to the top of a mountain and looked at the milky way starry sky, it was there that she told me what I had always wanted to know... A name.