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Becoming a Mother

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Becoming a Mother

"I see so much of my twin brother in him. In a way I got another wish, to see what life may have been if my twin brother were still alive."

Growing up, I couldn’t wait to become a mother. Watching them take their first steps or speak their first words. Then there’s the birthday parties and graduations. It all seemed so exciting.

I did eventually become a mother but in a nontraditional way. I adopted my twin brother’s son, after my twin brother died from a drug overdose.

Losing my twin was and still is the most devastating thing that ever happened to me. He battled with drugs from his teens through his young adult life. But in the end he lost. I miss him every day of my life and often wonder what life would be like for him and for me if he were still alive.

Well, my twin brother had a beautiful son who was just one year old when my twin brother died. I didn’t hesitate for a minute when I decided to adopt my nephew. I knew we both would get through this together if we were together. I needed him as much as he needed me.” Our relationship transformed from aunt and nephew to mother and son, literally overnight.

At first I didn’t know much about being a mother. But I became rather good at it.

I was there for his first steps, his first words and all those birthday parties. It was just like I had imagined.

But then the unimaginable happened.

While in high school, he began smoking weed and soon he became addicted. Our whole relationship changed drastically. He was always angry at me and we grew further and further apart.

I looked in his eyes and he wasn’t there. I knew the signs, the same signs I saw in my brother’s eyes. I knew if I didn’t do something he would die. This wasn’t going to happen to me again.

This is my “child,” someone I love with all my heart, with all my soul. Someone I want to protect, to see grow and enjoy a beautiful life. I was determined to fight for that life and save him.

I put him in a youth residential treatment program where he received treatment and counseling for over a year. He excelled in the program, receiving his GED at the age of 16 and then attending college at 16.

Today he is doing great! He’s clean and works out a lot. He’s a nutritionist and a magician and waiting to be called to be a firefighter. Although I lost my twin brother, he gave me this amazing gift -- the opportunity to know what it is like to be a mother, to love someone, sometimes more than you love yourself, to share a life and watch it grow and to truly make a difference.

I see so much of my twin brother in him. In a way I got another wish: to see what life may have been if my twin brother were still alive.


This Story of Hope was created in celebration of recovery and to let families know that there are pathways to hope and healing. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families who are struggling with their son or daughter's substance use. Please consider sharing this page so that families know where to turn to for help, and that there is always hope.

Guest Book

Comments

1. Lynn Marrapodi
From the moment I met you, you spoke so glowingly about your son. Through the years, as i learned and understood your story I have marveled at your tenacity, determination and unconditional love. You have been, and will always be MY HERO, not only for the above mentioned, but because you continue to dedicate yourself to others in this situation. You always "pay it forward" with such grace, humility and undying passion with a personality that exudes compassion, understanding and support... You exemplify the serenity that is so much needed to get through what life brings us. Personally, I am extremely grateful that our paths have crossed in this life.
2. Maryann Maisano
The story is indeed amazing. What God calls away he gives a gift in return..Your story has inspired me and I hope it gives solace to those who read it.
3. Mike Crawford
May God continue to shine His light on you and your family. As you continue to walk in the love of God, that's in Christ Jesus, He will continue to layout the blueprint for you and your family's life. Thank you for sharing, it will bless many people. I leave you with this scripture Philippians 1:6-7. I look forward in chatting with you again...
4. Eva
Thank you for the email. I love hearing other success stories and to know I'm not alone. Day to day keep your heads up. The Lord loves you both and will continue to shine upon you. May He continue to bless you and yours.
5. Armando Aguinaga
I am very sorry for the loss of your brother i too am a twin .Thank you very much for sharing your story. It is very hearfelt and uplifting. I am happy to know that you stepped up and took your nephew(Son) and raised him as your very own. And raised him with Love. What an amazing testimony keep up the good work both of you! God Bless you both
6. Kristie
I want to say thank you for sharing your story. Though I am sorry for your loss, I am happy that you were able to save your "son". This story is a story of hope, commitment, and love, and I believe that it should be shared with as many as possible. Thank you so much for sharing this with us, as I know that it will inspire many more people, as it has me. Thank you also for the invitation to read this story that I got in my e-mail today, and the kind words that you said about my own story. It means a lot to me that someone found inspiration in the story that I gave.
7. Debra
I'm sorry for the loss of your brother. It took me going to federal prison until I realized I had a drug problem and was on my way to death. Prison saved my life. Not too may people can say that. I was shooting up meth and crack which they call that a speedball. I was slowly killing myself and didn't care. I looked like death and the other drug addicts around me didn't tell me how bad I looked. I weighed 116 pounds and looked like hell. I now have been out of prison for two in a half years and been clean for five in a half years. And tell my story to other addicts in hopes they won't go down the same path as I did before its to late for them. It really helps me to talk about my addiction I once lived. If we cannot admit to our mistakes and make our lives better than, we're just in denial. So I encourage everyone out there to share your story with others because you could be saving someone from destruction. God bless you all!