Having experienced the journey of adoption before, Herman and Marie found the process of welcoming their second child to be a bit smoother. Two years later, my new little brother entered our lives, bringing a different set of challenges.

Unlike my situation, my mom told me when I was older that my brother had endured the painful experiences of abuse and neglect, leaving a lasting impact on his young spirit. Consequently, he didn’t always exude the same level of joy as Mom said that I did.

Mom and Dad wholeheartedly embraced their role as his parents and named him Gregory Herman Scroggins. They recognized the need to heal the wounds inflicted by his past and were determined to provide him with the love, care, and opportunities he deserved.

Greg and I showed the typical ebb and flow of closeness and occasional disagreements that are part of being a brother and a sister growing up. We shared playtimes and sometimes we fought just like brothers and sisters do.

I remember times when we would play in the hallway between our rooms. Sometimes we got rowdy, mom and dad would make us quit and do something that didn’t make so much noise. We had fun and played all sorts of games in the hallway.

Mom and Dad remained steadfast in their commitment to provide me and Greg with a nurturing environment. However, when I reached the tender age of five, an event occurred that would significantly impact my life.

This event had such an enormous impact on my life that it overshadowed all the positive efforts that they had made in trying to create a nurturing environment for me and worked so hard to make me feel loved and chosen by them. The details of this event, and its profound and painful consequences that unfolded over the years, will be revealed at some point, not sure when revealed but might be when the book is written.

I love my brother, and even though we clashed at times when we were children, like most siblings do, I know he will be there for me when I need him most. One day, while we were on vacation together, we stood on a balcony overlooking the ocean, and he told me, “If you need me, I will be there for you.” I have kept those words close to my heart ever since. Whether or not I ever need him, I have the confidence that he loves me, and that means the most.