Welcome to 30 Adoption Portraits in 30 Days, hosted by Portrait of an Adoption. This series will feature guest posts by people with widely varying adoption experiences and perspectives.

By Landon Graham, age 12

I don’t remember a lot about the day my baby brother came to me. A lot of my memories are based on stories that I have been told over the last seven years. My little brother, Chase, came to us shortly after I turned four years old.

That morning started out like every other Tuesday morning. My mom took me to swim class, we ate lunch with my aunt and my cousins, and we went home. Then, shortly after my bath, the telephone rang.

That was the telephone call that changed my life.   Though my memories are a bit hazy, I remember the emotion in my mother’s voice. She was crying, but she was smiling. I could not tell if she was happy or sad. So, I got a little scared. After my mom reassured me that everything was going to be fine, she told me that I was going to be a big brother. Two hours later, my days of being an only child came to an abrupt halt.

Until recently, I thought that all babies came to families when Social Workers brought them in cars. That was how my brother came to me and my family; however, things were not that simple.

Shortly after my brother arrived, my mom and dad explained to me that my brother, Chase, had another mom and dad. They called his other parents his biological parents. My parents explained that Chase’s biological parents were very sick, and it was our job to love, protect, and care for Chase while his other parents worked on getting better.

If his biological parents could not get better, and they used up all of their chances, a judge would allow us to be Chase’s forever family. However, if they could get better, we would help them learn how to take care of Chase, and he would go live at their house.

Truthfully, I did not want my baby brother to go anywhere, but my mom explained how sad they must be that he is not with them, just like my parents would be sad if I had to go live someplace else. I did not want them to be sad.

Over the next two years, my mom, my dad, and my little brother had to go to court a lot. Each time my parents returned home from court, I would ask the same question, “Did the judge say yes, yet?”   My mom would always tell me, “You will know when the judge says yes, because that will be the day that you get to come to court.”

Finally, after what felt like forever, our day came! We got to go to court. After I promised the judge that I would share my parents, and be the best big brother I could be, I heard him say, “yes” and my little brother was forever a part of our family. I did not have to be scared that he would be taken away any more.

When people ask me what it is like to have a sibling who is adopted, I tell them that I don’t know, because I have I have never had a sibling who was not adopted. Chase is my brother. I love and protect him like a big brother should. He takes my stuff and messes up my room. I would not have it any other way, because he also gets excited every time he sees me and he gives the best hugs.

Sometimes, I think about his biological family, and I think that they might feel sad. After all, Chase is very cool and really cute. I cannot imagine my life without my baby brother in it, and I am very thankful that I do not have to.


Landon Graham is twelve years old. He and his brother, Chase, are ambassadors for Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Miracle Network.  He enjoys swimming, playing Minecraft, and participating in 4H activities. His favorite place in the world is Disney World.  Landon’s brother, Chase was adopted from a pre-adoptive foster care placement. 

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Carrie Goldman is the host of Portrait of an Adoption. She is an award-winning author, speaker, and bullying prevention educator. Follow Carrie’s blog Portrait of an Adoption on Facebook and Twitter.