Not just any sister though.
Hey guys! Welcome back to my blog, and thank you so much for visiting my page today. It means a lot. Today I am going to be writing a little about my best friend and my hero, Brandon! Brandon is my nineteen, almost twenty year old brother who has severe special needs. Today in this post I am going to share some experiences, tell stories, share pictures, and so much more. I hope you guys learn a little, so lets get started!
To start things out, Brandon has CHARGE syndrome. I know, most of you probably have no idea what CHARGE syndrome is. According to google, "CHARGE syndrome is a disorder that affects many areas of the body. CHARGE is an abbreviation for several of the features common in the disorder: coloboma, heart defects, atresia choanae (also known as choanal atresia), growth retardation, genital abnormalities, and ear abnormalities" what this means for Brandon, he can't hear or see very well. He is legally deaf and blind. He has a hard time walking, his brain is at an 18 month level.
My parents adopted him when he was just a newborn, so for all of my almost seventeen years of life I have had this boy in my life. When I was growing up, I thought everyone had someone like Brandon in their life. Or I at least thought that they knew someone like Brandon. But it didn't take me very long to realize that people stared at him, asked questions, and asked me questions. The main question I got from kids my age (which was ages 3-6) was always "whats wrong with him?" That always got me mad, there is NOTHING wrong with my big brother, he is perfect! I thought that and knew that for as long as I can remember, so I would always respond with "nothing, what is wrong with you??" Although my brother does have several disabilities, there is nothing wrong with him. God simply gave him a challenge, and he is conquering it every single day.
Everyone has had sibling problems, if you have a sibling you know what I'm talking about. When a sibling is in the picture, sometimes its hard to share the attention. And trust me, it was just the same with Brandon. Changing diapers, calming him down, getting him dressed and fed, doctors appointments, along with so many more things. This is definitely something I struggled with growing up, he was my older brother, yet he had to have the attention of a baby. But soon enough, I saw the pros slowly take over the cons.
Thanks to him, I have such amazing childhood memories. Such as; awesome summer camps that were for kids like Brandon and their siblings. We got the opportunity to go to Give Kids The World, we got to go down to Florida, we went to Universal, Disney World, and so much more. Give Kids The World is such an amazing foundation, click on the title to learn more! He was my swimming buddy, although he has these challenges, he still finds things he loves. Which is why we love to swim. Brandon brought so many amazing memories, but honestly that was just the beginning.
When I was ten years old, I realized that I loved working with Brandon a lot. But not just Brandon, that summer I started volunteering at his school. I got to work with tons of kids just like Brandon, and I fell in love. This summer will be my seventh year working with kids with special needs, and I am so blessed. Brandon taught me so much with special education, but not just that. I matured a lot, but in the best way. I also learned so much patience and love. Every time Brandon smiles at me, I know I am doing something right in this world.
Now you know a little about my amazing brother! I know he is different, yet he is perfect. If you want to learn more about Brandons condition, Charge syndrome, click HERE. I have a challenge for you all, if you see someone that looks different, please don't stare, or assume anything. I challenge you to be loving to everyone you see. Thank you all so much for reading. If you guys want to see more of Brandons life, follow his Instagram! www.instagram.com/itsbrandonbear/. Have an amazing week everyone.
All of these GORGEOUS photos were done by the lovely www.instagram.com/hailieemmaphotography/go check out her page!