My one and only brother.
There is no one like Andrew. He is the only son in the Brown house. He holds the title proudly. My family started to adopt a little girl in 2007. We were "supposed" to be a family with four girls. That's what Daddy thought. She was going to be Carrianne. Yet, God had a different plan. There were no girls coming up. God told my family to open up the adoption to a girl... or a boy. Within a few days a picture of 3 year old Qing Bin Dang was sent to my family. He was a precious looking boy who had clubbed feet. That seemed simple enough. We knew he was the one. He would be Andrew David Brown. Before we left we learned that he had multiple other health issues, including a desperately needing repair hernia. So we prayed all would be okay.
My Mom and I headed off for China in September of 2008. We passed through Bejing as we had 2 years before. Instead of arriving in the beautiful and flowery province of HuBei, where Clara was from, we arrived in Henan. It is the oldest and I would argue, one of the poorest provinces in China. A few days later, my Mama and I hopped in a taxi and road through the filthy streets to a broken down building. Smoke billowed from the streets. Everything was gray. My stomach knotted at the repulsive odors.
Before I knew it, Mama and I were in a dingy room waiting on a worn couch with our guide. I clenched my hands... I looked toward the door over and over. That was when a thin lady came in with a little boy on her hip. That wasn't him...
I looked at Mama's face as she said it again. That's him. I looked again at the child's face. It was. It was him. To my surprise, the woman dropped him to the ground and to my horror, he walked on his twisted feet. I had never seen anything like it. His clothes were literally rotten. His head was covered in sores and his skin was covered in a thick layer of dirt. Yet, he laughed and smiled.
His nanny sobbed as we took him with us. She warned us that his hernia may explode if he cries. I waited for him to cry as we got in the taxi. He never cried. The whole time. He fell asleep on the bed in the hotel and slept for 13 hours.
We took Andrew home with us to NC and he has multiple surgeries on his legs and feet. He relearned to walk correctly. He bore the pain of wearing huge casts on his legs for months. He has surgery on his hernia. He never complained. He proved to be more like Kandace than like Clara and me. He is rather... sly. He can even be called wild. But his overactive heart accepted Jesus one night in his bed as he realized he needed Jesus to save him.
Yet, there is no way to really describe Andrew. My little Bin. His life in the orphanage affected him much more than Clara's did to her. He struggles to read and is behind in a lot of areas of what many consider "typical school subjects." But Andrew is smart. He can work anything. He builds whole towns in his room using pulleys and levers. He is little, but he doesn't let that slow him down. He can't speak well, but he still says more than many could imagine he would.
He is the one that comes up to me and crawls up in my lap. He lays his head on my chest and pretends to fall asleep. He is also the one who didn't understand that I am getting married.
He is obsessed with Legos these days and he wants some for Christmas. Josh and I will not be home for Christmas this year. Josh's working schedule won't allow it. We will be home a few days afterward. So, a few weeks ago Andrew came up to me. He asked me to help him build his Legos on Christmas day. He promised me that I won't get bored and I will have fun. I proceeded to have to remind him that I will not be home. I'm marrying Josh. His face wasn't one of anger or even sadness but realization that I'm leaving. He doesn't cry. He just nods and walks off. I wonder sometimes where his little mind is in all of this. All I can do is hold him and tell him that I love him.
Andrew has the most generous heart in our family. He kissed me before bed the other night and said, "Oh no! I spoiled your kiss for Josh!" He listens and he knew that I have saved my kiss for Josh. I laughed as I kissed his nose and told him that it was different because he is my brother.
I will miss my Bin. I don't know what I'll do without my bundle of energy. He is my only brother. He takes care of me.
I love you, Andrew baby. You of all my siblings understand patience through the struggles. You've taught me how to be tough... just like you. Yet, somehow, you're the sweetest boy I know.