Kasey, Mikelle’s older brother, has been there since the very beginning. He was there when Mikelle came off of the United Airlines plane from Korea, when she got her first wheelchair, when she started school. Kasey has been an all-star brother, always having Mikelle’s back through the hardest of times, and laughing with her through the most incredible moments. This is an excerpt from Kasey’s story.
I remember like it was yesterday when we picked Mikelle up from the airport. She was one of the last ones off, and we were just sitting there waiting. We had only seen pictures. And I was so excited to have a sibling finally.
And this little, bald Korean kid comes off the plane and she won’t stop crying. And she was crying and crying and crying and I was like, “What the heck?! This is kind of a rotten deal.” And she had this bottom lip. When she’s about to cry, the speed bump comes out, that bottom lip just pouts out, and that’s been her signature cry ever since. That bottom lip would just come out and you could literally put a coat hanger on it.
I remember holding her for the first time. With a lot of support from Mom, of course. It was a pretty exciting day. And that was the day she was adopted, and honestly I don’t remember anything until after she was a little bit older.
I remember when she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. It was kind of a big deal around the house, obviously. It had a major affect on my dad and mom’s marriage and so that made some significant changes. While we were still in Littleton, my care for her was no different than what a big brother should have for his sister. Just because I was still a little kid. But when we moved to Denver, everything shifted. I had to really show up. I had to start taking on real responsibilities, which a normal 8-year-old may not have to. I had to learn to be very independent.