When Jill*, 32, was put into foster care she only had a rare couple of visits from her brother, Sam*, 34. When she was older she was determined to have a proper family…now she is pregnant with his baby…
I picked out a plastic toy to play with from a huge box in the corner of the room, and sat in the middle of the floor.
‘Say hello to your brother, Jill, ‘ a social worker said.
This was the only vague memory I had of my full brother Sam, 34, as I was growing up.
When I was a toddler I was put into foster care with my sister, Sarah, and apart from these rare visits, I have little memory of ever having a brother.
Sam stayed with our mum until he was seven, but then he was put in a children’s home.
At 20, I was desperate to have a proper family and a stable home so when I met *Paul, 23, things moved fast and we got married quickly.
‘I’m pregnant!’ I happily told him a few months into our marriage.
We had three children in six years and I finally had the family I had missed out on as a child.
But with the stress of three young children, our marriage started to become strained and we began arguing.
‘I want to try and find my brother,’ I told Paul one evening.
‘What for? Why don’t you concentrate on this family instead of searching for a stranger,’ he snapped.
‘I’m going to try and trace Sam,’ I told my sister Sarah, down the phone. ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’
I told her I did, and then she dropped a bombshell.
Sam had been living in the same area as Sarah for the last few years and had already made contact with her.
I couldn’t believe it.
‘I wasn’t sure if you wanted to contact him, so I wanted to wait until you said something,’ she told me.
Sarah’s husband arranged a meeting between us for the next week, and I nervously counted down the days.
I travelled the 170 miles to Sarah’s house. I couldn’t believe I was about to meet my brother, my memories of him were so fuzzy, I wasn’t sure if I would recognise him.
I walked into the living room and as Sam stood up to greet me, I knew straight away that I could never see him as a brother.
He was absolutely gorgeous.
We seemed to instantly click and I couldn’t quite believe this was my brother.
After the first meeting, I had to see him again, so we met up frequently.
The more we got to know each other, the more we realised how similar we were.
We laughed at the same things and had the same outlook on life.
We talked about our relationships, and realised that both of us were unhappy.
But the more time I spent with Sam, the more jealous Paul became.
‘I don’t trust him, I don’t want the kids around him,’ Paul told me in an argument.
I wouldn’t stop seeing him, so eventually Paul left me.
I knew that I was falling for him but in the back of my mind a voice was always saying ‘but he’s your brother.’
Also I had my children to consider, and although I was separated from Paul, we were still married.
One weekend I travelled down to Sam’s house for a weekend stay.
As we sat laughing and joking over breakfast Sam suddenly became serious.
‘I think I’m falling for you Jill,’ he told me.
As he said it, I felt a huge rush of relief but I also knew that we could never go back to trying to be brother and sister.
That weekend was a whirlwind of emotions.
We knew that what we were doing would be considered wrong by many, but we knew that the love we felt was real.
‘I love you,’ Sam said, kissing my lips and I knew then that although it would be difficult we would make it work.
The first time we slept together was amazing.
I felt closer to Sam than I had to anyone else and everything seemed so right.
As he held me tightly afterwards I knew that he was my soul mate.
Soon my foster mum started to suspect that we were closer than normal siblings.
‘I can’t stop you being together,’ she said, but we knew she didn’t approve.
I didn’t tell any of my friends the truth and so they assumed we were like any other couple.
After a few months we moved to be together.
Sam became a father figure to my children and we all lived together- I knew that we had to keep quiet for legal reasons and to stop my children being taken into care.
Then two years ago, I became pregnant.
I panicked, I didn’t know what to do.
I told Sam: ‘What if the baby has lots of problems because we are related?’
But after tests it turned out it was a false alarm.
Sam had never had children, and I knew he would make such a great dad, as he was to my kids.
The more we talked about it, the more I knew that we both wanted a baby.
So when I fell pregnant I checked a few times before I told Sam.
‘I’m definitely pregnant this time,’ I said.
As he hugged me I knew that what we were doing was right.
Now I am six months along and I have had an amniocentesis and other scans which show that the baby is perfectly healthy.
We know that if social services ever found out, our baby could be taken away, along with my other children but we don’t think it is fair.
Sam is not just my brother- he’s so much more than that.
He is my soul mate, partner and lover and what we have is so much better than anything we’ve had before.
I feel sad that we have to keep our secret as I don’t feel like we are doing anything wrong.
All I did was fall in love with a wonderful man.
It was a cruel twist of fate that meant that man was also my brother.
*Names have been changed