Jubilee didn’t just get a mom and dad when she was adopted. She got three brothers, three grandparents, three uncles, one aunt, and three cousins.
But even though adoption brings children into extended families, church bodies, and communities, the most important thing adoption does is place children into immediate families. Not immediately families, mind you, for Chinese special-needs adoptions rarely see a child come home before toddlerhood. But slow as the process might be, when a child moves from a concrete building teeming with orphans to a family of her very own, that pesky wait becomes worth it!!
And the siblings who’ve been waiting for their new brother or sister to come home receive just as big of a blessing! In the same way that there are no substitutes for a mom or a dad, there are no substitutes for siblings. Who else can we lay our heads on and drool when the road-trip drags on and on? With whom else can we bare our souls without fear of judgement or punishment? Who else has seen us in our underwear, heard us sing in the shower, and lived with us through our teen years, and loves us anyway? Nobody but our siblings. They are there for us through the years, watching us grow, watching us fail, and watching us overcome.
My immediate family is my cheering section, my biggest fans, my confidants, and my favorite people in the world.
The old saying, “Blood is thicker than water,” is true, though we adoption folks know that “blood” is not always a literal term:) The immediate family, no matter how it comes together, is the backbone of life. And darn it, everybody needs one!