these are our beautiful children, Camp + Asher. Born in Ethiopia, and brought home to their forever family in October 2012. Their birthday’s are 3.5 weeks apart, and they just turned four. They’ve been together since they were 1 month old, sleeping in cribs next to each other in an orphanage, then in Midland + Bryan sharing a room. Ashers side is pink with a butterfly quilt, and Camp’s is red with dinosaurs. They love to keep each other up late jabbering, they wake up early telling stories, and read all the books during “nap time”. They are our real children, they are real siblings, we are their real parents. here we go, let’s break this down.
a few times in the past few weeks, strangers + acquaintances alike look at my kids and ask me the same question: “are they real siblings?”
now, while I know the intention of this question is not meant to offend or hurt, it still sorta stings. What I think people mean to ask is, “are they biological siblings?”, and I want to have a lot of grace to help them find their words! At the beginning of our adoption process, things that people said (like this) made me angry, I could get hateful in my mind. but, over time I’ve taken up the cause of education.
the thing is, as my kids are getting older, they hear and absorb everything. they pick up on things we say on the phone, to our neighbor, heck – the memorize jingles they hear on tv! Their adoption stories are complicated, but they are their stories. As they grow older, they of coarse will be able to comprehend more what it means that while they are indeed siblings, they were not birthed from the same mama. They still are, as all they’ve ever known, siblings.
the same kind of siblings that you have – siblings that fight over toys, squeal with joy playing hide-and-seek, miss each other while they are at 2 different schools, know how to press each others buttons, and love each other like crazy. They are almost like twins. and, while I know I did not experience pregnancy and childbirth of TWO babies at once (bless all you twin mamas!), I still like to think of them as such.
that’s something people ask too – are they twins? Honestly, to the random stranger at the grocery store, YES they are twins. to someone who is going to be a part of our lives, “no they are 3.5 weeks apart! but basically it’s like raising twins!”
I don’t write this to condemn you, or make you feel bad. I write this to let you know that families are birthed in different ways, and they aren’t always defined by blood, but simply by LOVE. So if you see a mama with kiddos that “don’t look like her” around town, and you feel the need to strike up a conversation, do it with grace, approach it with as much understanding you can, and know that her children are listening to both your questions, and their mamas response.
so, YES, Camp + Asher are real siblings. no doubt about that!
and on a lighter note, if you wouldn’t ask it about a boob job – don’t ask it about an adoption.