I was just googling a celebrity– don’t remind me of all of the things that I REALLY need to be doing with my time. I saw that this celebrity has two siblings and on her wikipedia page, it listed them as her “separately-adopted siblings.” I’ve never heard it worded that way before, but I figured out what it meant… two siblings who are both adopted but not biologically related.

Next link I clicked was a page with a Q&A about this celeb. “Are so&so real brother and sister?” That question breaks my heart. “No” was the answer. Heart break. Because we are familiar with this question.

I know people say that there are no stupid questions, but this is one. Especially asked in front of my kids. We don’t usually get it worded this way. But, all the time, we get asked, “Are they brother and sister?” My answer depends on how interested I am in the person asking and my own mood. “Yes.” OR “They are not biological siblings.” or maybe “They don’t have the same birthparents.” Really none of your business, buddy.

My kids are real siblings. Real, fight over toys just to fight, sit as close to each other as they can to watch a movie siblings. They’re who’s turn is it to pick the story? no, it’s my turn! siblings. They’re it’s okay, I’m here, hold my hand siblings. They’re through the fire and out the other side siblings. Biology has nothing to do with it.

My kids are very young, but their bond is deep. When they left the orphanage, the one thing that they got to take was each other. Not a single physical object or piece of clothing, not their language, or their culture. Just each other. Wouldn’t you love and cling to that person dearly?

So, yes, if you are still asking, they’re real siblings.

Eleven months ago, exactly.

2011-10-30 14.28.13
Last month.

Last week, watching a movie. No one else had been on the couch and she had been leaning on him right before I got the camera.

Edited to add: I had someone ask me this question literally hours after I wrote this post, in those exact words that I mentioned above (are they brother and sister?). Just to be clear, I don’t think this question is rude in certain contexts, including the context that this person asked me in. Friend to friend, talking about the adoption process– it’s appropriate, although better language is “are they biological siblings?”. However, this is rude if you just met me AND/OR in front of my children. They ARE old/smart/fluent enough to understand those words.

10 thoughts on “Biology”

  1. I hate hate hate that. People ask me that all the time. When they hear my brother was adopted they will comment, "oh, so he is not your real brother?". Um, yeah. He is. Always will be.

  2. Even if you told me they werent "Biological siblings" I wouldnt believe it. And I really wouldnt believe that they are not biologically yours. They each look like either you or your husband, and have similar facial features between the two of them. Real in every sense of the word.REALly cute to boot :)Just Another Day In Paradise

  3. i never thought of it this way. thank you for sharing your heart! i do not think i would ever have the nerve to ask someone if thier child was adopted or biological anyhow… with all the different families and ways to have a family it would never cross my lips. i agree though. they are brother and sister. they are siblings. they might not be by blood, but they probably have just as strong of a bond if not stronger already. praying for you guys daily, as your family is always on my heart.

  4. Fabulous post! I couldn't have said it better myself. It drives me crazy that people still ask this question — you would think that adoption was something new in the world!

  5. Of course they are real siblings. They are both real and they are siblings :-)The best of luck on adopting Helen. She is

  6. That picture of Reed & Lena on the train is absolutely one of my all time favorite photos, ever, of anyone, anywhere. The looks on their faces say it all.

  7. What beautiful pictures. Your children are so sweet 🙂 Unfortunately many people make very hurtful comments all the time and as my kids have gotten older I have found their teachers feel it is acceptable for them to directly question them extensively. Parent conferences last wk…for my two 7th graders we got "I just found out N & A arent really brother and sister!" Let me tell you that one didnt go over well! and from another teacher "so they are NOT twins and its interesting that they have completely different personalities. I commend you for adopting.. " blahAny updates on your travels date for Helen's adoption? :)Kelly-Ohio(having trouble signing in)

  8. I am always frustrated by this question as well. I always say with an enthusiastic smile, "they are NOW!" you would think that the obtuse person would recognize that they are being well, obtuse, but you would not believe how often I get, "well, you know what I mean." Yeah, I know what you mean, but clearly you don't know what I MEAN. These are my kids. they are siblings. Consider being a little bit more AWARE of what you are actually saying. I have considered asking the question, "is that your real spouse? I was wondering how you were able to overcome the fact that he isn't your "blood." Thankfully the Holy Spirit usually puts his hand over my mouth at that point.

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