Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Sibling(s) (05/01/08)
TITLE: Reflection of an Adoptee
By Scott Sheets
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“Wow, really?” he curiously inquired.
“Yea,” I further explained, “and apparently I have three half siblings as well.”
In light of that two-week-old conversation, I have wrestled with how one ought to define a sibling. My brother and I were adopted as infants from separate families in California thirty plus years ago, and I have never considered him anything less then my one and only brother. I had never earnestly pursued discovering the identity of my birth parents until recently. An email I received regarding California birth records launched my parental investigation. Amazingly, in only a few hours, I was staring at a computer screen with the names of the man and woman who gave me life. Further research revealed that I also have two half-brothers and a half-sister. But what did all this mean?
As I talked with my brother on the phone about my discovery and shared how it came about, he in turn relayed some of the investigating he had done regarding his own birth mother. I felt our sibling bond deepening as we discussed this shared issue of origins. I found myself musing at the irony of growing closer to my adopted sibling while discussing the discovery of biological half-siblings. It was then quite evident that siblings are not defined merely by bloodlines, but by shared upbringings, experiences, and quite simply love and commitment to each other.
My brother will always be my full brother even if we don’t share the same bloodline. We grew up together in the same three-bedroom rambler in the flat fields of the Northwest Ohio. We caused grief to the same set parents, like the time we broke our mother’s candleholders and blamed it on the cat the next day. It must have been five or six years later before we owned up to that incident. Despite our occasional shenanigans, Mom and Dad loved us both the same.
I remember demonstrations of commitment by my brother as well. During recess as a third grader an older bully instigated a fight with me behind the school. I was hopelessly outsized and outmatched. However, in the midst of my losing battle, my brother entered the combat and evened the odds. Fortunately, everyone exited the clash unscathed.
Such ruminations about siblings drive me to consider how the Bible frames this topic. Scripture obviously refers to biological siblings, but it also affirms and even extols the reality of adopted siblings. As believers, we have been adopted into the family of God and the Lord Jesus Christ has become our elder brother. The Lord would never consider us any less then His beloved siblings, regardless of our sin-tainted bloodline. What sure joy it is to know that our Lord regards us as nothing less than part of His family. As our brother, He has affirmed His loving eternal commitment to us no matter the situations we face. Whether we are confronted by a spiritual bully or tragically fall into sin, our Heavenly Sibling is there to protect and forgive us. He is committed to us, because He is our brother. This precious truth has been poignantly reaffirmed to me in recent days.
I have not decided yet, whether I will contact my biological family. They have their own families with whom they have shared experiences and commitments. I certainly do not want to create any havoc within those established family units. But whether or not I make contact with them, I know I will have my brother who has demonstrated his love and commitment to me over these many years. Yet, greater still, I have my Divine Sibling who demonstrated His love and commitment on a cross. In that sacrificial act, the Lord Jesus epitomized the term ‘sibling.’
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