Most children grow up having parents they look up to and love and they know their parents love them to the end of the world. They know, or they think, their parents love them more than they could imagine. Then how could my parents fall in love with kids they only had for a year whom they didn’t even raise and care for? How could they love them as much as their own children? Of course I’m not a parent so I wouldn’t understand, but to a biological daughter, watching my parents and siblings fall in love with six new kids so easily, I felt replaced for a while. My relationship with my biological brothers went downhill as they had new siblings who were closer in age. So, let me explain a little bit of what I’ve learned about love.
I love my biological and adoptive siblings the same. But it’s a different kind of love.I remember each time my 3 younger siblings were born. I was only 1 when Audrey was born, but I remember her as a baby. I remember when Luke was born, I was 4. And then I remember praying for the first time, and I prayed for another little brother. Then Sean was born when I was 6. I remember holding Sean in the hospital. His little soft, chubby face crinkled into a grimace as he slept. At six years old I promised God I would always love him and asked God to help me be a good big sister to him. Well, as time passed, us 4 had hundreds of memories together. Whether it was a secret dance off we had while mom was asleep, or when our puppy went missing, we were always there for each other.
One thing about me is I am a very protective person. If you mess with my siblings, you’re in trouble. When I was 6 years old I started martial arts. One of the reasons was because I wanted to protect my baby brother, Sean. Being the oldest, I looked after the other kids and felt they were irreplaceable.
My parents didn’t replace us and we knew that. They only added to us. It was confusing to understand, and I still don’t quite understand how we added six people to our family and it feels like family. But to me, something still feels different. When I look at Sean, my 9-year-old biological brother, I can see him from a baby and how much we’ve been through together. I feel more protective over him. When I look at Caleb, my 9 year old adopted brother, I see an adorable little boy whom I love and who God made my brother. It’s a different kind of love.
I realized after wondering about this for a while, that Jesus was God’s biological son. Jesus died for us. We, who are adopted by God. Can you imagine that? How hard it was for Jesus not to be jealous? How he must have been tempted to feel replaced? If my parents asked me to give my life so they could adopt someone else, I would be pretty bewildered and probably angry. But for Jesus to fully trust God his father is a miracle. For God to give up his one and only true son, so that we could be adopted, is very special. By adopting, and experiencing these two different types of love, I can see a little bit of how much God must have loved us, and that we’re truly worth dying for.