“He has your eyes…”
We are sitting in a hospital room. Our daughter has just given birth to our first grandchild and her biological and adopted siblings are gathered about. Each taking a turn holding and admiring the newest addition to our family.
It was a traditional scene. One where the family will “ooh” and “aww” over the beautiful life that has just entered the world. But a certain comment took my breath away.
“He has your eyes Jose.”
Uncle Jose, only 14, looked up with pride. It was an important moment. Because in adoption, you don’t always get to see another who has your eyes. A small symbol that provides a silent and powerful connection.
Our family is a patch quilt of sorts. My husband and I have two daughters adopted from foster care. They have a biological sister and brother adopted by my parents. It’s a complicated little family that doesn’t make sense on paper and confuses most people who meet us. But it’s our family. And when those four children entered our lives, we knew they all needed to stay together.
And here we are ten years later in a delivery room and I am again struck by the power of the sibling bond. And so grateful that they could experience this miracle together. That they could all take a turn holding the next generation of their family, of our family, and see tangibly the power of that sibling connection.
We are all woven together now, they and us. Biology doesn’t define our family; the love and commitment knit throughout that hospital room is what makes our family. But I don’t deny the power of biology – the miracle that is witnessed when you hold another and see your own eyes looking back.
Everyday siblings in foster care are separated because there are not enough families to keep them together. And when that separation turns into permanency, these children will inevitably be denied the basic privileges and experiences that siblings deserve and need. From the big moments like births and weddings to the small moments like raiding your sister’s closet or playing with your brother after school.
It’s hard work taking in a sibling group. Helping each individual child heal and work through their trauma while also caring for multiple children with multiple needs. But can I tell you something? It’s worth it.
“He has your eyes Jose.”
Interested in knowing what it takes to be a part of this amazing work? Check out our orientation page and get started today!
Arizona Faith and Families was founded by Paul and Nikki Lehman. Paul and Nikki started their family by adopting two teenage girls from foster care. They are now the proud parents to five children and one grandchild and work to equip others toward successful foster care and adoption.