It was all pretty routine. It wasn’t the first time I picked somebody up at the airport. I mean, living away from my family in the Southeast and Rocky Mountain Region of the United States, it’s common to pick up family at the massive George Bush International Airport. But this time it was different. There was an air of anticipation and excitement. My youngest brother was coming to visit with his fiancé. We had prepared for their arrival for a few weeks. We purchased our newest home in September 2021, so we have worked diligently to furnish the house. We had the guest room ready; I mean queen size bed and decorations. The paint matched the curtains, and I finally fixed the vent I accidentally broke soon after moving in. There were worries of delays and flight cancelations. For various reasons, the travel industry has been experiencing extreme volatility.
When my brother and his fiancé finally reached the airport, they told me they had picked up their bag. I started smiling; the last time I had seen him, he was much younger, handsome but with some physical similarities to myself. I imagined him in various ways but didn’t know what to expect. I pulled up to terminal A and immediately recognized him. I ran up and hugged him as he introduced his fiancé to me for the first time. We were so excited to see each other, jumping from topic to topic, finally setting into the topic that drew us together in the first place—family. I asked him about our siblings and mother, and we settled on our sister. We both bragged about how mature she was and how good her cooking was. He mentioned his admiration of her hospitality and concern. I said her sense of personal responsibility and dependability. It almost seemed like our admirations reflected the values most important to us. As we arrived home, introductions were underway as my wife met my youngest brother and his fiancé. Everyone was smiling and hugging as if seeing a long-lost friend—or family that maybe one hadn’t seen in a long time. Nervously, we weren’t sure what to put on the agenda, what to cook or how to make sure our new guest would be comfortable—so we asked. I heard Chick-fil-a, and I was immediately out the door with a “text me what you want; I’ll be back in a few.” This was exciting; I mean family—here in Texas…visiting us! We were elated. I got home, and we ate, laughed, and caught up. My wife cracked jokes on me, and my stepson awkwardly introduced himself and ran back upstairs to play video games like a typical 12-year-old.
After arriving home, we feasted on the best chicken and parted ways to rest and relax. My wife and I quickly set the agenda for the week with an activity for each day of the week. Unsure of how the week would unfold, we let her family and friends know we had family in town. After all, this was my first meeting with my biological brother— my mother’s youngest and final child. For those familiar with my story, after I met my birth father, he introduced me to my biological mother, who then raised me to two of my half-siblings. Like myself, my youngest brother is also adopted, and we never had a chance to meet when I met our other siblings. I was impressed with his openness to connect, fly to Houston, and spend time with my family. He is wise beyond his years, and I am proud of him. Although I didn’t get a chance to be his big brother growing up, I am pleased to journal this step in our journey together.
My brother’s journey is unique to him and his own, but I am pleased to share where our story intersects with others. Family can be complicated; family can be complex. We both spent time comparing stories and sharing perspectives on adoption. Although I can’t go back in time and create the reality I wanted with everyone I have come to love and care about, I wouldn’t change a thing. As a closed adoption, I have pieced together parts of my story over time. I am so thankful that my family has supported me in this journey. As my story unfolds, I will continue to share how good God has been reconciling broken things. In my case, I waited 36 years for this part of my story to begin…and plenty more experiences are yet to come. As we part ways with my brother and his fiancé, I anticipate the impact of their visit in my reflections to come. Stay tuned…