Tonight, I had the opportunity to have a long talk with my brother about family, relatives, and biology. It was quite a heavy, yet amusing, conversation to have while we waited on our Chinese food order.
So when my brother and I went to get dinner tonight, it was right after my mom had been telling the kids about our plans for the weekend. We got into the car and my brother asked me why we all kept referring to the kids as our cousins. As he put it, he's not related to them.
"How are you not related to them?" was my question.
"Because I'm adopted," was the response.
At first I didn't know what to think. I was a little angry, a little upset, a little confused... what was my brother talking about? How did his adoption mean that he wasn't related to our family? I asked over and over again what my brother was talking about and why he felt that way. While it felt like we went in circles for quite some time, the answer I eventually got made me feel a whole lot better.
My brother had no idea what "related" meant.
It was as simple as that. He was confusing genetics and biology with being a family. He kept bringing up the fact that he looks nothing like me and our ethnic backgrounds are different... He was basically very confused and mixing up a lot of information. But once I explained the difference between being biologically related and just being related to family, he understood what I was talking about.
Although then we had a whole different problem.... I ended up drawing out our family tree, starting with my great-grandparents and moving down to show my grandpa and his siblings and then each of their children. I had to show my brother exactly how the cousins who are visiting tomorrow are related to us. While I think he was still slightly confused, he was very impressed with the fact that I knew so many names of cousins. In fact, he thought that I might be making some of it up, because he told me that he was going to ask my mom if she really knew these cousins once we got home. And he did in fact check with my mom. When she confirmed that I was correct, he was even more impressed.
Hopefully my brother can forget about our enormous family tree and just have fun with our cousins tomorrow. I can't wait to have some family around again!
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