Although the quality of this video isn’t great, Garth’s introduction of his song is priceless. He shares with his small audience about growing up in a blended family. His parents wouldn’t allow the words “stepbrother” or “half brother.”  He was taught that family is family . . . it doesn’t matter if you’re blood related or not.

We, also, are a blended family. But our blending came because of having biological and adopted children. We raised our children as the Brooks family raised theirs: Family is family, regardless of how they come to you. We openly talked about adoption in our home, though it wasn’t an issue enough to point out who was adopted and who wasn’t. It didn’t matter, unless the adoptee had questions about his roots.

So when our youngest child (biological) entered kindergarten, she was exposed to some surprises. Azure came home from school one October day and ran off the bus, bawling. I was so concerned that I grabbed her into my arms and comforted her. What could have happened to her today? We got into the house and calmed her down. As soon as she got calm enough to speak, her brother walked into the room. She ran to Bryan and grabbed on as tight as she could and wouldn’t let go. The tears started again and for a time she was inconsolable. I loved the fact that she was going to her brother for comfort, but didn’t get the connection until she finally told us what was going on. Through sobs, Azure finally blurted out:  “I didn’t know Bryan was adopted!”

We talked the rest of the day about adoption, and about who was adopted and who wasn’t, and promised her that it wasn’t a secret we were keeping from her! We really thought she knew! Then we asked her to look at Bryan’s dark skin . . . could she see now that he was different in some ways? She couldn’t see it. In actuality, Azure has quite an olive tone to her skin and in the summer she gets darker than our multi-racial Bryan. In retrospect, we realize that wasn’t a good way to teach her. Snuggled in Bryan’s arms, Azure finally began to understand that it doesn’t really matter. Family is family. Period. Love is thicker than blood.

Fast-forward a decade. Someone in a class at her high school asked Azure if Bryan knew his “real” family. Our Azure is outspoken, feisty, and incredibly tender-hearted. The person who asked got a thorough lesson in what “real” means that day!

Thanks, Garth Brooks, for sharing what so many of us believe:  Love is thicker than blood!