My husband has gone to Madrid to visit his birth brother who teaches English-as-a-foreign-language over there. So I am deprived of his company, but still have my father-in-law and our Korean student to look after so still have the catering and cleaning to do. It is quieter, though! I find it difficult to get to sleep when Simon isn’t here – last night I had the dog sleep on the bed with me (usually the cat’s perk) to keep me company, and I also put the electric blanket on his side of the bed on to give the feel of warmth. We have only been married six and a half years, but increasingly we are aware that we are becoming one flesh (definitely helped by the fact that I have stopped fighting that, yes, there was a time when I tried hard to keep myself as a discrete individual, now I have a much better understanding that God has bound us inextricably together.).
My husband grew up knowing he was adopted, but it was only when he was 14 that he was told that a woman he had always known as a family friend was in fact his birth mother. His mum and dad (that is adoptive parents) had fostered him from when he was 10 days old. As he got older it became clear that his birth mother could not look after him, and by that time his foster parents could not bear to part with him and so adopted him (how lovely to be chosen in that way). No one ever told him that he had an 18 month older brother who had been adopted into another family. (the father of both was married to someone else at the time. Simon’s birth parents are now married to each other, but having given up two children for adoption and had at least one abortion has seriously damaged his birth mother’s mental health.) Curiously, Simon’s brother always knew he had a little brother as that information was passed on to his adoptive parents, but unlike Simon he had no contact with the birth mother. About a decade ago Simon’s brother decided to try to trace his birth family and that was how they met, and indeed how Simon found out about him. Simon struggles with feeling disloyal to his adoptive family when he has contact with his birth brother, but at the same time, even though they only met as adults, he does feel he has a bond with him. They look and sound similar, they both studied politics at university, and big bro went out to Spain to teach English at exactly the same time that Simon went to Portugal to teach English. Sadly, big bro does not believe in God – we hope and pray that his eyes will be opened soon.