My adoptive brother is my parents' biological son and is six years younger than I am. (I wrote about some of the circumstances of his arrival in our family yesterday.) I can remember fighting with him about who was taking up more space in the back seat on long car rides, but for the most part we got along well. We were rarely competitive with each other, in part because of the age and gender difference and in part because we were naturally drawn to different sports, activities, etc. One thing we have in common is a shared appreciation for a good story. We like to relive moments from our past, such as the time we flipped a canoe in frigid waters. Over the years, some of these stories have, shall we say, improved in the retelling, with little exaggerations slipping in. My brother has no use for computers, refusing even to create a facebook account. As adults, we are friendly though not extremely close. He still lives in the town we grew up in; I see him when I go home, but we make few efforts to keep in touch in between. About a year ago I called him to ask a major favor. I emphasized that he could take his time to think it over, but didn't need any time. He said yes in a single beat. Because we're family.
My biological brother knew from the age of 10 that he had a sister out there, somewhere. At moments in his life, unbeknownst to either of us, "somewhere" was very close by; for a time, we lived close enough that we could very easily have walked by each other on the street or in the grocery story. By the time we met, he was in high school and I was a young professional working in publishing. During my first reunion visit, our mother watched us talking to each other from across the room and decided that if we had grown up together we would have had our own language, so similar were we. I agree that he and I are very much alike (except that he is much smarter and hipper than I am). We are similar in our political and spiritual views. We each work, in our own way, to create social change. We read, we write, we post, we tweet. We live both in the world and in our computers. We grew up apart and we now live on opposite sides of the country, and yet I do feel close to him.
I feel conflicted about many aspects of my adoptive experience, but in matter of siblings I am simply doubly blessed.