My niece joined the family on July 12th, 2010. This special young lady's mother is my younger sister, which in classic Chinese culture makes me her Jiu Jiu (舅舅) -- thus the title of this blog. Here I intend to semi-regularly post reflections, thoughts, stories, and assorted whathaveyous pertaining to our trip to China, adoption in general, and (mostly) watching my niece grow up. Since the web is a very public place, I will attempt to maintain my family's privacy while telling the story... but I invite you to follow the blog and come along for the adventure!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

No Smoke or Mirrors Required.

This post is going to be a little different; it's not specifically about the Pipsqueak. It is half philosophical treatise, half stream of consciousness rambling, and will probably sound a bit sappy to some readers -- but hey, these are my thoughts in my blog, deal with it. <grin>

Over the past couple of days, I've read several blog posts related to building families, adopting children no one else seemed to want to adopt, and preparing children nervous about sharing Mama & Baba with a new sibling. At some point, so quietly as to remain almost unnoticed until after I had caught up on all the unread posts in my list, the common thread that tied all those posts (and quite a bundle more) made its presence known in the back of my mind.

Magic is real.

I don't mean the kind of visual wizardry we see onscreen on television and in movies. I don't mean the sleight-of-hand, guard-these-secrets-with-your-life tricks performed by "magicians" onstage and in other venues.

I mean magic.

Yep, I'm talking about that supernatural power wielded by witches, warlocks, mages and wizards. The difference is, there are no wands, no special rituals, no trance states or pointy starred hats or hooded cloaks or midnight masses or boiling cauldrons filled with questionable contents.

"Magic," I'm sure you've been told, "isn't real. It doesn't exist. It's mythological, fake, made up to entertain around campfires or explain misunderstood natural processes in our deep past."

So we give it a different name. Despite "magic" being supposedly nonexistent, everyone seems to agree that something else -- equally (if not more) intangible -- is real. We don't call it magic... we call it love.

Love cannot be touched, cannot be held in one's hand or carried around in a bag; it cannot be chiseled or cut, carved or molded, poured, pumped, pushed, pulled, glued, stapled, folded, wrinkled, or smoothed. It is something untold millions have lived and died for, committed horrific crimes and selfless acts of incredible courage in the name of, made sane or driven insane by... and yet generations of philosophers, statesmen, sages and everyday Joes have returned to the dust from whence they came without ever being able to concretely define "love" in a way that more than a handful of other individuals can agree with.

Look at what love does. It takes total strangers and binds them together, often so strongly that the bonds outlast life itself. It gathers together people of totally different ages, backgrounds, nationalities and ethnicities and turns them into a single, cohesive family. It links individuals together in a way that leaves none alone even when by themselves.

Not magical enough for you? Okay, try this on for size: Love can expand infinitely without ever becoming diluted, and can do so without the supply running out. Look at the universe around you and try to find anything else in Existence that can do that.

Oh, sure, a chemist will tell you (and perhaps even demonstrate) that a gas will expand to fill all the available volume of space no matter how large its container may be... but as the container grows, the gas will become more and more dilute, more and more tenuous, eventually becoming undectable. This problem can be avoided by adding more gas, and then adding more gas, and then still more... but eventually there will be no more gas available to put into the container, and as the container keeps growing, even the increased supply of gas will eventually become dilute beyond our ability to detect its presence.

What love does is an egregiously blatant violation of the laws of physics, a physical impossibility, an action so counter-intuitive that some minds have trouble wrapping themselves around it... and yet it is. It exists in the here-and-now of the everyday world alongside all those things in Existence whose physical limitations it does not share.

So the next time a child asks you if there's such a thing as magic, take their hand firmly in yours, look then straight in the eye, and tell them yes, magic is real.

And then, just to prove it, give them a hug.

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