When David Harmon married my mother, he adopted me and my sister, Helen. I was five and Helen was eight, and if people haven't experienced adoptive love, there was little use trying to explain it to them. Description wouldn't help them recognize the territory, since most people couldn't comprehend the depths and heights and wide-open wilderness that appeared whenever a heart transcended desire for its own kind.
Adoptive love was not natural; it was not manufactured within our DNA. No evidence of its existence showed up in our blood types or facial features or the quaint familial traits that ran through generations, the genetic tendencies toward duty or distraction or drink. In scientific terms, adoption meant people were unrelated. Period.
But in the aftermath of my father's death, I came to realize, once again, that science never fully explained the world's greatest mysteries. Science was a high calling. It was a noble and wonder-filled endeavor. But science had yet to prove satisfactory answers for our most beautiful unknowns---all the things that transcended understanding, the miracles that pervaded individual lives and stretched back to a majesty spoken into existence, to a sacrifice that continued to resonate within our souls thousands of years later. A sacrifice based on adoption: he chose us, he loved us, then he died for the worst within us."
---from The Rivers Run Dry by Sibella Giorello
How about you? Do you have any favorite passages?