January 27, 2004

family not by blood

I've been reading This Woman's Work for a while now, since Dawn linked to an essay of mine in Hidden Laughter. I've been moved by her eloquence and thoughtfulness as she journeys through the process of what I have no doubt will culminate in an emotionally satisfying open adoption. It's made me much more aware of the issues involved. So I was particularly struck by my mother's latest entry, an adoption story from a different perspective.

I know a number of families where one or more children are adopted. Sometimes I've wondered about how the parents see this child who is theirs by heart and nurturing but not body and blood. As my mom's story illustrates, this child has her own heritage, his own gene pool, and whatever comes to us by nature rather than nurture. But you know? Dan is not of my blood. And he's closest family, his face and mannerisms as familiar as my own, if not more (I don't generally have long conversations with my mirror). I think there can be something wonderful about bringing new bloodlines into a family. About the surprises that can bring.

I also like the idea of an open adoption. All else being equal, that child grown to a man or woman can have two heritages, a multiplicity of backgrounds to draw on and define him or herself. Maybe that's overly sentimental, but it would be nice if it were true, wouldn't it? And maybe sometimes it is.

(No, I'm not considering adoption. Or a second child, for that matter. I just find the topic fascinating.)

Posted by Tamar at January 27, 2004 09:47 PM

What a nice post!

Posted by: Amanda at January 28, 2004 11:21 AM