Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Definition of Family?

(Originally posted at Wordpress on 4/5/08)

I was reading a very nice blog post today by an adoptive father about the definition of family. This gentleman was going on to explain how he had grown up with quite an extensive clan - he had a huge family and so felt he very well understood what a family meant.

Good for him; having grown up in a very small family, I always felt a little wistful about those who had big, close, loving families.

But at the same time, he went on to say that a family isn't only made up of blood. And I can agree with him - to a point.

Because for someone who grew up with a big, huge, loving family of blood relatives, how can he possibly know or understand how it is for the adoptee who has to grow up and not be related to anyone?

I wonder where his little adoptee's family comes in to any of this. Are they a part of his "family"? Does he even consider them, the people who created "his" child, the people who share a very close connection to this little adoptee?

No, family may not be only blood, but blood is definitely a major factor in determining who IS your family.

I grew up without my "family" and I missed them, terribly, every single day of my life. I yearned for them, longed for them, cried for them. Even though I had my adoptive "family", and YES I love my adoptive family, when you don't have people around you who look like you, who act like you, who ARE made up of the same stuff that you are made up of, you just, well - you feel it. It's a feeling deep within your bones that you can never really shake. Even if the family who is raising you is the best, most loving group of people you could ever have the pleasure of loving and living with, sometimes love just isn't enough.

Families are not interchangeable.

I'm sure that this man's little adoptee will grow up in a very loving household, with a huge extended adoptive family to dote on him and care for him. But I hope they realize that that little adoptee has lost something - his original family, the family he was born to, a whole group of people who share his talents, his interests, his eye color and nose and hair and same big toe. Perhaps this little adoptee will miss them too...and if he does, I hope they are sensitive to that.

And, I'm happy that this man grew up with his big, happy, blood-related family.

I just wish that I had had the same opportunity to be raised with mine.

0 wisecracks:

design by