Building a Family

One of the images that comes to mind when I hear talk of “building a family”, is my youngest daughter as a toddler. At two years old she could open a drawer in the kitchen and pull out of loaf of bread. Then pull a dish towel off the frig door to wrap the bread and offer to let me kiss her baby. She was building a family. A few months later her skills increased. She could collect three sticks, or three rocks, or seed pods and point to each one saying, “This is the daddy stick, this is the mommy stick and this is the baby stick.”

As a university student she continues exploring family, lives in a big communal house and works in a ‘community’ coffee shop. We are adjusting our experience of family. What does it mean to have a sister that you don’t know because she was built into another family (aka lost to adoption)?

Joy and I rode our roller coaster reunion as privately as possible for a long time. In the past 16 mo. of blogging, I began to accept and express my feelings more freely and openly; and the desire to integrate my children arose. Now I have to overcome all the years of maintaining separation through my deluded attempts at protecting the younger ones from the torment that has been adoption in my life.

The notion of waiting until Joy and I are just hunky dory and everything is OK is bunk. I can accept and acknowledge my experience. I can accept and acknowledge Joy. And I can quit trying to fix or protect these young and not so young adults.  I was always trying to make it easier on everybody.  But turns out, there isn’t any easier way to do this, than  head on.  Sorry about that.

Joy is in her thirties now. Her own little family is growing up.

I just read a first mom’s blog about her daughter’s adoptive parents finding her. It was magical to read about her daughter’s adoptive parents caring to find her natural mother, to ease her needs and support their daughter that way. They took the time and energy to get to know her natural mother and to bring her into their lives. I’m a little jealous.

I wish I could have been more graceful and tactful and aware when I had my brief encounter with Joy’s aparents back in ’92 or ’93 ??? Foggy memory… I wish we could have been more successful in building our family.

I guess it’s already built. I just wish we could get to know each other better, and recognize how extensive we are.  Hmmmm….

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2 responses to “Building a Family

  1. What’s stopping you?

    I don’t mean that in a caustic way. I’ve read Joy’s blog, too and you all (including her aparents) sound like good people. I say try for it.

  2. Sami,
    Thanks for your encouragement.

    It’s really Joy’s call, since she’s the focus and the only one that didn’t have any say in the original arrangements. I am sure she’s doing what’s best.

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