For as long as I can remember, I’ve been of the opinion that blood is not the defining factor when it comes to family. Not that I have no respect for my biological relations, but my idea of what makes a family has always been a little more flexible.
On the other hand, one of my shortcomings has always been that I tend to believe that my experience is the same as everyone else’s. Naturally, this applies to my definition of family as well. But, since I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve been reading a lot of blogs by first mothers and adoptees. And I’ve discovered that blood relations do matter. In fact, they matter so much, that their absence can define a person’s life forever, often in negative ways. This knowledge has helped me to realize that my kids may someday feel this way. That I have the luxury of dismissing the importance of blood because I have my parents and my sister.
But likely, I would feel differently if I had never known them. I look so much like Grandma G and Aunt LM that people have always commented on the similarity. Usually, I find this annoying, but if I had never known them, I’m sure I would have been pleased to see someone who looked like me.
Although blood might not define my family, it gives meaning to countless people. Although I might not think it’s important, it may turn out to be of the utmost importance to my own kids.