My recent post, “Blood Matters,” generated some interesting discussion on “The Adopted Ones Blog.” As it turns out, it also generated some interesting discussion with Grandma G. She felt so strongly about this topic, that she wanted to contribute too. Here’s what she had to say:
My daughter recently posted a piece on the importance of blood. I felt so strongly about her writing that I wanted to add another
perspective to it.
I have always thought that blood mattered. After all, I spent my whole life being identified by my last name. I am one of 10 children, so I was
recognized almost anywhere I went. Somebody’s sister. Although this connection didn’t necessarily bring any rewards with it. Except once when I was new in high school, some girls were picking on me in the bathroom until someone spoke up to say, “leave her alone she’s _____ ‘s sister.” The feeling of belonging to a family seemed very important to me.
As an adult, I couldn’t wait to continue the line with children of my own. I don’t have to tell anyone the wonders of carrying a child, delivering that child and then watching him/her grow, learn and succeed. Now at 56 years of age, my perspective has changed somewhat. I still feel
strongly that family matters, but not necessarily blood.
The past couple of years spent as a grandma to two adopted children has provided me with a new outlook. Sadly some of the changes in this outlook have resulted from watching my own blood family drift further apart. That’s not to say we would not be there for any one of us in a time of need, but with the family getting bigger through marriages and births, and with many moving farther away, most of us just don’t have the same bond anymore. This, and the adoption, have caused me to reevaluate the importance of blood in and of itself. Now I see that although family is important, blood is not necessarily. Family to me is people who live together, grow together, and share together – with or without
My grandchildren are as much family to me as blood could be. When driving out to visit my brother recently, BE was questioning Aunt NK and Uncle JK’s last name. The conversation ended with her saying that if Aunt NK and Uncle JK are part of the family, then their last name must be the same as hers. In her mind everyone who is related to her should share her last name. Her new last name. For a 6-year-old to express this should make us all stop and think about how important it is to provide that connection.
If I have any concerns about all of this blood/adoption it would be that perhaps focusing too much on the fact that they are adopted may
make them feel less part of the family. Although children who are adopted may know, or should know, they are adopted, placing too much emphasis on this fact may make them feel less connected, less “family.” So let’s focus on them as our family and discuss the adoption only when they bring it up.