{FAMILY} 5 Things To Consider Before You Get A Family Pet

The other day, this tear-jerker of a video came across my Facebook feed (watch it until the end, and make sure you have kleenex on hand).

Not only was it the cause of many tears, but the video sparked a slew of comments about pet adoption and abuse, and shed light on a big problem in regards to animal welfare that needs to be addressed.

Children love puppies (and kittens for that matter), and it can be easy to give in to their sweet little pleas to add a furry friend to the family. But just like the decision to have another child should be very well thought out, so should be the decision to adopt a pet.

family pet

My Dalmatian, Keyla pups – 14 years old

Before you head to the SPCA to pick out a pup for your family, ask yourself these 5 questions:

1) Are you ready for a slew of sleepless nights and unpredictable destruction? If you’re looking to adopt a puppy, be prepared for some sleepless nights, and for some of your favourite things to become irreparable chew toys.

2) Are you prepared to do all of the dirty work? While your children will be promising to pick up the poop and walk their new friend, the novelty will wear off, and it will be up to you to take over the tough tasks.

3) Is your home big enough for a full-sized pet? Puppies are small and cuddly, but they grow – and quickly! Before you sign the papers, make sure your home is equipped for the adult-version of your little pup.

4) Are you alright with a little unwanted noise? Dogs bark, it’s just what they do. So if you have a baby who needs silence to nap, or if you anger easily, perhaps a pup isn’t right for you.

5) Are you ready for the life-long commitment of caring for a pet? Yes puppies grow older, train well and settle in nicely after the first few months, but just like people, dogs get older. Injuries, ailments, and old age will eventually set in, and you will be responsible for added costs and extra care as your pet grows older.

Don’t get me wrong, there are so many great benefits to adopting a pet, but it’s important to prepare for the responsibilities that come with the life-long commitment before heading to the pound.

 

{FAMILY} What Makes A Mom

This year I had the opportunity to work on the fourth annual Leading Moms event – a day full of inspiring talks from extraordinary moms. As always, the speaker lineup was filled with an array of  diverse women, all invited to share their stories and experiences with an engaged audience. Every year, whether I’ve attended as a guest or as a member of the event organizing team, I’ve always left the event feeling connected and inspired, and I’m sure this year’s event did not disappoint.

While I was unable to attend the actual event this year, there were some negative comments shared on the event’s site that left a bad taste in my mouth, so I wanted to share my thoughts.

One of this year’s speakers was Morgane Oger, a transgender activist, leader in social change, and mom of two young children. Some commenters questioned her validity as a “mom” and challenged the Leading Moms event team on the choice to include a trans mom on the panel of speakers. And everyone is entitled to their own opinion – if they don’t like the choice of speakers, they are not obliged to attend the event.

Haters gonna hate.

When the speaker lineup was first revealed, the thought that Morgane was a trans mom didn’t even cross my mind. My only thought was that I was excited to hear her story, to learn more about her perspective as a mom and the experiences, struggles and successes she had faced on her journey towards motherhood.

I can understand the fear of the unknown. I know that not everyone is inclusive, and that some people feel the need to express themselves when they are strongly opposed to another person’s opinions and perspectives. But what I will never understand, is the need to attack another person’s personal choices – choices that in no way affect their own lives – in a way that is so hurtful, and on a platform that is so public.

Many poisonous words were slung on the topic of trans moms, but what bothered me most about the backlash was the argument that the only thing that makes a person a mother is the ability to physically give birth to a child. As an adoptee, this comment hit me on a personal level.

In my eyes, it is not only the hours that it took to push a baby into the world that makes a person a mother, but the hours – days – years – lifetime – afterwards that earns the title of ‘mom’.

There are so many babies who are brought into this world by women who did not intend to become mothers. And if those children were as fortunate as I was, they were connected with people who devoted their lives – their hearts to those children. People who committed to nurturing those children, loving those children, and providing for those children unconditionally. And those people are equally as deserving of the title of ‘mom’, or ‘dad’, or ‘parent’.

Not everyone can have babies naturally. And not all people can love and care for a child naturally either.

A person can become a mom biologically, or emotionally – how that mom came to be is not what matters. What matters most is that the child who calls that person “mom” knows that they are loved.

A lifetime commitment to loving a child unconditionally – that is what truly makes a mom.

 

 

 

Adult Adoption: My Journey

I was adopted twice. In the first year of my life fate brought my adopted mother and I together in an unconventional way, and at the age of 5, I was adopted by her and my first adopted father. 16 years later, I was adopted again by my stepfather, who had become my primary father figure. The adoption process in my adult years was unconventional as well. In fact, after nearly two years of attempts and a final, dramatic courtroom session, the results of our adoption journey set a new precedent for adult adoptions in Canada.

THE FIRST TIME

In 1979, as a way of celebrating the International Year of the Child, a special woman with a big heart and a passion for children set out to help a family in need, so she posted an ad in the Buy & Sell offering child care services. My biological mother came across the ad and jumped at the opportunity to receive help. Fortunately for me, a babysitter who was found by chance became my mother by choice. She married soon after our meeting and the couple added me to their small family through private adoption. I lived with both of my adoptive parents until the age of 6.

When I was 6 years old, my adoptive parents divorced. While I lived full time with my adopted mother, my adoptive father moved to another country and remarried. As his new family grew, our relationship dwindled, and we eventually lost touch during my teen years. Meanwhile, at the age of 9, my adoptive mother began a relationship with a wonderful man, who would eventually become my father.

For most of my childhood and throughout my teen years, this man played the role of “father” in my life. Because he had two children from a previous marriage, he and my mother had decided to take their relationship very slowly. They married in an intimate ceremony in our home seven years after they started dating, when I was 16. Afterwards, my mother and her new husband sat all three of us new step-siblings down and told us that we would have equal rights in our family. For my new stepfather, this meant that I was officially accepted in his heart as one of his own children.  For me, though, it wasn’t enough to feel truly accepted as his daughter.

WHY ADULT ADOPTION?

For me, the difference between having him as my stepfather and my legal father was similar to the difference between having a common-law partner and a husband – there was something extra special about making the relationship legal.

I had accepted him as my father figure, but I wanted to take on his family name as well. I wanted my university degree to display the last name that represented the father who had raised me. When I married, I wanted his surname to be recognized as my official maiden name. I wanted to share the same last name as my mother. To me, it was a symbol of our blended stepfamily becoming a true family unit.

My stepfather had made the decision to marry my mother as a way of legalizing their union (and ours), and I felt as though it was my turn to make a similar gesture with the same sentiment, but on my own accord. At the age of 19, I decided that it was time to make our roles as father and daughter official. I wanted to present the idea to him through a sentimental gift, so I purchased a small mahogany clock and had it engraved with the words, “It’s time you became my father.” I presented it to my stepfather and asked him if he would like to make his role as my father legal. He welcomed the idea with open arms, and we started what became an unexpectedly lengthy and almost impossible adoption process.

THE CHALLENGES

While we were sure of our decision to legalize our father-daughter relationship, we were unsure of how to start the official process of an adult adoption, so we sought out the legal advice of a lawyer and close family friend. Because I hadn’t maintained a relationship with my biological parents, and I had lost touch with my adopted father, we thought the process would be as simple as submitting a petition of consent signed by myself (as an independent adult), and my soon-to-be father, but after some careful digging, our legal counsel found some roadblocks in the system that would make our case nearly impossible.

Our lawyer concluded that without certain parental permissions, the process of adult adoption would be very difficult for us due to the precedent laws in place. The adult adoption process required permissions in order to legalize the union, and in our case, there were two required permissions in particular that we were unable to provide.

The first was “permission from the natural parents of the person who is to be adopted”*, or in my case, permission from my legal adopted father. This seemed like a reasonable request, as in most cases of adoption it would make sense for the legal parent to be required to give their permission to revoke their parental rights; however both my natural and adopted fathers were no longer present in my life.

If we were unable to provide signed consent from the biological or adoptive father, then we were required to meet the second form of consent noted in the adult adoption law: permission from the spouse of the person to be adopted.* I was unmarried at the time, and we thought this requirement was absurd and archaic. Why should a female adult need permission from a spouse to complete the adult adoption process?

Why should a female adult need permission from a spouse to complete the adult adoption process?

My soon-to-be father had experience in the courtroom, both through his previous role on the parole board, and through acting as the legal representative for businesses he ran. He realized that we might be able to circumvent the formal legal barriers ourselves. Our attorney wisely suggested that his idea wouldn’t work, but she did agree to arrange for a hearing before a BC Supreme Court judge on our behalf.

THE DRAMATIC COURTROOM SESSION

In BC, adoption is a BC Supreme Court matter. Traditionally, appearing before a judge in a Supreme Court setting requires the presence of legal representation, but since the traditional legal process had not worked in our favour, we decided to represent ourselves. Our plan was to throw ourselves at the mercy of the judge and hope for the best.

As we anticipated our court date, we rehearsed our argument, aware of the challenges we would face by stepping into a courtroom without a lawyer by our side. When the time finally came to approach the bench, the judge started the session by asking in a stern voice, “Where is your lawyer?” My father held his head high and responded with confidence, “My Lord, lawyers cannot help us any longer. We are here to appeal to you directly.”

The judge, looking perplexed by the fact that we would even attempt to appear before him without a lawyer, paused for a moment. We were waiting for him to ask us to leave his courtroom, but the stars lined up and he replied, “Tell me a little bit more.” At that point we knew that we had a chance.

My father proceeded to tell the judge about our journey, that the process had taken far too long, and that our only desire was to join together legally as father and daughter. As he started to address the challenges we had faced, the judge interrupted him and asked us two questions. He began by asking me, “Do you want this man to adopt you?” I quickly responded, “Yes, my Lord.”

He then asked us, “Are the people who are interested in this adoption in the courtroom today?” We looked at each other, and then looked at my mother who was watching on eagerly, and we replied, “Yes, my Lord.” Caught up in the moment, my father continued with his explanation of the challenges we had faced. He hadn’t seen or heard the drop of the judge’s gavel.

The judge leaned forward and focused his eyes on my father, who was still speaking passionately about our journey. “Mr. Dueck,” he began in a loud voice. “Mr. Dueck! I have already granted your request.”

The courtroom, which was full of strangers waiting for their turn to be heard, exploded in applause.  They cheered for our family and for the kindness that had been shown to us by the judge. My mother, father and I burst into tears, thanked the judge, and left the courtroom overjoyed.

As we left the courtroom the judge ran after us and stopped us in the hallway. We froze, sure that he had changed his mind. “I’m going to expedite the paperwork for you,” he said. “You’ve been through enough.” He brought the paperwork to the clerk himself to ensure that our adoption was processed immediately.  As a result, a document that would have normally taken 6 weeks to process was delivered to us within days.

We had challenged the sexist, archaic laws around the adoption of an adult, and as a result, our case has set a new precedent for Canadian law in the case of adult adoption, all thanks to one judge who chose to take a chance on a young woman and her desire to make her stepfather her father forever.

Adult Adoption

* as outlined in the Adoption Act, Section 3(4), (5) and (6).

This article was also published in Focus on Adoption, Winter 2015 Issue

Adoption: Confessions of an Adoptee

As an adoptee with a mixed-race background, I am constantly asked questions about where I come from, what my parents look like, and why I look the way I do. And while these seem like simple everyday questions to most, questions like these make me a little nervous about sharing the truth – that I don’t look like my parents because I was adopted.

Adoption: Skirting The Questions

Growing up, the fact that I was adopted was something that I felt awkward sharing with people. Because I have a unique look, people would constantly ask me: “what are you?” or “where are your parents from?” or even “which one of your parents is black?”. My heart would race, and I would either respond with a lie (I didn’t know specifically where my dark skin and kinky hair came from at the time so I would just mutter some ethnicities under my breath), or I would awkwardly redirect the conversation to another topic.

Since reuniting with my biological father a few years ago, I have learned more about my biological roots and where my looks come from (on his side at least). I can now respond with confidence that I’m Macedonian and Irish on my father’s side, but the inherited ethnicities from my other side are still a bit of a mystery. My biological mother was adopted as well, and all that we really know is that her biological parents were a very dark-skinned man, and a German woman with blue eyes and blond hair. It’s a strange thing – not knowing where your looks come from. Not knowing the details of your family tree, or who your children look like on your side of the family.

While I shied away from being honest about the answers to the prodding questions that arose around my appearance throughout my childhood, I feel a bit more confident now when asked about my familial background. But while I have more answers than I did back then, I still get flutters in my stomach when questions like these are asked.

Reactions To The “A” Word

The funny thing about bringing up adoption in a conversation, is that simply the mention of the word “adoption” can elicit a wide range of reactions. Sometimes I feel like I’ve just told someone that I’ve lost a loved one, or undergone a majorly traumatic life experience. They look at me with sorrow in their eyes, as if telling them that I was adopted means that I’ve lived a troubled life like Little Orphan Annie or Oliver Twist. Sometimes people will quickly react with an, “oh I have a friend who was adopted” or “my friends have been thinking about adopting”, as if finding a mutual connection related to adoption will make the topic more comfortable for everyone. Other times people will stumble on their words, visibly curious to learn more, but unsure if I will feel comfortable or not if they ask more questions about my family history.

The Truth

The truth is though, I’m completely comfortable with talking about it once I’ve brought it up. While I used to avoid questions about my background when I was younger (likely to avoid discussing the topic altogether), I bring it up now because I’ve grown to feel comfortable with my past and to discuss it with others without feeling awkward. If I’m in a situation where I don’t feel comfortable or don’t feel as though it’s appropriate to share intimate details about my past, I will simply answer without mentioning that I was adopted. Once I get over the nerves of telling people that I was adopted and the anticipation of how people will react when I do, I’m happy to discuss it at length and answer any questions they may have.

Adoption

Are you an adoptee who feels uncomfortable with sharing the details of your adoption? I’d love to hear your perspective.

Want to read more about my experiences as an adoptee? Check out these posts:

Other Posts on Adoption

 

Adoption: Telling My Kids That I’m An Adoptee

I’ve been very open about my experiences as an adoptee. I’ve shared my story of how an ad in a newspaper led to my adoption. I’ve shared the story of my unexpected reunion with my biological father, and what happened when I discussed adoption with my eldest when she was five. But while I’ve been candid with my friends and followers about my stories of adoption, I haven’t been so open and honest with my children.

My mom used to dance around the subject of adoption when talking to strangers. “Oh, her father was African” she would say when confronted about my ethnicity. I didn’t really understand why, and at times, I felt as though she was ashamed of where I had come from. I know now that she did it out of love. To her, I was her daughter, and how that came to be wasn’t anyone else’s business. But we didn’t look alike, and our differing appearances prompted questions.

Why I Waited To Tell Them

I had always believed that I would be open and honest with my children about my past and where I came from, right from the beginning. After all, adoption is part of who I am and how I came to be. But when I became a mother, I hesitated. While I had discussed adoption with my daughter, I had refrained from sharing my own experience with her. I thought maybe she was too young to understand.

But I soon realized that my hesitation was about more than my child’s maturity. I was worried that knowing that her mom was adopted would somehow devalue her relationship with her grandparents. I was worried about the questions she would ask, and that she wouldn’t understand why my biological parents had given me up. I was worried that she would think that we would give her up for adoption if she did something wrong. For so many reasons I was afraid to tell her that I was adopted, so I didn’t. Until last night.

My mom had recently asked me if I had told my oldest that I was adopted, and suggested that I tell her before she hears it from somewhere else. She had a point – I definitely wanted to be the one to tell her, but how? When would be the right time?

The Conversation

Last night as I was eating dinner alone with my kids, I bit the bullet and started the conversation. “Do you know what birth parents are?” I asked my eldest. “Yes, parents who made the child. (My friend) was adopted and showed me a picture of her birth father the other day,” she responded, and took another bite of her dinner. “Well, I’m not sure if you know this, but I didn’t come out of Nana’s tummy like you and your brother came out of my tummy. I was adopted…” I began. I took a deep breath and paused, awaiting her reaction. She looked at me wide-eyed and waited for me to continue.

“Nana and Papa adopted me, and they are my parents. They love me just as much as I love you, and they are very special people because they chose to adopt me,” I continued. She didn’t seem phased by this new information. “They have adopted you and your sister and brother, right? They must be special to adopt so many kids.” she said casually.

“Do you have any questions about it?” I asked, expecting a slew of difficult and complicated questions to come from my inquisitive little girl.

“Yes.” she proclaimed, and took a deep breath.

“What were your birth parents’ names?” she asked. I told her.

“And, if you were very young when you were adopted, how did you get your milk?” she asked. This prompted a short discussion about breast milk and formula, and how some mommies are unable to feed their babies with their breasts. She seemed to understand my explanation and moved on to her next question.

“Did you ever meet your birth parents?” she asked. I told her that I had reunited with my birth father awhile ago, but that he had unexpectedly passed away.

“Can I see a picture of your birth parents?” she asked. I told her that I had some photos, and that I would share them with her one day, but not today.

And with that, she seemed satisfied with the discussion and answers I had provided, and changed the topic of conversation. And that was it.

I feel a sense of relief knowing that I am no longer keeping a secret from my big girl. She now knows, and she doesn’t seem to be affected by the news of my adoption. I will continue to check in with her to make sure that she doesn’t have any questions, but am so happy to have finally opened up to her about my past.

And I will tell my other children as well, in time. When they are old enough to understand.

adoption quote

 

 

Adoption: An Open Letter To Birth Parents

For most of my life, I hadn’t thought about my birth parents – where I came from, who they were, or why they had chosen to give me up. For me, the only thing that mattered was that I had parents who loved me – who chose to be my parents.

When I met my biological father just over three years ago, I was overwhelmed by his reaction to reconnecting with me. He spoke as though he had known me and loved me for my entire life – this “stranger” who hadn’t crossed my mind even once as I had transitioned through childhood and into my adult years. I felt a strong bond with him as our relationship started to blossom, but was sometimes confused when he became overcome by emotion.

When we reunited in person, his eyes would fill with tears. I could hear in his voice a certain desperation, as though he was holding himself back from bursting at the seams. This both comforted and scared me, as to me, he was still a stranger.

We wrote to each other every day for almost 2 years, and met in person half a dozen times – until he passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Christmas Eve in 2012.

I feel like so many things between us were left unsaid. And after having spoken with friends who are birth parents and fellow adoptees, I feel like sharing some of those unspoken feelings through an open letter to birth parents, from the perspective of an adoptee.

Dear Birth Parent(s),

I am so thankful that you made the choice that you did – to carry and deliver your baby, and to choose to provide that baby with a home and a life that you didn’t feel you were able to provide on your own. This was the ultimate act of selflessness, and I’m sure it was the hardest thing you have ever had to do.

I can’t imagine how difficult it has been to move through your life – the thought of that baby always living in the back of your mind. Wondering if they are safe, if you made the right decision, and if they are loved.

You may one day feel an overwhelming need to seek out that child – to look into the eyes of your offspring and tell them that you’re sorry, that you did what you thought was best for them, and that you have never stopped thinking about them.

They may accept you back into their lives, and you may feel an overwhelming urge to make them a part of yours once again – to make up for all of those lost years.

For an adoptee, reuniting with birth parents can be a mix of emotions: resentment, confusion, curiosity, fulfillment, forgiveness. While you may feel overcome by emotion – desperate to catch up and make that child a part of your life once more – the child may respond with hesitance, reluctance, and caution. Please don’t feel offended – be patient.

It will take time for them to find a place in their hearts for you. It will take time for them to understand the choices that you’ve made, and to understand your perspective.

Don’t push, and don’t pull back. If they have agreed to reunite with you, they will come around. Don’t overwhelm them – share your stories but also listen to theirs. Don’t pressure them into putting titles on your relationship – just go with the flow.

One final piece of advice: let them lead. As much as you may want to dive in, let them take the wheel. They may need to take things slowly. After all, choosing to reunite with some who had once chosen to give you up can be a confusing decision.

Where ever life may have led you – you are amazing. You have put someone’s needs before your own, and this is truly commendable. You have given someone the gift of life, and someone else a child to love. I wish you luck, love, and acceptance.

Sincerely,

An Adoptee

If you are a birth parent or an adoptee, I’d love to hear your perspective on your experiences with reunions.

 Adoption Quote

 

Adoption: Nature vs Nurture

Throughout my life as an adoptee, I’ve always internally debated the dichotomy of adoption: am I the way that I am because of who I came from (nature), or because of who (and how) I was raised (nurture)? Do my interests and characteristics come from inherited traits, or environmental factors?

Growing up, and throughout my post-secondary years when I was studying psychology, I was convinced that nurture was the winner of this debate. I truly believed that who I was had nothing to do with where I can from, and that my personality, interests, and skills were all as a direct result of my upbringing, and more specifically, who raised me.

But when I reunited with my biological father, my perspective was forever changed. As he spoke about his interests, his personality traits, and his skills, my eyes opened to the possibility of genetic inheritance. He spoke with the same eagerness and enthusiasm as I did. His passion for music, art, and culture mirrored my own, and his personality flaws mimicked mine.

The other day I had a parent-teacher interview with my daughter’s first grade teacher, and my eyes were once again opened to the reality of the effects of nature. The comments that they made about her personality – that she was artistic, creative, chatty, and enthusiastic about connecting with others and about expressing her creativity through music, art and dance – made me realize that she had inherited the same traits that I had inherited.

Now that I have my own biological children, I am constantly in awe of the ways in which they begin to develop into little versions of my husband and I. And while I still believe that the way that I was raised had a huge impact on who I am, I’m seeing more and more that nature has its place as well.

I see the nature vs nurture debate in a new light now – I think for me, my passion for the arts, my desire to express my creativity, and my inability to do math and science stem from my genetic-making, and the way that I respond to my surroundings, my desire to succeed, to follow my dreams, to believe that I can achieve anything, stems from the lessons and love that I’ve received from the parents who raised me.

As I ponder this dichotomy, I am reminded of the most beautiful poem on the subject of nature vs nurture and adoption – Legacy of An Adopted Child. This poem speaks so perfectly to me – what do you think of it?

Mother Daughter

Mini Me

Same Love

“Do you know why this is my favourite lalaloopsy? Because she’s different from all the rest. You know mommy, sometimes you think you want to be the same as everyone else, but after awhile you realize that you just want to be yourself. Because being different is better.”

– Emma, 5

My daughter has always been surrounded by diversity – I have Dutch parents with a Jewish foster brother, a Jamaican foster sister, and two caucasian stepsiblings. I myself am biracial with adopted caucasian parents. She has friends with two moms and two dads. Some with only one parent, many multiracial. And all of these families are full of love. “Modern families” are the new norm in her world.

Because we have always been surrounded by so much diversity, I sometimes forget that there are people in this world who are not accepting of others’ differences. Who do not support same-sex marriages, multiracial adoptions, or families of divorce. And when I am reminded of this reality, it saddens me to my core.

It’s probably for this reason that I was so moved by the song/video by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis called “Same Love”. Check it out below and try not to cry…

Please choose your words wisely when you’re around your kids.
Please teach them to be accepting of everyone, no matter how different they might seem.
Please teach your children that unique is beautiful.
Because underneath, it’s all the same love.

Christmas Mourning

Two days after my last post, on the morning of Christmas Eve, my biological father passed away.

It was sudden, and completely unexpected.

 
Although he was in the hospital for extensive testing following a bout of pneumonia, and it was discovered that he had developed a very rare form of cancer in his lungs called sarcomatoid carcinoma, it was ultimately an unforseen heart attack that took his life.
 
He was young, and until only a few weeks ago, he was healthy.

He had found me online in October of 2010, and since his first email, we had written to each other almost every day for over 2 years. We’ve had some special visits in person, and have shared so many stories. He had written to me about his past, about my birth, about his life over the past 33 years that we had been apart, and about how I had never once left his mind during our separation.

There are so many things we didn’t get to do. So many words that we didn’t get to say.

While I celebrate the holidays, enjoying this special time with my own little family, I will also be thinking of him – the only member of my biological family I had ever known.

In his honour, I hope to share some of his stories through my posts. To keep his memory alive in my mind, and to heal my broken heart.

In the meantime, I will cherish the memories we were so lucky to have created together.

From our last visit – don’t we look alike?

May he rest in peace. xo

Legacy of an Adopted Child

Legacy of an adopted child

Once there were two women who never knew each other
One you do not remember, the other you call mother.

Two different lives shaped to make yours one
One became your guiding star, the other became your sun.

The first gave you life, the second taught you to live it
The first gave you a need for Love, the second was there to give it.

One gave you a nationality, the other gave you a name
One gave you the seed for talent, the other gave you an aim.

One gave you emotions, the other calmed your fears
One saw your first smile, the other dried your tears.

One gave you up, it was all that she could do
The other prayed for a child and was led straight to you.

And now you ask me through your tears
the age old question through the years,

“Heredity or environment, which am I the product of?”
Neither my darling, neither,
Just two different kinds of Love.

Author Unknown

I came across this poem the other day and I fell in love with it immediately. It speaks so well to me as an adoptee, and I’m sure to anyone who comes from a unique family dynamic such as my own.

Growing up as an adoptee, and especially during my university days when I was constantly faced with the nature vs nurture theories, I was left to question which was more impactful on my life. Because I had only known a life impacted by the surrounding environment, I thought I had all the answers. Nurture won.

Now that I have reunited with my biological father, I realize that who we are cannot be defined by only one or the other, but that it is the combination of both your genes and the environment in which you were raised that makes you who you are.

I feel so blessed to have had the upbringing that I have, and to now know more about my history and where I’ve come from. A perfect balance – two different kinds of love.

Legacy of an Adopted Child