Tag Archives: family tree

Item #174 From The List Of What NOT To Say To An Adopted Child

I know you meant well. I know you were, in your feeble way, trying to make my child feel comfortable.

But you didn’t. You made him feel singled out and confused.

When assigning a Family Tree project and addressing your group of children, just talk to the whole group. Use words like “family” and “parent” and “grandparents” as if everyone in the group has a family and a parent and a grandparent.

Because we do!

We all do. Families form in different ways, to be sure. But you don’t need to single anyone out. Each child will find a way to complete the assignment that fits for him.

And if my son had brown hair and blue eyes like his father you wouldn’t have even considered saying…

Item #174 – “That’s ok, #1son. Just use the information from the parents you live with now.”  And when you saw the confused look on his face (because he understood the assignment until you tried to “clarify”) you go on to say, “Not your real parents but the parents you live with NOW.”

Real parents? Are you kidding me?

We are his real parents. We may not have physically given him his 46 chromosomes but we have given him food, shelter and love from the moment we first held him in our arms.

We were there for his first tooth. We rushed him to the hospital when his fever spiked to 106. We laughed with his infectious laugh. He held our fingers, one in each hand, before falling asleep those precious first few nights. We held him when he cried, when he was sick, when he wanted simple cuddle time.

We took him to pre-school and proudly watched him at his kindergarten graduation with adorable cap and gown. We jumped up and down when he rounded third base to score the winning run. We read with him every night. We worry about every sniffle. We stand on the porch watching him walk two houses down to a friend’s house, hiding behind the pillar, hoping he doesn’t see.

We know to give him his medicine during pollen season. We anticipate his frequent bloody noses when the weather is dry or the pollen is high. We know that he is allergic to certain antibiotics. We have his pediatrician on speed-dial.

We are his real parents. We are as real as it gets. His biological parents made a heartfelt, incredibly difficult decision to allow us to be his real parents. And we will be forever grateful.

Our son has a family. A real family. To call his own. He knows who his parents are. Who his siblings are. Who his grandparents are. Even his great-grandparents. So, no need to explain things to him.

He knows who his real family is.

No need to clarify.

Just wanted to let you know.

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Filed under Be-Causes, family, Soapbox

American Mutt Takes A Taste From The Melting Pot And Craves More

Peg, at Square Peg in a Round Hole, tagged me for this exercise. It sounded like fun so I decided to play along. It prompts you to tag 5 other people but I’m going to do a broad sweep and encourage all and any of you to play! (I’m all communist that way!) It was perfect for me since I was suffering a bit of blogger’s block. Even if you’re not suffering blogger’s block you can play and then store the post to use later. Perfect for an easy-peasy post sitting in your stockpiles.

Here are the rules:

  1. Go to your first photo file and pick the 10th photo in it.
  2. Tell the story behind the photo.
  3. Tag 5 other people to do likewise (or everyone because you’re an equal-opportunity blogger like me!)

Now, on with the show!

I am a true American mutt. I am Irish, Scottish, German and Polish. Our families immigrated to America between the mid 1800’s and World War II. All were escaping poverty. All were seeking opportunity.

I know very little about my history. All of my grandparents have passed. My parents and aunts and uncles have little interest in our family tree. But my second cousin, who sent me this picture, is very interested. She has been collecting information and searching for new leads. I’ll be interested in what she finds.

The above picture is from a part of my German side. I say part because I have some family that came in early 1900 and some who escaped during WWII. These are my great-great grandparents. Entrepeneurs. Strong work ethic. Amazing role models for my grandfather who became quite successful in business. Once they arrived here to America, they never worried about money again.

My mother brings the Polish side of my family. Fun-loving. Silly. Family oriented. Funny. I remember family gatherings where aunts and uncles would sit around and tell, of all things, Polish jokes – and crack themselves up at the absurdity. My grandfather would enter a contest in the local paper. A cartoon would be shown and contestants were asked to enter a caption. He won so often they limited his winnings to once a month.

One of my favorite stories on my Scottish side was of my great-great-grandfather. When asked the spelling of his name at Ellis Island he switched it to the Irish spelling because he was angry at the Scottish government. I loved that story and likened my rebellious spirit and political activism to his. Alas, that story was merely a myth. My great-aunt set the record straight at a family reunion. When my newly married great-great grandfather and grandmother arrived they were asked their name. The officer wrote it down with the Irish spelling. To honor my great-great-grandmother (she was Irish), my great-great-grandfather let the switched and omitted letters slide. “Awwww, how romantic, ” we all sighed. So, I’ll liken my feminist spirit to that of his, instead.

I wish I had appreciated the many family gatherings and story telling sessions when I was younger when many of these relatives were still alive. I long to ask questions of how we came here to the United States and how we thrived. There seems to be a generation of disconnect between my grandparents and me and my cousins. I’m thankful my cousin is stirring the pot. The smells from the kitchen have piqued my interest. I’ll let you know what I find.

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Filed under family