Jan 17

My Birthday, Excerpt From My Book, Section One Preface: Becoming Family

Yesterday was my fifty-fifth birthday. AsAlmawould say it, “Wahoo!” Having younger children certainly keeps me from feeling as old as I could. Once I started taking Xango and eleviv I started feeling a lot better—more energy. Megan, Heidimarie, Johanna, and Amy all made dinner and went way the extra mile trying to put into it everything they thought I’d like, such as double fudge chocolate cake and ice cream, and loaded green salad. They all went to a lot of effort to make it a special day for me, from Brenda on down. I missed seeing Darian and Kiley, as well as Sarah and Cole and Nathanael. I’m concerned about Nathanael since it’s been a while since I last heard from him and we’ve tried and tried to contact him.

I’ve been working on the second volume of my book. I’m getting really excited to get it published, hopefully by this spring. Here’s the first page of the first section of my first volume:  

Becoming Family 

While I was washing dishes our son and daughter came in, sat down and engaged in a discussion about how many kids they planned to have. My son declared that he was only going to have two, maybe three kids.

You’ll have to see what your future wife says, I responded.

That’s just it, he returned, I’m only going to marry someone who thinks like me, nobody who’s got her mind set on ten kids.

Maybe she’ll already have kids, his sister said.

I don’t think I could do that. How can you love someone else’s kid, he responded.

You’re just talking about adoption, I offered.

 That’s one thing I know I’ll never do—adopt. I’m afraid I’d love my own kids more.

That’s because you aren’t a dad, yet, I suggested.

 I think that I’d naturally be biased toward my own kids, he shot back.

It all depends on the effort you put into it, I explained.

But adopted kids are messed up, he interjected. I could never do it. Look at your family—Uncle David and Aunt Linda’s kids have all turned out like them. That’s how it’s been with Aunt Sherri and Uncle David, the same with your other sister, Leslie; then there’s our kids—who did we turn out like?  Look at Aunt Katherine and Uncle John. They adopted all of theirs. Whose kids have had the most problems?  Each one of you raised your kids pretty much the same, but look at how differently we’ve been turning out. It has nothing to do with how you raised us. You and Dad have been absolute Tops.

When we started adopting, I felt relieved that we were finally able to enjoy the same experiences as everyone else we knew who were parents. Years and experience have qualified my perception. Although there are similarities between parenting birth and adopted or foster children, there are significant differences. To not acknowledge those differences is to pretend. One truth that has been defined and clarified for me—I could not have loved my children more had they been born to me. I have been incredibly blessed because of them. My children have made my life rich.

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