Monday, October 22, 2012

A Good Story


They share the same last name, both call me mom, live in the same house, jump out of the same mini van for soccer practice.  They fight over whether we should start our day with pancakes or eggs.  They call each other bro.  Yet, as I have shared in previous posts, an astounding number of people want to know if they are brothers.  The question, of course,  is really about biology.  Blood.  A shared history. Starting life together and staying together.  I sometimes feel that I disappoint with my answer.  Yes, they are brothers. No, they are not biological siblings.  Who doesn't love a good story?  Two boys who lost everything else, yet always had each other, is a good story.  But it is not our story.

No too long ago, Kurt and I were camping with the boys.  I realized something that I had never thought about before.  It was just the four of us, all cozy in our camper. Our bellies were full from s'mores, and we were about to sleep that good sleep that comes after spending a cool fall day outdoors.  In those moments before dropping off to sleep, I realized something kind of cool.  The four of us share no DNA.  We are genetic strangers.  And we are a family.  Two boys, that if not for adoption, would never have known each other, are brothers.  The boy that I met when we were eight, who became my husband, and I, are their parents.  Our sons, who lost their first parents, and had no siblings, now have each other, two big sisters and parents. These two boys completed our family and along with their sisters are as essential to our beings as the air we breathe. Turns out we are a good story.  In fact, we are a fantastic story.

So the next time I am asked if my sons are brothers, I will not be irritated.  I will not feel sorry that I am not delivering the story that the listener is hoping to hear.  I will be happy.  I will be supremely happy because I will be able to say, "Yes, my sons are brothers and no, they did not start life as brothers...isn't that SPECTACULAR?"

We made a family where one was missing.  If that's not a good story, then I don't know what one is.





21 comments:

  1. I'm watering over here.

    Good story indeed.

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    1. Thanks, Michelle. It is an honor to make you water! xo

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  2. Oh my goodness I love this. Our second son is not even with us yet and we're already getting that question. Such a good perspective.

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    1. Hello! I hate to say it but I am sure you know already..you'll have to get used to that question! There is not a single question that I get more. It's okay though, it's all worth it. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Alison

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  3. That's a fabulous story. It's my story too - I am adopted. It always strikes me that adoption is life-giving: my birthmother chose life for me and my Mum and Dad have given me a life a wouldn't have otherwise had. Now I have my own children and when I think how these three beautiful little people might not have existed but for those life-giving choices, I think adoption is just possibly one of the best things ever. Making a family where one was missing = great story.

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    1. Hi Jess!
      Thank you for sharing your perspective with me. I could not agree more. Thank you for reading and taking a minute to write. I appreciate it.

      Alison

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    2. Watering here as well...GREAT story Alison :-)

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  4. I don't understand that question. We get it a lot, and our two adopted children are biological. Although I think ours is a beautiful story, I tend to want to answer "Who cares?" But you are right...I love that we made a family where there wasn't one.

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    1. I love that you did too!

      Thanks for reading and commenting :)

      Alison

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  5. Beautiful! My husband and I just grew our family through adoption. We knew we would love it but we are so beyond blessed. We all have a wonderful love story written specifically for us, our kiddos make it the perfect story :)-- I'd be honored if you'd watch our story here: http://piattperfection.blogspot.com/2012/10/such-joy.html?m=1

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story with me. What a lovely way to document your journey to Carson. What a gorgeous family you are, inside and out.

      Alison

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  6. im a newish adoptive mom and dont find this question to be offensive. I consider it an opportunity to say yes they are sisters, we were lucky enough to adopt the one. It gives me a chance to tell people about fostering and adoption and what an amazing gift it has been to us. Its amazing how different the family unit is now to what it was just 15 years ago, people have to ask questions to learn and grow. God is sending them to you to do that, unfortunately you are getting a bunch of dummies that wont absorb the beauty but you have gotten some people that will and will pass it along. All in how you think of it!

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    1. What a lovely perspective you have. I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

      Alison

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  7. Hi Alison! Glad you wrote about this; it's a situation that is played out almost every time I take my daughters in public. What bothers me is how people ask me in a hushed voice (as if my kids can't hear you?!) I always answer, "Yes, they are sisters." It really is such a rude question and I am less concerned about informing people about the joys of adoption than I am about protecting my daughters' self-perception and well-being.

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    1. Sara, what an important point you make! How we handle questions and awkward situations while in front of our children, is hugely important to how our children see themselves and adoption. I do agree that anytime that question is asked in front of our children the answer should be a short and sweet "yes they are". How we answer that when asked in private is a matter of choice and comfort (and sometimes our mood).

      Alison

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  8. We're the same. No shared DNA and no shared ethnicity either! We call it a FAMILY! Great post ;-)

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  9. ...and what a beautiful family you make Harriet Glynn

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