that links your true family
is not one of blood, but
of respect and joy in
each other's life.
Rarely do members
of one family grow up
under the same
For the longest time, this made me think of my friends in college. They were my real family. We hadn't grown up together, but we took great joy in each other and respected each other.
I still think of my college friends, my third family, when I think of this quote.
But I also realize that, for an adoptee, this is such a layered quote. The quote works so well for people who were raised by, but didn't fit into, their biological family. For adoptees, we didn't grow up under the same roof as those people we're blood related to.
For me, I didn't fit with people I was raised with, but there was little reason to think I would: they weren't blood related. So how surprising is it that that bond was missing? And if the bond was missing between my blood relatives and me, well how surprising could that be since we didn't grow up together?
I had to go through two families before I found my true one.
Of course, I've gotten a little older. And I do find some joy with my adoptive family. And my blood family is still new, and we have connected pretty well, all things considered.
So maybe I come out ahead. And I hope so.
But with everything, I still relate better to people I am not related to, by law or by blood. Whether it be my third family, from college, or my fourth family, my wife, or my fifth family, my fellow adoptees. I often feel more myself around non-family than I do around people who are nominally family.
I think, for a long time, that seemed like a sad state of affairs. Now it just seems to be a normal part of my life, a simple observation that doesn't have to be awful. It is what it is. And I have a big family, some of whom I'm related to without relating to them all that well, and some of whom I relate to well, even though I'm not related to them.
If any of that makes any sense.