True love is the only thing that makes a parent a parent.
Date of story
Jun 7 2018 - 12:15am
I recently attended a conference is Southern California and was fortunate enough to meet some of the most passionate and incredible people in the world (yes, these two will change the world). The types of people who remind me how awesome people are and make me laugh real hard. Through hours of laughs and libations, “family” topics and “are you going to have kids?” discussions sparked. For context: One of my new friends has an 8 year old step son and the other, he and his husband are excitedly planning to adopt in the near future. Hooray!! I’ll come back to this conversation. **begin soapbox** What a child looks like, where he or she is from, has nothing to do with what makes them family. He is his son because when he gets sick, every cell in his body wants to make him well. He is his son because when he hurts, they both hurt. He is his son because there is no phone call too awkward to make on his behalf. He is his son because he knows the difference between his usual laugh and his belly laugh, and it is physically impossible for him not to smile when he hears the latter. He is his son because he knows when he is at his worst, the kind of discipline that works and when he needs a soft approach, an embrace to neutralize his rage. He is his son because when he’s tired enough to lay his head on his chest, he’s flooded with the feeling that the love he has for his son is somehow stronger than any other force in the world. He is his son because he’s he’s father. **end soapbox** As the conversation unfolded, we discussed whether or not biology was important and what sort of value, if any, do biological ties have for the parent-child relationship? In my humble opinion, no. Biological ties aren’t vital to parent-child relationships. At all. I hold this position because, technically speaking, have 2 biological sons. Yes, I’ve met them. And no, I do not feel related to them, nor do I feel drawn to them, connected, or particularly interested in getting to know them or watch them grow. Why? Because I’m not their parent. And DNA isn’t the glitter and glue that binds and child and parent. You see, I donated my eggs, twice, to a family and gave two very incredible women the opportunity to become Mothers and start their family together. Although the process is anonymous, we connected (fun sneaky story) and formed a wonderful friendship. After their first son was born, they asked if I would be willing to donate again. They offered to pay me... WHAT? ABSOLUTELY NOT!! We went through the same process and now these women now have 2 beautiful boys and their family couldn’t be more complete. I was gifted this bracelet (what an incredible honor- I’m still in shock) from one of my new friends because he was moved primarily by my having donated eggs to a family who otherwise wouldn’t be able to start a family, but also I think because of my position on what makes family a family. Really, we all shared a similar view on the topic. Thank you!! Final thought: I’ve come to wonder if declaring that a child resembles his or her parents is meant to reassure the parents that their family looks “normal;” legit. Like if we look like we belong together it’s a sign that we really do belong together. And I wonder if the desire to offer that reassurance stems from the fear that a lot of people have — a fear that probably precedes most adoption and donor recipient stories in some form—that it is harder to feel connected to an adopted child than one who shares your DNA. I wonder if these sweet strangers might have this fear, or if they assume these amazing parents have their share of it, and they are doing their best to quiet it for themselves. I hope for bravery and compassion and that the world comes to a common understanding that the only core of family is true love.