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A friend stayed over for the weekend and asked, “So what’s it like to be adopted?”

I quickly responded, “Well, what’s it like living with people you are related to?”

We sat in silence for a moment as we both realized that neither of us could ever fully understand the other. Also words would in no way do us justice in explaining those sentiments either. With the holidays approaching and big family gatherings occurring, a certain question will randomly come to mind. You know, that question when you scan that big long table and wonder what exactly it feels like to be genetically related to someone… to be able to share in holidays together, to live in the same household, and to live that everyday life with someone who may look and act just like you. Someone you can notice the similarities and say, “Hey, I have your eyes, nose, and hair.” Or someone that shares the same love of certain foods or music tastes… maybe even sports. And even though I feel welcomed and loved in my family, this curiosity will never go away.

I’ve attended quite few weddings recently and also welcomed new babies into my friend’s lives. It makes me wonder what exactly it would be like to be married one day. Or even more crazy, what if I have a child? What will it be like to live under the same roof with someone who actually shares my blood? That concept pretty much blows my mind. Of course I get asked if I’ll consider adoption but that is discussion for much later.

The holidays are a great time for families and yes, you always hear about crazy in-laws or strange siblings. So even though your family may not be “perfect” or “normal” they are still your family… whether you are genetically related to them or not. As you sit around the table to share a meal remember to be grateful for your perfectly imperfect family.

~Melissa Joy Yeung

3 Comments on Related?

  1. I’m a mom of 3 adopted kids, all adults now. I bet they feel this way. Thanks for teaching me something tonight.

  2. This is a bit of a tangent, but I think you’ll get it.

    My brother lent me his car for the week, because mine is having a “moment”. No one seems remotely surprised by this, but I was surprised as anything.

    For background, I was adopted as an infant, bought up as an only child, and met my bfamily when I was 19. All of my siblings are 1/2’s, and due to circumstances I don’t know them as well as I like.

    Is this what it’s like? Having people you’re actually related to? Do they just rock up and lend you cars? Hell would freeze over before anyone in my afamily would lend me their car.

  3. Jacquelynn Goessling // December 10, 2014 at 11:07 am // Reply

    This is a nice piece and a great point. I remember when we were educating ourselves about adopting internationally and I said, “I wonder how it will be to have someone in our family that is obviously not related genetically to us?” and a wise friend said, “I worry about having someone in my family who may not have any affinities that I have.”

    I still have so much to learn. Thanks for being part of this wonderful resource that allows me to think about things my child might be thinking/feeling and providing me with the courage to bring these topics up and get them out in the open.

    I would think that having a biological child will answer many questions for you. However, I will tell you that I love and respect both of my children (one bio/one adopted at age two) equally. They each have some affinities to me and many of their own unique traits.

    FLRP, I can tell you that I would lend my car to my adopted son long before I would lend it to my bio son! HAHA!

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