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The Chosen Parents

This week's blog is a little different and doesn't have much (or any) to do with yarn. Rather, I want to write about my amazing parents this week.


As many of you know, my mother is quite ill. As we live in a multi-generational household, I will not be lifting any of the covid guidelines for the foreseeable future.


Some of you have been fortunate enough to meet my parents, or at least one of my parents. They are truly wonderful people. In fact, they just celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary. They met when they were quite young--freshmen in high school--and at first Mom didn't really like Dad (she thought he was cocky, and he probably was), but the more they got to know one another, they more they liked about one another, and eventually they fell in love and married shortly after high school.


They adopted me ten years after they got married. I was four and a half weeks old. They adopted my brother three years later.


My brother and I knew we were adopted from the time we were infants. No stupid "secret reveal" like they dramatize on those idiotic television shows. No melodramatic scenes of shock and awe. Just open, honest, transparency, which is how our family has always functioned. We knew that we had birth parents who contributed their genetic materials, but our parents are Mom and Dad.


As you know, I love books and reading. I have three degrees--two of which are advanced--to prove it. One of the earliest books I remember from my childhood was The Chosen Baby, by Valentina P. Wasson. Mom and Dad used to read it to us all of the time. The Chosen Baby was originally published in 1950 and then republished in 1977. It details a little boy who was adopted and taught--as my brother and I were--that he was chosen to be his parents' child. It concludes with his parents adopting his sister, another chosen baby. And that's how we've always looked at things--that our parents loved us so much that they chose us.


This is also why it was so hurtful when some truly hateful people--and specifically several grade school teachers including a particularly nasty nun--would ask us thoughtlessly cruel questions like "then who are your real parents" when we were growing up. My mom and dad are our REAL parents. They're the ones who raised us, taught us to be who we are today, bandaged our boo-boos, tucked us in at night, comforted us when we were sad or sick, rejoiced with us when we had things to celebrate, laughed at our antics, disciplined us when we misbehaved, fed us, clothed us, did everything for us. THAT is what a parent is. Genetic contribution is not parenthood. DNA does not constitute family, and I will never forgive any of those individuals for their cruelty and insensitivity. There is no excuse for that kind of ignorant behavior.


Now that I'm an adult, I am able to better appreciate the lessons and love that my brother and I received from my parents. From them, I learned honesty, even if people don't like what you have to say and even when it comes to self-assessment, no matter how blunt or difficult those truths may be. I learned to hold to my convictions and to stand up for what's right, even if it angers other people because what's right is right and what's wrong is always wrong. I learned to love the people I care about fiercely, because our family has always loved one another fiercely and openly and proudly. I've learned to tell the people I care about that I care about and appreciate them in the moment. I've learned to work hard and to be entrepreneurial; Dad co-owned his own business, and I apparently follow his footsteps because I eventually chose to also go into business for myself. I learned inner strength and that I don't need other people to prop up my sense of self. I learned independence and self-sufficiency. I learned to dream big and to problem solve the paths needed to achieve my goals. I learned discipline and that no one is ever entitled to things; you need to put forth effort to achieve.


I also learned that I am deeply loved by my family. I don't question that. I have never questioned that. They are my rock, and I am theirs.


And because of that, I feel, in some ways, that my brother and I weren't just chosen babies but that my parents are chosen parents because I wouldn't have chosen anyone else to be my parents. They are amazing people, and I love them beyond words.



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