Friday, August 25, 2017

Hopeful Thinking - Saturday, August 26, 2017 - Family By Choice

    As I write this I am mere hours from becoming a father. My husband Jamie and I are adopting. She’s a bit older than infant. About 22 years older than infant, to be exact. As many in my community will already know, a young blind and autistic woman with a remarkable singing voice whom we call Lavender is becoming an official part of our family. Her chosen name will become her legal one.
    Adult adoption seems like a curious concept to most people. If they’re of legal age, why would adults want to be adopted? It’s about belonging. Having kin. Trusting in a family unit for support, safety, and a place where holidays and happy occasions most warmly reside. Lavender needs a family and we are honored to be that family.
    This brings up questions for me about the depth of choice. There’s an oft-spoken idea that adopted children are special because they were chosen. Biological children are not chosen so much as they are a natural result of multiple factors, most of which are beyond our control or choice.
To adopt someone, legally or emotionally, is the paramount use of free will. To be a deliberate participant in the deepest kind of relationship among humanity, that of parent and child, without the influence of a biological connection, may be among the most sacred in the world. What a bell in the universe it must ring!
      I am overwhelmed and awed by what this day holds for me and my husband, and of course Lavender. But also our own families as well. Today is my mother’s birthday. She is getting a new granddaughter. She’s coming to family court with us because she was also at the “births” of her other grandchildren and didn’t want to miss this one. I am touched and grateful to see my choice become hers.
      As happy as I am, I find that my gratitude today is mostly for all those who choose others to be family in a world that needs a lot more of them. All forms of chosen family have a special kind of sacredness. Our society is deeply blessed by this custom and all those who participate in it.
We all choose people to whom we feel connected. We think of them as brothers or sisters. Honorary aunts and adopted grandfathers. The son we never had. We designate them as family. Notice these relationships in your life and honor them. They hold in them the full measure of all world scripture. To be loving and compassionate. Hospitable and empowering. To be patient and forgiving. To do more than simply help someone, but make them equals.
      From these we increase our capacity to love. In witnessing them around us we expand our ability to enjoy the same for ourselves. Notice family. Notice love. Notice people finding one another, just for the sake of it. Find it in your heart to be grateful that such a paradigm exists in the world. You will be changed by the mere act of it.

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