“Not flesh of my flesh, nor bone of my bone,
But still miraculously my own.
Never forget for a single minute,
You didn’t grow under my heart – but in it.”
— Fleur Conkling Heylinger
Grace, Gratitude and Gumption – and National Adoption Month. November is the month we celebrate Thanksgiving; everyone understands the connection with gratitude. Grace and gumption call to mind kindness, determination and grit. I needed all those ingredients in large quantities when my husband and I embarked on our journey to parenthood almost 30 years ago. As a little girl I changed Baby Tears diapers and dreamed of having a real baby of my own some day. I never could have imagined how our quest to have a normal family led to so many unanswered questions. The why was replaced with how (adoption interviews and reams of paperwork). Ultimately, we were introduced to our who, a 6-week-old bundle of joy with sparkling blue eyes and blond fuzz. I believe we are matched, parents and children, with who is destined to become our family. True, social workers had more to do with our “match” than DNA when it came to the agency’s process of creating our family. My daughter and I have a mole in the exact same spot on our left arms, a fact that has always been the proof to me of our special bond. Spooky coincidence? No, serendipity I think.
Whether you argue Nature vs. Nurture, grace, gratitude and gumption in generous proportions determines the love, compassion and empathy necessary to create a strong family bond. I’m forever grateful that we have been given the opportunity to become a family. After all is said and done, family holds our hearts and helps us cope with whatever comes tomorrow.