Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Food for thought

Xbox's post the other day, asking why do people want to have children, got me thinking. I was visiting a friend a few months back who is single and mad broody, and after necking several glasses of wine, we were having a right old boo-hoo session about our very loudly ticking biological clocks.

I was saying how it's so hard being the only one in a family of seven with no kids, and how hard it is rocking up to family events with no kiddies in tow. Then my friend said something to me that had never really occurred to me before. She is adopted, and for whatever reasons, doesn't think she will ever go down the road of tracing her birth parents. It could be a fear of rejection, or a feeling of loyalty towards her adoptive parents, I really don't know. She said that her most basic reason for wanting to have children is that she has no genetic link to anyone on this earth that she knows of. She's from a very happy family, her adoptive parents are lovely people and she couldn't have wished for a happier childhood, but she looks nothing like either of them, or like her adoptive sister. She has no nieces or nephews or cousins who look like her, and has never had anyone say "Wow, you're the image of your Mum/Dad/sister/cousin". If she never has children of her own, she will never have this link to loved ones that most of us take for granted. She sounded so sad as she told me this.

On the other hand, I grew up being told since I was knee high to a grasshopper that I am the image of my Dad. I resemble my sister and brothers and my Dad's sisters in different ways. Two of my nieces are my godchildren, and I've been told that both of them are very like me, the younger one is my eleven year old mini me. My younger godchild (the mini me) told me lately that she is thinking about taking the name Jane as her confirmation name next year. I was so chuffed when she told me that. So I don't have kids of my own, and who knows if I ever will or not, but I still get a good few "Oh my God! She's the image of you" moments, and I'm very lucky to have such great kids in my life, even if I don't have them full time. So all in all when I'm counting my blessings, I do have a lot to be thankful for.


Xbox4NappyRash said...

wow lump in my throat there.

I never thought about the adoption aspect, the links to family, I spend so much time trying to deny the ones I have!

Great angle on it.

Your humility/grace, I know neither is the real word I'm looking for, at what may or may not be is remarkable. That got me a bit.

womb for improvement said...

You don't choose your relations, but when they, like your niece, choose you - that's a proud moment. (And gotta make you feel kinda cool!)

Paint it Black said...

I know what your friend means a little. The only resemblance I have to my parents are freckles (hmph) and mums height and stubby toes. None of us siblings look alike (none of us are adopted, though because I was the lucky one who copped the freckles my siblings did love to tease me that I was). Its a very rare moment that someone has said that any of us look like one of the others and I kinda wish that was different. I've actually always wanted a identical twin.
I want my kids to look like me too. But its a gamble anyways. They could get the worst of our genes, there would be pasty skined, freckly kids with big ears and gappy teeth, a unrully mop of curls and skin that scars easily born, that grow up wishing they looked nothing like their parents.
That is great about your neice. I have no idea what it means that she wants to take your name though, is that in a religious ceremony like how madonna changed her name?

Leslie Laine said...

Thanks for this spin on things - it's perfectly timed after an evening of discussing the "A" word with my husband this evening...probably not the most positive, proactive thing to do during the middle of an IVF cycle.

Nonetheless, I appreciate your post. I love a thought provoker!

Jane G said...

@ X box - some days I am very calm and accepting of the what will be will frame of mind, other days I'm a weeping basket case, usually when there's clomid in the mix.

@ WFI - Makes me feel very cool :o)

@ PIB - Confirmation is a religious ceremony/sacrament. In the Catholic religion, it is taken around the age of 12 or 13, and you take a name in addition to your existing first and middle name. I'm really hoping she goes with Jane!

@ Leslie - I've been following your blog, best of luck with the IVF cycle.