Thursday, November 15, 2018
My daughters like to cook. Their interest and love of cooking was learned from me, but their individual taste for foods is probably influenced by their biological make-up. For anyone who might not know, my daughters were adopted. Each of us has very different dishes we love, those we will tolerate and those we wouldn't even taste.
We all like down time, to catch up on sleep, regroup, pamper ourselves and spend time with nature or our pets.
We always took home the school pets. We provided vacation sanctuary to frogs, turtles, guinea pigs and more. All our own pets were rescued or re-homed: the guinea pigs, cat, rabbit, horse, squirrel, four dogs. I, myself, grew up in a home with a cat, a dog, hamsters, gerbils and guinea pigs. This did not stop us from volunteering to provide care for the classroom baby chicks and mice, when needed. It’s no wonder I passed this trait along to my girls and they have continued to provide homes for animals too.
My girls LOVE animals. As a family, we have a virtual zoo. One daughter, whom we refer to as "the animal whisperer" has worked with animals since the age of 15 and recently opened her own horse farm in Virginia. She lives with her personal “zoo” consisting of her horse, a mini pony to keep him company, 2 dogs, a cat, a bearded dragon and a flop-eared bunny. This doesn’t include her boarder horses. The other daughter has surrounded herself with a turtle, rescued cats and a dog.
Just as I do with my own mother and sister, my girls and I text, talk or email daily. This is not unique to our family, but I think they continue to do this because this is what they saw me do and were raised that way. Would they do this if raised by their birth parents? We will never know.
As my daughters grew up, sometimes we wondered aloud together if and how their lives would have been different if they had been raised by their birth families. While many children fantasize about having a different life, for adopted children and their parents, this is a reality. With information we had or obtained over the years - we could imagine some of the ways their lives could have been different. Without them, mine would have been different, too.
Similarities and differences are what makes us a family. I think all families are like that. It’s just that in adoptive families we have the responsibility to think these things through.
Kathy Ann Brodsky, LCSW is a New York and New Jersey licensed social worker, adoptive mom and advocate for ethical adoption practice. Through her private practice and agency affiliations, she has prepared thousands of adoption homestudies, counseled expectant, birth, pre/post adoptive parents and adopted persons, as well as trained professionals to work with adoptive families. She was Director of the Ametz Adoption Program of JCCA and a member of the Advisory Board for POV’s Adoption Series and is currently a member of the Adoption Advisory Board of Path2Parenthood, Adoption Professional Advisory Council of HelpUSAdopt and active in the Adoptive Parents Committee in New York. Her blogs and written contributions can be seen throughout the Internet, including her BLOG and as Head Writer for ADOPTION.NET She was named an “Angel in Adoption” by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption in 2001. You can reach her directly