Diverse Families: Writing Our Family Narrative
One thing I love about the country I live in, is that society is continually becoming more accepting of alternative families. Families are no longer created only from heterosexual parents, with an average of 2.2 children. More and more we are seeing families being created with two moms, or two dads, or single parents, or blended families through second or third marriages, etc.
Today, families are diverse.
Now, I’m not saying society is fully accepting of diverse families. I am also most definitely not saying that walking the path to parenthood is easy, when the path is not the stereotypical path.
As part of a Caucasian, heterosexual couple, I cannot even begin to imagine the prejudices, hardships, complexities and insensitivity that homosexual couples, or single parents by choice face as they work to create their families.
But, I do know the struggle of someone who cannot walk the typical easy path to parenthood. The societal pressures we face to have biological children is intense. Clearly are unable to do that. We have tried. In fact, we have tried damn hard and know that the “normal” path is just not in our future. And ultimately, after lots of research and soul searching, we chose that adoption is our best way forward.
Some days I’m still very nervous about all the differences that come along with being an adopted family. I’m nervous about how our family differences will affect our child and how it will affect me as a mom.
Many days I still feel some bitterness that our path to get here has been so hard. And some days, I just wish we could have been the normal couple who gets pregnant and stay pregnant nice and easily.
But then, other days, I remember, being different isn’t always so bad. It’s kind of cool to get to define our family and write our story as we want to. We get to write our narrative because it is our choice how we explain adoption to those who don’t know about it very well (i.e. the majority of people). It is our choice how we explain to our child that they have multiple parents who love them to pieces. It’s also our choice how we teach our child to deal with potentially intrusive questions from strangers and maybe even friends.
One of the greatest things about building our family in an atypical manner is that we have lots of opportunity define our family how we see fit. And we have the blessing of knowing what our difference is, and helping our child navigate the waters proactively by exhibiting responsible and respectful behaviours from the onset.
*Today’s story is inspired by a friend who helped me see outside of my preconceived box. A fiend who actually heard my concerns about adoption and challenged me. A friend, who pushed me to see beyond myself. A true friend.
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