The bloodline: Am I okay without that?

I wasn’t raised in a bloodline culture.

My parents, and as a result my immediate family, didn’t emphasize anything about keeping a bloodline in tact or whatever. Even inheriting my father’s name didn’t do it.

The broader culture in America certainly doesn’t focus on it either, at least not as much as other cultures. Sure, it’s great to be related to someone rich and famous, but in general it’s not like anyone really cares if someone’s physically related by DNA. It’s more the social connection that counts.

After announcing my decision to pursue adoption, though, some unexpected (to me) questions have come out of the woodwork. Lots of people ask if I personally will have a problem raising a child who’s not really – by blood – mine.

At first when I started hearing this question, I really didn’t know how to respond. Frankly, I hadn’t considered this one too much, and that worried me. I’m like, “Wait, did I miss something? Why didn’t I think of this? I really am taking this too quickly if I haven’t even considered a question that comes up so often.”

The more I think about it, though, the more I’ve had peace with my ignorance. I like that it’s been brought to my attention now, but I don’t think it would’ve hurt to continue forward without considering the question, at least in my case.

In my case, I don’t think it matters.

I compare it to getting married. The person you marry is the person you (should) get closest to, physically, emotionally, spiritually, everythingly. But the person you marry isn’t related by blood.

Does that mean it’s harder to love that person? No, of course not. We don’t even think like that.

That’s how I feel when it comes to adopted children. I’m like, “What? Bloodline? DNA? Why does that even matter? I care about the people I care about because I care about them as people, not because of the molecules running through their bloodstream.”

Of course, I can’t know for sure because I’ve never had children of my own. People who have might be in a better situation to evaluate how that feels. Sure, there is a special connection to children when you play a direct part in their existence. And I think this is probably more true for mothers than for fathers.

But when it comes to adopted children, no one really knows until adopting. Just as it might be¬†presumptuous¬†for me to assume it won’t matter, it’s also presumptuous for other people to assume it will. No one knows until trying it.

As a result, my thought is that unless you already know you’re against it, it’s fine to go forward. Like for people like me who don’t worry about it, I don’t see a good reason to start worrying about it.

On top of that, I’m also thinking there’s a special connection that comes from choosing to adopt a child, selecting and pursuing that child through all the paperwork and peoplework that goes into the process. In some ways, especially emotionally, it’s actually more difficult to adopt than have children the more conventional way. That difficulty forces a connection because without the connection, no one would push through the difficulty.

In other words, the connection’s not wrong, just different. And I like that. I can fall in love with that.

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