So this past Friday Jordan and I got a chance to sit on the opposite side of where we were one year ago. Our agency asked us to come and speak to a group of prospective adoptive parents at the seminar that we attended last July. You may remember me blogging about it here and here. We were pretty excited because we LOVE to tell our story and share how adoption has shaped our family. Rylin sat pretty well, and we had a good time talking to the couples that attended.
Shortly after the seminar, we headed to my parents house and the Casey family reunion (my Mom's Mom) on Saturday. We enjoyed getting to see some of our relatives that we don't often spend time with and my Mom and I even entered the homemade ice cream contest. Though our fancy "Fat Bottom Crunch" only won 3rd place, it was an adventure to make(understatement of the year) and a clear winner in our minds! We left for Greenville Saturday night and to the Woodall reunion (Jordan's Dad's Mom) on Sunday. Everyone enjoyed meeting Rylin and we ate some more good southern food!
Part of letting go of our dream of biological children forced us to think about the loss of a genetic link in our family. This is a hang up for so many people considering adoption, and something we definitely wrestled with. I have to admit that going to these reunions made me wonder if Rylin would ever care about these people in the same way I hold an interest. I don't even know most of them. I haven't kept a close relationship with many. Yet somehow, their existence in my family tree still makes me feel a connection.
A birth family answers questions of history (physical traits, personalities, and geographic local), just as an adopted family adds to it (childhood experiences and values). Both are important in understanding the past, but neigther solely determine who one will become. I think a lot about the family Rylin will grow up surrounded with because of open adoption; his birth family and his adopted family. I now can imagine that each will be special in their own way but both play a significant role in understanding his heritage. I also know that he has twice the number of family reunions in his future!