This, that, the other, and then some.

It’s always during milestone moments when I wish I knew more.  More family history, more biological relatives’ quirks and characteristics, just…more.  The vacuum of information is like a persistent gnat that refuses to stop batting about my head; I can only imagine how much more intense this irritation is for our kids.

Okay.  I try hard to live in a judgement free zone, what with the whole You don’t really know someone until you walk a mile in their shoes thing.  But I find myself 100% befuddled by adoptive parents who return their children.  “Return their children”?!?  The phrase itself is ridiculous.  And not for nothing, but I haven’t heard of a single biological family who “returned” their children when they didn’t acclimate into the family.  Where are they gonna go back to?  The uterus??  Why are some adopted children shuffled back and forth like replaceable throw pillows?  Parenthood – any kind of parenthood – is like the Nestea plunge.  Once you’re falling in there’s just no going back.

Blended families are pretty standard in our society these days.  Way (way) back when, “blended” meant mom and dad divorced, then mom or dad remarried and brought a new spouse into the family.  Perhaps there were also step siblings added to the equation.  Now there are as many ways to blend a family as there are ways to order at Starbucks.  Stepparents and step siblings through remarriage, step siblings through multiple fathers, children born via a sperm donor, children carried by one partner and adopted by the other, biological and adopted children in the same family.  And then there’s one particularly near and dear to my heart: adopted children from two different sets of biological parents, with one closed and one open adoption.  There are so many ways to make a family, and the variables are endless.

Living blended has its challenges, sure, but it also has its joys.  Everyone brings their own particular brand of nutty to the table.  It’s a little easier to compliment differences or admire abilities when there isn’t inherent jealousy over who inherited which traits.

Living blended also runs the risk of too much comparison between siblings.  This one looks more like mom than I do.  That one loves cars like dad.  Height, weight, body type, hair color, eye color, skin tone – all up for a “who fits in better” go ’round.  Risky stuff right there.

We’re coming up on Bear’s birthday when she’ll officially enter the tween years.  Sometimes I sit and wonder where the time’s gone.  Like most parents, sometimes I sit and wonder if we’re doing okay at this parenting thing.  Maybe we think we’re doing great, and one day she’ll end up on some therapist’s couch telling her life’s story and sobbing her way through box after box of tissues.  Then again, maybe we think we’re dooming her to therapy and she’ll turn out just fine.

Gotta jam.  Eyelids are closing at last.