Whether genetically related or adoptive, family is important. Both of my parents were adopted. All of the “family” I knew growing up was not at all genetically related to me (beyond my mom and dad of course). My grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins were actually not related to me. I marvel at this now.
My adoptive grandparents were influential in my life. No doubt about that. My maternal grandmother lived in wealth and taught us good manners and what an abundant life might be like. I remember fondly sleeping in my mom’s old canopy four-poster bed and coming to a breakfast table set impeccably. My grandmother also made possible my only trip outside the United States beyond occasional forays into Juarez growing up on the Mexican border. Thanks to her I had an experience of attending Clare College in Cambridge England. She was metaphysical actually. I learned that at some point and she expressed gratitude for her financial comforts by being generously charitable.
My paternal grandparents modeled hard work, entrepreneurial spirit and humble surroundings as well as country living as I was growing up in a dense suburban environment. I remember going out into the cotton fields to pick boles and now know that my genetic maternal relatives (grandmother and grandfather lived such a life of necessity). I remember harvesting food from their property – pecans, peaches and asparagus. I remember the trains that traveled right across the street from their rural home.
I also believe I owe my granny (my dad’s adoptive mother) for preserving me in my parent’s loving care and not allowing my unwed high school mom to be sent off to have me and give me up for adoption. Later on in life, my granny caused me to realize a romantic relationship I had been in for some years was not a healthy one and I left it. Her questioning openned the way for me to meet and marry my husband and to have two wonderful sons with him.