I have two little sisters. One is Black. One is Mexican. I am Black and Mexican. I don’t really look like anyone else in my family. I remember when I was a little kid I asked my mother why I looked differently than everyone else. She explained a bit about biology to me and why we all looked different from each other.
At that point it all became clear: the reason that we all looked different from each other was that they were my half-sisters. When those words came out of my mouth, and I saw the look on her face, I knew that I had said the wrong thing, but I wasn’t sure why. After all, I had heard people refer to people using that term before and I knew that I was using it appropriately. My mother didn’t care. She told me in very clear terms that we “don’t have halves in this family”.
That’s how my mother is. You’re either in the circle of trust or you’re not. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it! As a kid, I didn’t realize the gift that she had given me. I think I just said, “Okay, Mom” and went outside to play but as I got older I realized what she had done. There would be no uncertainties in my life about what “family” was. I didn’t grow up plagued by doubt about my heritage or my family.
I think it’s what made me always choose adoption as my first option. I have never considered biology to be the main component of what makes a family. My mom taught me a multitude of things over the years, but this gift of wisdom really stands out.