Inclusive Family Tree Art Project – An Orchard of Love

You may have seen the cute family tree thumb print ideas I stole off of the internet. As soon as I saw them I knew I wanted to do something like that for our family. I’m a bit crafty and a lot sentimental. I envisioned having our friends and family each contribute a thumb print to help our kid feel connected to all of us (some of them live far away). It would be a visual reminder of how much love was all around them.

It never occurred to me to have limbs representing their birth parents.

I wasn’t trying to exclude anyone. It just really didn’t occur to me to include them … and then I read this article about a little kid that had to do a family tree project:

No big deal, it’s just a family tree. And yet even at age ten, something about the whole activity felt strange. Only I didn’t have the words to explain what that weird feeling was about.

I know that feeling. Next week in adoption class we have to turn in a family tree and I have no idea what to put down. I know my maternal lineage, but I know nothing about the men on my maternal side. I have all the information for my paternal side, but these are people that I never met or haven’t seen since I was a kid … so … do they really count as “family”? Ugh!

The more I read about open adoption the more I understand why it’s important for the kid to have as much information as possible. Since we are adopting from foster care, I don’t know how much interaction we’ll have with the biological family, but I would like to think that our kid will have an orchard of family too.



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