|Happy family in unplanned photo.|
My one child had no cousins. My parents' lives were shortened by unbeatable illnesses. Husband 1 and I, predictably, did not have a lasting marriage. This year's Christmas gathering was one I could never have imagined in my youth. My sister was absent, taken from us earlier this year. In my living room sat my brother, brother-in-law, and a close friend of mine. My son and his wife had flown to another state to be with a terminally-ill relative. A string of tiny colored lights "bloomed" on a hibiscus plant. And there we were, this odd bunch, never gathered in this way before.
Too often we look at adoption as a second-best way of life. What a mistake that is.
|A special prima who adopted me.|
Adoption is an art form and a sacred approach to life. I can be a child of God only by adoption. And my biological family was never meant to be my only experience of family in this lifetime...how impoverished my life would be had that been the case. Watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy this week, I was struck once again by the importance of friendship. Very few of the characters who forge the fellowship that will save mankind are biologically related. They are related by friendship, however, the kind of friendship that makes them brothers. Frodo could never have a better brother than his friend Sam.
|The adopted "tiger," Mac Dougal|
Not that I find this idea particularly comforting. Adopting means reaching outside myself, my expectations, my regular world. Adopting a resolution carries a different kind of responsibility with it from making a list of resolutions that I know will likely end up as wishes rather than actions. This year, more than any other before it, I know that to keep the resolutions I want to adopt will take courage and strength--a courage and strength I often don't find within. Fortunately, those are available for adoption, too.