Friday, July 15, 2011

Biological Family Secret

We just returned home on Tuesday from nearly two weeks visiting family on both my side & Bill's side.  This annual trip is always jam-packed, and the kids love being surrounded by grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, 2nd cousins, 3rd cousins, probably even cousins once or twice removed and maybe some that have been reattached.  Laurence seems to have the relationships all figured out - well, until we get beyond the first cousins, but honestly I get a little lost beyond that point, too.

I'm not sure where it has come from, but since we've been home Laurence has been asking questions about "step" relatives.  He doesn't have any, but he must have heard this term from someone over the past couple of weeks.  Just today he was asking how a kid gets step-grandparents.  He probably figures having four grandparents is great, why not get some more?  Anyway, I started by explaining about step-parents and he said, "Also when someone has a child and can't take care of them, if someone else adopts them then they're their step-parents, right?"  I told him adoption was something different entirely, and that the people that adopt a child are, in fact, that child's parents.  Then he concluded that whoever gives the child up for adoption must become the step-parent.  "No," I told him, "they're also the child's parents, sometimes called 'biological parents.'"  "Biological parents?" he repeated.  "What does that mean?"  (Oops, I suddenly feared I had ventured into territory for which I was not prepared.)  "Well," I began, "a biological mother means the person who had the baby in her tummy."  I guess this clicked for him, because he said, "Oh! I get it - you mean the umbilical cord.  That's where the word 'biological' comes from, so that makes sense."   Hmmm, ok.  Sounds good enough to me.  Thankfully, we didn't get into any of the nitty gritty, so I can definitely get on board with that definition.   We ended the conversation by talking about family being important, no matter what the relationship...biological, step, umbilical cord, once removed...

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