My daughter turned 11 1/2 Tuesday. She decided that this half birthday was something and we had a cake and some small presents. This, I love about her– her ability to celebrate. All kinds of things. The joy she brings to any celebration. As we got ready to travel which we did on Thursday, I realized that the main thing, above all things, that Thanksgiving is/ does for me is that I give thanks, big thanks, for the family– by blood, by law, and by choice, that I have. And this year, I look ahead because this family is about to get bigger.
When my daughter came into our lives our family got bigger. By one very small person (at the time) and by many. There was and still is her birth family, most of them unknown to us. My girl is Chicana, Mexican heritage by birth, and so all Chicanos and Mexicans became family too– some of whom are up-close-and-in- person-at-our-dinner-table people and also a much larger group in our minds and hearts.
Just before my daughter’s 8th birthday, we learned that my daughter has two younger siblings both of whom were placed for adoption with two different families. We have had contact and the vast pleasure and the interesting challenges (mostly logistical) of my daughter’s younger brother (a totally wonderful, beautiful boy) and his two moms– for 3 1/2 years now.
There is also a younger sister whose family did not want contact with us at the time we all learned about one another. But in the past two weeks her mother, the mother of my daughter’s youngest sister– emailed me and we have been having a good, good email exchange. So I believe that sometime this coming month, my family, my daughter’s family– is about to grow again, with the addition of one more Jewish mom (like me) and one more Jewish/Latina girl– my daughter’s youngest sibling.
I often greet change with sadness and trepidation, but I am open this time and I am so, so grateful for my daughter and her open hearted enthusiasm about many things in life, and particularly, right now, her sister and brother.