A Slice of Life is a weekly blog hosted by Two Writing Teachers, Ruth Ayers and Stacey Shubitz. Click on Two Writing Teachers to be taken to their website to learn more about this week's Slice of Life.
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I'm back home after time down in Southern California with part of my biological family. In a previous blog post I shared that I am adopted and that I have relationships with both of my biological parents. I am particularly close to my biological father and his family who are the family in SoCal. I refer to my biological father as "Tatay" (Tagalog for father). I consider Tatay's wife, my "step" mum, to be a close personal friend, and his three children are, without question, my younger brothers and sisters. Their children are my nieces and nephews. We may not have been raised together but we claim each other as family. I could not be more proud of my younger sibs-Mark, Natalie, and Matt. They are amazing people!
|The Gomez grandkids|
I'll be honest. It was awkward having my mom and dad and then these other people in my life who were parents and siblings. I didn't know how to balance everyone's feelings. For many years, I wondered "how do I reassure my dad and mom that I am not trying to replace them?" and "how do I develop meaningful relationships with my siblings without making them feel like I am trying to move in on their dad?" and "how do balance the biological parent and friendship relationship?" It has taken a lot of openness and trust on all of our parts to make the relationships work. I often wonder if the awkwardness of everything was all me. I just didn't want to hurt or offend anyone. I will be eternally grateful to Denise, my "step" mum, who has answered every question I have ever had about the circumstances of our adoption. She is a kind and generous woman who I am proud to call my friend.
Where is this all leading? My favorite part of our trip to California centers around the weekend that we spent in Carlsbad. My daughter, Maddie, was able to spend quality time with her cousins; in particular, she had time with her "girls", Cali and Ava. The girls begged for Maddie to have a sleep over and even argued who got to sleep with Maddie. In the end, Maddie spent two nights away from me, which is a first for both of us. (I didn't know what to do with myself without her around so I finished Rump by Liesl Shurtliff, and read Sidekick by Dan Santat and Bobby vs. Girls (Accidently) by Lisa Yee. Yep! Living large!) Maddie ran in circles with her "boys", Tyler & Ryder (both Maddie's age) and Mason (the youngest of the crew). The kids swam together, played together, shared iPads, and cuddled together. My heart could not have been happier.
|Maddie, Cali, Ryder, Tyler, Mason, & Ava|
I don't know what the life of adoption is like for others. For me, it's difficult to imagine my life without my biological family as part of my family. I love each one of them and appreciate how they've added to who I am. My daughter is surrounded by even more people that adore and love her. My life is richer because of each one of them.
I suppose the older I get the more sentimental I become. At this point in my life, I have learned to take advantage of time with family. It may not always be convenient to get together but when opportunity presents itself it is so important to take the time to be with the ones you love. I am very appreciative of my Gomez family. Thank you for the memories this past week.