How Do I Love Thee.... - Nancy Zarriello

Home How Do I Love Thee.... - Nancy Zarriello
29 Jun 2019 1 nzarriello

If you welcome a diversion from all the negativity and some downright ugliness being spewed all over social media regarding this election and need an escape to focus on something positive, here it is. The antithesis of hate is love. Enough said.

In celebration of November being National Adoption Month (you’d never know it, but it is), let’s talk about biological versus adopted.  I happen to be lucky and have both. People who have considered a blended family or are just damn curious have asked me, “Do you love them the same?” I guess to someone on the outside without that experience, that would seem like a reasonable question.  And to satisfy those who might be secretly thinking that right now but would never dare to ask, I will respond.  Once at the pediatrician’s office a lady commented, “Wow, he’s a BIG boy, he must take after his dad.” Not sure if that was a compliment or not, but I continued to engage in the conversation, “Yeah, he’s kinda built like his dad, but not sure if he’ll be as tall as his dad or shorter, etc…” Well, I continued this conversation for quite a few minutes until it dawned on me, I was actually entertaining this question when I had no flipping idea how tall he would be, because he’s adopted.  Then again, how much does that matter, when my daughter is biological and yet she’s not tall like me at all.  I was always the tallest mom picking up the shortest child at school. So you ask, “Do I love them the same?”  To sum it up, I have two children, one is adopted, I forget which one.

This comment always amused me,  “Who are his ‘real’ parents?”  Aren’t his ‘real’ parents the ones who loved him, cried with him, cleaned up after him, guided him, and were there for him unconditionally.  My mother used to say, “The easy part is giving birth, it’s the sticking around and raising them that’s the real work.” I didn’t agree with her on much, but she was right in a way.  Of course, in my case, it was even difficult for me to give birth, but I’ll accept the second part.  You continue to raise them even after they leave the nest.  I don’t think our jobs as a parent ever ends.  The only consolation, we hope, is that at some point, the roles do reverse.  But hey, that’s our payback for everything we did for them.

Back to the question, my love for them IS the same.  But, at times I may like one more than the other.  If you ask my daughter, she’ll tell you that I love him more (not true).  To tell you the truth I forget that he’s adopted until someone reminds me. So the real question is not whether I  treat them or feel differently about them, the real answer is that I treat them differently, yes,  and according to what they need as individuals. With my children or the students I teach, I want each child to stand out in all the best ways possible, to be able to reach their full potential, whatever that may be.  I give each child exactly what they need because they are not the same. What you may need and what someone else may need may be very different.  You provide each child with what they need, in order to level out the playing field with their peers and give them the best environment and opportunity to succeed.  That special needs child in a family may require much more attention, but does that mean you love the others less. I think not. I always try to be fair, but that might not necessarily be equal.

Stop putting labels on it.  Whether it’s a foster child, step child, adopted, biological, special needs…Love is Love, plain and simple.

Category: Children Book


C martyniuk

Date: November 15, 2016 at 12:47 pm


Great story, very moving.