It’s the holiday season and a time to be merry. It’s the time of year when we show the best sides of ourselves – the compassionate, the generous, the religious, the holy side of us. Our tree is up in our home and this year, I managed to put up a wreath on the door too. I am not a big decorator, simple and plain is my way. My big boy was my assistant holding the lights and ribbon while I placed them on the tree. Round and round we went. It is those golden moments when our hands are busy that conversations are the most profound.
“Mommy? Is there any place in the world that there are no christians?”….”Why are there so many christians?” I never knew stringing lights could be such an intellectual exercise!
We live in an area where I can actually name a person, a friend who practices a different religion. What’s great about that is the sense of inclusion that such intimacy provides. All kids want a sense of belonging. Isn’t that what religion is supposed to provide after all?
I grew up being raised Catholic with a Catholic mom and a Jewish dad. We celebrated everything. One sister would wear both a cross and Star of David. My parents were amused by this. I thought it just made sense. I find my son now saying we should celebrate Hanukkah because of my adoptive family’s roots, so their menorah of wood and metal washers glued atop made at a nursery school based in a Christian Church is on our table next to the evergreen holly candelabra. While the motivation is to say we celebrate everything, I like the nonchalance of the mixing of the traditions and beliefs.
Conventional wisdom says that adults know better, we are supposed to be wiser then. But the kids have it right on this point, I believe. There is no proper way to celebrate, no one way to doing things. It is more important to acknowledge and choose it all.
Which brings me to adoption, OF COURSE. There is no one way to define adoption and make sense of it. It is in the acknowledgement of a truth adoption means – transplanting and mixing of blood, heritage, history, loss, gain, grief, joy, family. There are those who simply and plainly define adoption as a way for a child to gain legitimacy – to adopt is to give a child is a name, citizenship, acknowledgement of birth. I accept that my adoption has given me that. To have faith is simple and plain too. It sets the foundation to what we acknowledge is our relationship with an alternate being. It is in the translation of such simplicity that makes it all too complicated.
So, here is to the complicated, the grey and the in-between. I wish you a wonderful holiday season to you and hope that the adventure of discovering the middle ground continues in the new year!