When you have a family that's made up of adopted children, family history can be a difficult thing. You all come from different backgrounds, and everyone's genetic make-up is very different.
Growing up, you never think about these things. You go to the pediatrician's office, a nurse hands your mom a form to fill out, and you sit there playing with the ties on the little gown that you're wearing. You have no idea what your mom is writing, or why, or who needs the information. You're just in your own little bubble, with not a care in the world. But then you grow up, and suddenly your visit to the doctor's office revolves around you needing to fill out a ton of paperwork instead of waiting for your mom to do it. Sure, maybe she'll help you out by telling you who had cancer or which side of the family had diabetes in it, but you're the one who has to do all the writing.
Well when you're part of a foster or adoptive family, you know that you all don't have the same family history. My mom can tell me everything I need to know about all four of my grandparents, my aunt and uncle, or anyone else that I need information on. I know what cancer has affected my family, and that I should probably watch my sweets intake because my grandpa had diabetes (and still had ice cream all the time). But my mom doesn't know what happened in the history of my siblings' biological families like she knows what happened in mine. She only has the information that was given to her by D.S.S. when the kids were placed with us (or any further information that they could dig up by the time of the adoptions). It can be frustrating when you don't know everything about your life, and though it may not seem like it, it's frustrating for the rest of the family. It's not just the 'bad stuff' that you don't know about the family histories; you don't know the good stuff either. You don't know if your sister's genetic make-up will allow her to eat 20 donuts a day and remain skinny, while you can barely afford to eat one once in a while. Your siblings are like a blank canvas, waiting to be filled as their life goes on.
Family history is something that you take for granted until you realize that not everyone knows where they come from. It's amazing how much of life is affected by foster care and adoption.
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