In my eleven years as an adoptive parent, I’ve had to grieve a lot of things. I’ve grieved my children’s loss of their birth families. I’ve grieved my loss of the experience of ever being pregnant (although, I won’t lie, it looks uncomfortable, so that grief process was short lived). I’ve grieved every single time someone has said something insanely stupid to my children about their origins and history. But, there is one thing that someone just mentioned to me, that I have never ever, not even once, grieved. Someone, indirectly, asked about how I feel about not “leaving my mark” on this world. Won’t I grieve the fact that after I’m gone there will be no one walking the earth that looks like me, talks like me, or shares my ‘essence or traits?’ In other words, they’re asking what lasting contribution will I have made to the world?
Yes, this is what was said. I’m not joking. Here was my first thought, it takes a person with a gigantically inflated ego to think that the only way to leave a lasting mark on this earth is to pass on your genetic material. I suppose if I was somehow amazingly heroic or insanely intelligent, then it would be different. I’m not. I’m just an ordinary girl, married to a rather ordinary, albeit wonderful, guy, who is lucky enough to have been given the privilege of raising nine people.
These people are going to leave a mark all of their own. They’re going to go on to do amazing things in this world. I know it. Even if the sum total of what they accomplish is only what I’ve accomplished, the spouse, the family, the ordinary life, I will be amazed by all of it. I will be amazed by every graduation, marriage, birth, adoption, every up, every down…all of it. That’s the whole point of life, finding joy in the journey.
I found it…nine times over. So, to answer that person’s idiotic question/statement, I am not worried about leaving any kind of mark on this world. I just feel blessed to be living the life I’m currently living. With these people, who will leave a crazy huge mark just by being who they are.