Parental Units

Jomo Kenyatta Airport, Nairobi, Kenya, circa 1975

At this moment my parents are speeding down the interstate on their way from where they live in Missouri to the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. As I live and work just off I-30 they will be swinging through here to stop and have lunch. Pretty cool!

I have awesome parents. I do. Unable to have their own children my parents chose to adopt. My older brother was adopted in 1969 and, after their first four years as missionaries in Kenya, I was adopted in 1974. Subsequently, my first trip on an airplane was at the age of 6 months as they returned to East Africa and I have been addicted to travel (and Africa) ever since.

“Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.” ~Oprah Winfrey

Others often question me about my adopted status as they don’t understand how I have no desire to track down my birth parents. Yes, I would like to have my family medical history but other than that … I see no reason in finding out who they are. Why? How can I not want to know about the people who gave me life? They had knowledge enough that I would have a much better life if they gave me up for adoption. A much better life I have led. Yes, they gave me life … but they did not teach me how to live it.

“My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.” -Clarence Budinton Kelland

Take a peak at my childhood. I have two absolutely phenomenal parents who raised me to appreciate people by exposing me to as many cultures as possible. They taught me to love art and music by taking me to the most notable museums in the world. They shared their contagious love of Christ with me. As a librarian, my mother fostered my love of the written word from the moment I was able to speak. I learned about world history by visiting most of Europe, Great Britain, East Africa and even key historical places here in the United States. I went through a Civil War fascination period at the age of ten and my father took me to Gettysburg and Appomattox and various Civil War sites (much to the boredom of my brother who was not thrilled at these excursions). At the age of twelve, archeology was my passion so I was treated to a full day in Pompeii, Italy while we were touring Europe one summer (again, my brother was thoroughly bored). By the age of fifteen I was already obsessed with English Literature and though we had been to England on previous occasions (flying between the U.S. and Kenya) the decision was made to stop and stay in London where I could learn and absorb more about English history. In 1993 (age 19) when I was in Nairobi hospital with a horrible case of the measles which affected my vision my mother sat at my bedside and, at my request, proceeded to read Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings aloud. She reminds me that I corrected her pronunciation of character names - as I had already read the series on multiple previous occasions - yet she stayed and she read.

“If a child is to keep his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.” ~Rachel Carson

How many parents would have indulged the fascinations of a schoolgirl with odd historical interests? Mine did.

"But a wise parent humours the desire for independent action, so as to become the friend and adviser when his absolute rule shall cease." ~Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South

Today they are stopping by because they know things are not going so well for me right now. They know I am stressed about a multitude of issues to which the only answer seems to be a financial miracle. They can not provide that miracle, I know that. Yes, I may be an adult but I am still their baby girl (and the mother of 2 of their grandchildren) and they want to help. They want to be here for me and realize that some things are better handled in person than over the phone or through an email … so they are making the time.

Like any other parent-child relationship we do have our issues, but does it sound like I am in any place to complain?

I think not.


  1. It sounds like you have had a full and rewarding life, which is the most important thing.

    I appreciate you reading my blog, and I'll definitely be keeping up with your entries. If you want to get some additional exposure for your blog, and since you include several quotes, feel free to submit an entry to my Carnival of Quotes through the site.

    Also, I read through some of your poetry, and I would encourage you to go to another site I work on at to meet other writers and artists and promote your work there as well. It's a new site, but we're growing quickly.

    Thanks again for reading my blog, and I enjoyed reading your as well!

  2. What a wonderful post to enter in the blog carnival. I love your insight! Thanks again for participating. Have a great weekend!

  3. What a great post!! As an adoptive mother I love the quotes in your post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings!

  4. jessie & kathy - Thank you! I had a blessed life as an adoptee. If you want to read more I wrote another post titled origins about where I come from.

  5. Thanks for sharing your thoughts so eloquently! It seems so often we only read about the bad of any subject. It's nice to read about the good in such an inspirational way.
    Kerri and Ruby

  6. Thank you kerri - I am glad you liked it! I took a peak at your page and Ruby is stunning! So happy! Much luck to you on your future adoption. Ethiopia is one of my favorite countries and the people are just beautiful.

  7. Hello! i found your blog through the blog carnival and wanted to stop by and say hello. I am a mom to three through adoption.


"Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?" ~Walt Whitman


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