Core Style: The Power of Genetics in Adoption Reunions

Tristan came home today with Scholastic’s Parent & Child in his backpack. So somewhere as I put off making dinner, I did my best to ignore the sounds of Pokeman as they explode form the TV, and took a gander at this nice piece of fluff.

What Make Your Child Tick?

Interesting enough, I actually found an article that peeked my interest, “What Makes Your Child Tick?” and within that article, they state:
Among the inborn traits that we now know to be on each child’s genome are:

  • personality type
  • temperment
  • emotional/rational style
  • learning styles
  • gender differences
  • talents and proclivities
  • inherent strenghts and weeknesses
  • resilience to trauma

Then it goes on the say: “When you know your child down to the core, you are empowered to help guide him though his childhood organically….

They even discussed how the past mentality of considering children blank slates is very much fallen form grace…since we are begiing to see more and more that genetically…it’s in there.

I, personally, do not need any convincing.

How Adoption Destroys What Genetics Put in Place

And after my friends and family met Max at my wedding, I have to say that they don’t need any convincing either. In fact, in the few weeks since that day, everyone has made a point to come up to me and report just how freaking amazed they are that Max was “OMG, he just fit in like he was there all the long!!” and many different varients of the same sentiment.

This is the picture that Colleen claims

Brothers separated by adoption

“There is just NO evidence of these boys having fathers!!”

I do have to disagree here, becasue I do know that Max looks very much like his father does Garin look like Pat a heck of a lot.

But yeah, there is no question that these kids are brothers.

When Garin’s hardcore band played right ofter the cermony, he was goosing about..and Caitlyn, Max’ very cool GF, was also just gobsmacked..turning to me..cracking up “OMG, they are sooooo alike!”

I haven’t told you yet how very cute it was…Garin was taking off from the wedding festivities for a bit to dump off the band stuff..and he, of course, turned to me for money.

“Ma, do you have any money?”

“Noooo…I didn’t bring a dern’s my wedding”

And that was when Max went right into his pocket and pulled out a twenty..and gave it to his little brother and said “That’s what big brother’s do”.

And my heart flopped into a happy dance.

Not the Oddball, Not the Outsider

I can’t count anymore the times that someone has made a point to tell me, post wedding, how they were talking to Max and were enquring as to how he was doing. The report from him was consistantly the same:

He felt like he fit in much so that for the first time in his life, he was not the oddball, not the outsider, but with his own kind.

He told me.

He told my MIL

He told Colleen.

He told Jen.

And then I lose track.

Which does, of course, make me feel so very warm and fuzzy inside, but also…it is so very sad.

I mean that’s just a sad statement…one we do hear often from various adoptees…and to think that my baby…my baby that was suppose to be “just fine” and have “everything” didn’t really, wasn’t completely.

That he felt that way enough, long enough, before he was able to understand that he is not an oddball, not a freak, but is just the way he is suppose to be.

It makes me dislike adoption all the more…that industry that is just wrong, built on a faulty foundation, because…he needed his freakish clan to understand himself and why he is what he that core level.

If nothing else, I am not feeling anymore that I am projecting what I want to see with the level of amazement with this reunion. I have witnesses now…almost everyone I know…who is just flabbergasted beyond words at how we are..just who we are.

And it’s funny..I was talking to Colleen yesterday, sititng on the porch, smoking ciggs wile the cousins played, and trying to describe how it is that I felt so sure in some weird way about contact him the first time, that he did need to know and would be OK. And really, I get this feeling with my other kids too…that I know what they need becasue they are of me, part of me, we are connected. I just “get” them. And truthfully, even before I knew him really, I “got” Max too.

Genetic Power Must be Hard on Adoptive Parents

I really do feel relieved that I know that his folks knew that he was here..with me. I can’t say I understand why they have never replied to me directly, but that’s OK. Maybe they are, like that Anonymous person insisted, just letting us do our thing. Which is cool. But as I was talking to Col yesterday, it did hit on me, and I do mean this in a very non judgemental, non anything negative way…that man, if they have any idea that we are like we are..then man, maybe they don’t want to meet me becasue I would just freak them out.

It must be really really hard..I would be an adoptive parent and no matter how great you are, no matter how much you do, sometimes, that other other can walk right in and KABOOM! This is something really big. This is genetic, dna, bonds and all. I mean, look at our FEET!

Genetic importance cannot be denied in adoption.

And that’s just feet..which really are ugly and silly..and by themselves don’t mean much except physical genetics, but take in everything else..and yeah, I wonder if they just don’t want to ever know me because they are afraid of how we are. And in all honesty, I feel sorry for that feeling. It really must be very hard.

I went into that idea in much greater detail here..a long time ago now, but yeah, it feels even more of the same. Like I know that nothing can take place of those lost years, but really, sometimes I am just so amazed that I don;t even care anymore. Well, I do, really. But this stuff now, It is pretty incredible.

Fitting Like Gloves in the Family

Now I have pictures of Max as baby..and then pictures from about 15 on. Some are mine and some are theirs, but I never have seen anything from age 1 to 14. I have no idea what he looks like at all at those ages. But when Tristan was born, being my other blue eyed boy, I was very much taken in with the idea that he was like Max.

Now maybe that was becasue when Tristan was an infant, I was in full blown grips of processing this whole adoption thing and having that slow steady I could have projected some.
Right after the cermony, we took a whole bunch of family pictures..and I don;t know who did it, but to get the pictures, Max was handed Tristan and he held him that whole time. Tristan was fine, just sitting there, sucking his skull head lolly pop..and Max was….very quiet.
It was sometime later, in the middle of one of our “OMG fitting in like a glove” conversations, that Max said something along the lines of…”It was so freakiy holding Tristan, it was like holding a younger version of myself”.

Funny, I guess I don’t really need to see those pictures.

Comfortable in his Own Skin?

Sometimes I wonder how this all might be for Max himself. I know it’s alot to take in and he is young still and all that. But if temperment and attitude are also genetic, I guess it explains why we both seem to take this al in the same way. I am pretty confident that we both think it is pretty damn cool…not that the adoption happened…it is what it is now..we can’t change that..but this now, this future, it’s good.
I found out yesterday that my MIL tried to call him Gary and he corrected her “No, Max!”
Dear Rye, in all his wisdom, renamed my son again: G-Max. Incorporating both..and it was cheered by all. Remember this was the wedding that was more like a rock concert, so huge cries of “WHOO HOOO GMAX ROCKS” were not out of place.
And then there is the fact, plain and simple that he wore his Bastard Nation Tshirt (that I got at the ACC conf from Marley herself) made into a jacket by him to the wedding. I think he is comfortable with who he is.


Colleen insisted yesterday that he is so confident and sure of himself because I searched for him, because I broke the rules, because I found him, because I do so much more to stop this from happening again to others. I think part of it was internally there to begin with. I do think his parents gave him the freedom to develope into his trueself..even if they don’t get him completely or hope that he will grow out of it. But I am sure he is OK with everything anyway.

I know it..I just know it..on that core level.

Hmmmm..I should have had him give me away at the wedding. That would have made us even.

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About the Author

Claudia Corrigan DArcy
Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy has been online and involved in the adoption community since early in 2001. Blogging since 2005, her website Musings of the Lame has become a much needed road map for many mothers who relinquished, adoptees who long to be heard, and adoptive parents who seek understanding. She is also an activist and avid supporter of Adoptee Rights and fights for nationwide birth certificate access for all adoptees with the Adoptee Rights Coalition. Besides here on Musings of the Lame, her writings on adoption issue have been published in The New York Times, BlogHer, Divine Caroline, Adoption Today Magazine, Adoption Constellation Magazine,, Lost Mothers, Grown in my Heart, Adoption Voice Magazine, and many others. She has been interviewed by Dan Rather, Montel Williams and appeared on Huffington Post regarding adoption as well as presented at various adoption conferences, other radio and print interviews over the years. She resides in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband, Rye, children, and various pets.

13 Comments on "Core Style: The Power of Genetics in Adoption Reunions"

  1. i am so happy for you but will admit I am royally jealous!
    i loved the BN coat. Noticed that right away in the wedding photogs.
    Great job, Mom, wonderful post.

  2. Rocking post & photos.
    Huge smiles & lots of tears from me.
    I’m jealous of the both of you.
    But – at the same time – so very very happy.
    Poss. xxx

  3. How wonderful. You sound so happy.

    And I love this: “That’s what big brother’s do”.
    And my heart flopped into a happy dance.

  4. Claud, dear Claud. I am so glad to read about all of this good stuff. Max loves you because you are kind and considerate and good to him. Because you take an interest in HIM and who he is. Because you want to see his pictures and know his past.
    This is just so wonderful.
    As always, thanks so much for sharing your story.


  6. I’m so happy for you! This is all just fantastic.

    DNA vs. blank slate? It’s a no-brainer. I’ve been very closely reattached to my first family for six years now. As my maternal grandfather (birth) says, there’s no doubt who my mama is. And, my bdad and I are uncannily like two peas in a pod.

    All the best to you and your family.

  7. Hmmm – Claude. I wish Shakespeare were still with us. He is the only author worthy to craft a play about making the “game” even by giving each other away. Imagine the mythology that he could use to compare your feet. And he would have rich fodder with the garment – a humble shirt transformed to a cloak for a prince.

    Your story is epic – one for the ages.

    Happy G’Ma

  8. Awesome! Thanks for sharing your wonderful post/wedding/family.

  9. Claud,
    What can I say?
    Bliss, bliss and more bliss!
    What a blessing for Max that you found him whilst he still young and enjoy you, his brothers and sisters.
    It’s all wonderful,
    Phoebe. XXXX

  10. I found your web site last night and stayed up all night reading and. Crying.

    I wanted to comment on your statement that Max looks like his father… That boy is the spitting image of his Mom! Serious he looks just like you.

    • My little genetic experiments always captivate me. My three boys ALL do look like like fathers, it’s nuts. BUT then they ALL look like me and are clearly siblings too. It’s incredible how it works.

      Sorry for the lost sleep! I really should have Kleenex sponsoring me.

  11. Incredible stuff; as an adoptee, I wish I knew sooner that my thoughts were valid and embraced when I went through my reunion and realized how genetics cannot be denied. “No one ( not even money) can separate the broth from the soup!”
    Where can I get the visual and slogan above? Great validation for everyone involved!!

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