“Yesterday I had four sleeps, but today I have three sleeps, then two, then one, right?”
This is Nana in the backseat, clarifying how many days she has until we travel to Chicago. Which on one hand is kind of exciting because subtraction. But on the other hand…
“I’m excited to go to Granny’s house and see my cousins.”
Chatter, chatter, more excited chatter.
If the insane number of questions that I have already answered and the multiple scenarios she concocts about who will be there and what they will do are any indication, she is on ten.
She is sooo excited. Did I say that she was excited? Did I say that she has told me that she is excited? So many, many, many times.
Truth be told, I’m excited too.
I had a small family growing up. Although I had uncles and cousins, we didn’t grow up together. There were no family reunions, no Christmas dinners, no young adult partying with the cousins. I always felt a sense of loss, knowing that I had family but were not connected with them in any meaningful way.
As a result, I was always attracted to men with large families. It was fascinating to me to see how they navigated their relationships. It also gave me confidence that they knew how a family was supposed work. I was looking for someone that could help me fill in the gaps.
So I’m excited that Nana has this huge family that absolutely adores her. She gets to see her grandparents and aunt on a weekly basis. Now that we are closer, she gets to see the whole host of peeps on her father’s side more regularly. Especially the cousins.
They will grow up together and share memories, inside jokes, favorite foods cooked by their grandmother. They will exchange information about the adults from snippets of conversations that they overheard. They will fall out from stupid drama, apologize and become friends again. They will grow up together as family.
Of course adoption can’t just be simple. Because even though Nana has gained so many relatives, she still has an entire biological family that probably wonders where she is. And if or when she ever meets them, she will be on the outside of their shared memories, inside jokes, favorite foods and stupid drama.
It’s silly for me to worry about that. But I do. And once again, I wonder if I should reach out to them. Because you can never have enough family.