We had just finished eating Carrie’s birthday meal, and the children were patient enough to indulge their mother in a mini-lesson. In fact, I think they’ve grown to expect it and are usually attentive in a half-amused, half-expectant, “here we go again” sort of way.

Earlier that day I had read an article in the October, 2006 issue of Real Simple magazine about the power of letters, and I wanted to share something of the one that impressed me the most. It was from a mother to the daughter she had given up for adoption, not because she wanted to but because she wanted the best for her baby. As years went by, the daughter wondered what it would feel like to actually look like her family and began seriously wanting to meet her birth mother.

After the mother was located, the two began a correspondence. The first letter from mother to child was in the magazine, and reading it intrigued me so much that I decided to read the rest of the story. Mother and daughter finally met, and the daughter described the experience as “surreal,” especially going through family photo albums and seeing herself in so many faces.  She now knows what it feels like to look like her family AND to have two moms.

I concluded my story telling by reminding the children of the importance of family. “Look around the table, even at the babies (especially at the babies) and think of all the people represented here, even the ones you can no longer see. It’s such a blessing to be a part of family. Always remember that and never take it for granted.” All eyes turned to Emma Elizabeth who was cooing contentedly. Who knows what secrets her DNA will reveal?