Talking About Parenting: Definition of family differs

Published 9:03 am Wednesday, April 4, 2018

By Chris Kovatch


Over the past month, we have had the opportunity to get to know my youngest two children’s brother. This may cause you to pause and ask, “Wouldn’t that be your son?” For those of you who are reading this column for the first time I find it prudent to share that my youngest two children are adopted.  We do not hide this fact from them. They understand, on the level that they can, that their parents were unable to take care of them and that’s why they joined our family.

Due to privacy concerns, I will not reveal their brother’s name. We refer to him in written form as “Little Man.”

I fully expected him to be a clone of Stryker. I questioned whether I would be able to keep up with another little one with a crazy high energy level.

When we initially met Little Man, I was quite shocked. He was a clone of my daughter Summer. It’s funny how it never once entered my mind that he would favor her. His personality is cool and collected. In our time together, he rarely gets upset, which is a major accomplishment given that he just turned two.

I guess being the sixth child in our brood, a sense of calm is almost a requirement.

He has meshed well with the other kids and has already formed an extremely close relationship with Rosie. He plays well with Summer and Stryker and it is a great feeling seeing them bonding with their brother.

In the foster system, each case is different regarding facts and circumstances, but one thing that is generally consistent is a focus toward reunification. While we were so excited to be able to adopt Summer and Stryker, it is also sad because a family was separated.

I fully support parents getting their priorities and lives in order and being able to be reunited with their children. However, I am also so grateful for families that step up and adopt children when reunification is not possible. It is a precarious road to travel, but one where we keep the child’s best interest at the forefront.

I am not sure what the future holds for Little Man. I will support him and his well-being to my fullest ability. I am grateful that we all get to have a relationship with him. Even though the legal ties with his siblings don’t exist because we adopted them, he shares blood with them and more importantly they love him and that, in my opinion, transcends what books prescribe as a relationship.

I want the best for this sweet child, and whatever our role will be with him as he grows, I want him to know that family has many different definitions.