Welcome to my Blog
As we behold, we actively transform the image.
I refer to myself in this chapter as a water lily like in Claude Monet’s famous painting of water lily’s in a pond, whose roots go into the water instead of the earth. Here is a video that describes his technique and palette demonstrated in the famous Monet gardens:
When I found my birth family and realized all the similarities we shared, I began wondering how that information was passed on. The nature and nurture debate is especially pertinent for adopted children who find their birth families. The social and cultural construction of our identity is not just influenced by our nurturing adopted families. Other factors come into play.
Our family story or family memoire, became an interesting case study for me to examine with the lens of a social scientist. I was intrigued as I discovered all the personality traits, handwriting similarities, political convictions, child birthing and rearing practices, favourite books, colors, and jewellery shapes that connected me to my birth family’s preferences. I pondered the question, “How had I integrated so much of who they were even though I was raised by another family?”.
When I began reading about epigenetics, I realized that this emerging paradigm could offer scientific explanations for what I had perceived. The patterns that were running through us, our biological connections and lines of inheritance, had been acting on me from a distance.
In this blog I share articles about epigenetics so that readers can better understand how epigenetic research is changing how we understand transmission. The epigenetic paradigm explains how our environment and perceptions bring out our DNA’s expression.
Singe Howell’s term kinning, derived from the understanding of kinship in the context of adoption, is a word expressing the relational process of bonding. Her word is a wonderful way of expressing how we make family ties from heartstrings that may even come from different countries, tying them together in beautiful bows of belonging.
She also refers to the process of de-kinning. Much like kinning and de-kinning I like to define mediation as linking, somewhat like a chain that can also choose a process of de-linking. But Howell even has a third option that evolves from kinning. There is also the possibility of re-kinning.
When I decided to search for my biological mother, I truly wanted to repair our relational bond, restoring our kinship. The Nebraska Children’s Home Society mediated my kinning process over the years, accompanying me with the necessary papers and legal documents that were necessary. When I began my search, I returned to the Nebraska Children’s Home to re-kin.
Singe Howell’s book:
In this article, Kathryn A. Mariner uses cultural anthropology to analyse adoption in the United States using auto/biographical documents. Her article offers insights into other adoption stories that broaden the topic and offer windows into other lifeworlds. Just as I entered into the autobiographical process to write a letter for my birth mother, initiating the search process, adoptive parents are required to create profiles that tell their stories. These profiles are shared with birth mothers. Autobiographical accounts mediate the kinning process as recounted in this article:
Author of Homing In: A Story Mandala Connecting Adoption, Reunion and Belonging