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As we behold, we actively transform the image.
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