I just noticed something. Adam and I have had our cat, Jinx, for ten years now. We got him shortly after we moved in together in Chicago. As with all pet owners, I’m sure, we have all kinds of unique and silly ways of interacting with him. We hold him like a baby and he chews on his tail, we sing him a dinnertime song every night (to the Bonanza theme song, “din-dindin-din-din, din-dindin-din-din, DIN DIN!…), and we say “ROLLY-POLLY!” in a really annoying voice whenever he rolls around on his back.
Today I heard Sammy say ROLLY-POLLY and it just struck me that there is now a third person in our house who interacts with this cat in the exact same way. She is a Mossoff. It’s not her genes that make her so. It’s the fact that she has lived in this house with us for four years. She is a part of the Mossoff culture. That’s what makes her family.
I’m highly focused on this issue of heredity versus environment because it looks like we’re going to try to get pregnant using an egg donor in the next few months. I’ve also spoken to friends who know something about adoption, either as the parent or the child, about how it feels to have a family whose members do not all share genes. The more I think about it, the less it seems to matter. Part of that might be me just trying to see the positive in the situation. I know that it seemed to matter to me greatly when we had Sam, that she was a mixture of Adam and me. But in reality, the “mixture” that I see every day has so much more to do with the choices we all make and the experiences we have together, than it does with her hair or her eye color, or even her temperament.
A fourth voice in the house saying ROLLY POLLY would be a Good Thing.