|A presence though distant.|
|Our two adopted sons a couple of years ago.|
|The happy couple|
|Our Auckland family at the wedding. Baby Edith is delightful, determined and adventurous.|
We have been here in Christchurch attending our son's wedding. We have quite a varied family. Our oldest daughter lives in Dunedin with her husband. They are very supportive of us, our work and of other members of the family. Our second son lives on Waiheke Island with his wife and our grand daughter. These two older children are our natural born children. Then comes our first adopted child. (Let me emphasis the "our" - from our experience of being parents of adopted children, they are to us every bit "ours" as the first two are) He is Maori/Samoan by birth and now lives in Edinburgh with his Polish wife. Then we have our second adopted boy, mixed race Samoan by birth. He is the one whose wedding we have enjoyed this weekend. We also have a foster daughter who has severe intellectual disabilities who joined our family when she was nine years old. (She is now 35) Again we see her as "our" daughter, and our children see her as their sister. We have been here with our oldest two and their partners, and our foster daughter. The son in Edinburgh put this comment on Facebook; "My little bro's gettin hitched today, wishing I was there. Sending lots of love from the other side of the world to him and the fams. PEACE." He also sent a great message which my daughter read out at the wedding. My daughter set up a picture of him and his wife on the kitchen counter of the house we are renting so that he is a remembered presence. She has also been a great help in enabling our handicapped daughter to be at the wedding. We have been at the wedding yesterday and at a barbecue today. Tonight we received a text from our newly married son. He said lots of nice things then ended it with "really love you and dad so much!" I was not much of a father, but we must have done something right. I have a loving family - I am pretty fortunate!
|Our oldest daughter with her niece.|
|Our foster daughter enjoys a moment with my wife.|
One thing I have discovered is that they are always your children. When they hurt, you hurt. When they have uncertainties and frustrations, you feel them too, and wish you could take on some of the pain. When they are adults it is unwise to interfere or throw advice around, but you still feel for them as if they were the little baby falling and hurting itself. Your feelings continue and maybe even deepen when they become adult friends. Life and family love for me are an interesting and intense journey with many joys and some challenges along the way.