Ancestral energy lives in the stars above us, the stones beneath us. Their memory gathers in oceans, rivers and seas. It hums its silent wisdom within the body of every tree.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Beauty of Adoption

She adopted us a month ago...
There are people in your life that you meet, and you feel an instant connection to them. I’m not talking about attraction. I’m talking about that feeling of familiarity that comes before introductions. These people become your close friends. You let them in without realizing you’re doing it, because it’s organic when it happens. These people become your family, and it’s important to realize the ways family can be created.
Our new cat has gifted that insight to my heart. Never before, have I been so cautiously vetted, weighed, measured, and chosen by another animal. I know what day she decided she could trust us. I know what day she decided she was going to spend the rest of her life with us. And then she waited until we understood it, too. And she was right. We are not her family just because we took her in. We took her in because we felt that we were her family. I love her already. And I think about all of the beautiful children I know who are adopted. And all of the people I know whose family tree searches end when they discover an ancestor was adopted into their family.
I have always understood that my deep and lasting friends are my family, in addition to blood family. I have adopted them as such, telling stories about my second moms and dads. My best friend is also a brother to me, and it’s a bond that, whatever time and geographical distance may get in the way, is cemented in my heart. He is my brother, because we are all One people. We are all cousins. You, reader, are my cousin. That has to matter. We can’t be allowed to forget.
In genealogy, and the study of the migration of a bloodline, these people would not show up on your family tree. They would not be counted among the names of ancestors and descendants, and sometimes those of us in pursuit of our lineage overlook names that recur over and over in census reports, even when they are living in the same household. And sometimes we note a child who was adopted as an additional child, separate from the rest. I’ve seen it happen. Every time I come across it, I wonder what that family, who took that person in, would think about that historical aside.
This magical work I do allows me to go deeper than genealogy. I open myself to the ancestors of my bloodline and the ancestors of my heart. From a spiritual point of view, it’s easy to accept this as natural. Your intuitive body knows who is connected to you. It’s hard explaining this work in the beginning. You need terms and boundaries and guidelines to navigate the dimensions of spirit world. But once you’ve been practicing, you understand that all you have to do is open a way to connect to whoever you want that has crossed over.
When families merge together, an adoption occurs. In the perfect situation, there will be no line between blood and step kin. On one side of my family, there are many step siblings. And navigating the waters of who was born of what father was difficult for me as a child, as if children raised by my grandfather were not his ‘real’ children. On the other side of my family, my Grandma- the one who was part of my life- was not my blood grandmother but a step-grandmother. I never would have called her that and I never will. When I reach out into spirit world for my Grandmother, it is Donna I reach out to.
In my work, if you are adopted, you are doubly blessed. Not only do you have an ancestral heritage waiting for you to connect into it, but the family that adopted you, that took you as their child- no matter how things unfold within that family in your lifetime- their ancestors are your ancestors. Instead of two family lines, that of your mother and your father, you have four. That is how the spirit world works. And that is how your adopted family sees it; you are of their clan and kin.
We know that sometimes, people disown, deny, and cut off blood kin. This is why blood cannot be the lone measure of family. In my own tree, Charles Ruston and Ruth Ireland were members of the same parish church in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire, England. Charles was the son of a wealthy and well-to-do landowner. Ruth was a servant in another household. They both came to America in 1881, just after getting married in defiance of Richard Ruston’s wishes. He was Charles’ father. When later family traveled to England, hoping to meet their Ruston kin, they were told that Richard did not have a son named Charles, in a way that very clearly stated that when Charles married Ruth, he no longer existed. Thanks to genealogy, we have records of Charles listed as Richard’s son on the England census prior to his immigration. So, despite Richard Ruston’s wishes, he is still my 3x Great-Grandfather. And his ancestors, unknown, are my ancestors.
If you were adopted, and you don’t know the names of your birth parents, their family tree is still yours. Your ancestors are still waiting for you to open to them. Just because you don’t have factual connections does not mean the spiritual connection isn’t there. It’s just sleeping. You can contact your blood relations, whether known or not. You can connect to the dead who are not related by blood. All you have to do is follow the threads of energy that bind you to those who have come before you. Follow them backwards and see where the journey takes you.

I don’t have children. I entertain the possibility of adopting someone into my family, someday. I can see it in the future. There will be someone with no family, who will be welcomed into ours. I can feel it. I will open my family history to them and it will be theirs. I will create a ritual, a rite of passage, where I will take them as my kin and gift them my lineage. My history will be theirs to claim or not. My ancestors will be called to watch over them as if they were my own. And they will be my blood in the binding and creating of family.


  1. Hi Sarah

    Thanks for you lovely article! I so appreciate how you discuss not just the physical relationships, but the energetic ones as well. They are equally important, if not more so.

    The disowning issue is as interesting to me as adoption (though I know of neither in my family tree) I was once part of a family constellation process that explored a disowning. I was stunned to see how that ritualized ending of a blood relationship showed up in the energy of the field. It was an amazing teaching about how powerful intention is.

    I'ma new subscriber to your blog, and would love to pass this issue around to friends on Facebook - do you have a FB page?

    It's nice to find a like-hearted traveller on this journey.

    (another) Sarah

    1. Thank you so much, Sarah, and welcome! I do not have a FB page yet for my blog, but you should be able to share the link to this post to FB. There is a small button at the bottom of the post.

      I do a lot of energy work in trying to reach back to my ancestors, to help with my genealogy search, and I have found it difficult to break into that Ruston line- thank you for sharing that story. I will be writing over the winter about the work that goes into ancestral retrieval, and healing those rifts that we were not part of, but effect the generations that come after.

      It's wonderful to meet you :-)


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