The Family of Adoption
a Poem by Joyce Maquire Pavao

You cannot change the truth
These are your children
But they came from somewhere else
And they are the children of those places
And of those people as well

Help them to know all about their past
And all about their present
Help them to know that they are from extended families
But they have more mothers and fathers
They have grandmothers, godmothers, birth mothers, mother countries, mother earth
They have grandfathers, godfathers, birth fathers, and fatherlands
They have family by birth and by adoption
They have family by choice and by chance

Childhood is short
These are our children to raise
These are our children to love
And then they are citizens of the world
What we do them creates the world that we live in
Give them life
Give them their truth
Give them love
Give them all that they came with
Give them all that they grow with

Your children do not belong to you
But they belong with you
You can not keep them from what is theirs
But you can keep loving them
You do own your children
But they are your own.

Excerpted with permission of the author from the book "The Family of Adoption" by Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao.
Dr. Pavao is the President of the Center for Family Connections,  Cambridge, Massachusetts
and a respected speaker and trainer related to "
The Normative Crisis Of The Development of the Adoptive Family".
Dr. Pavao and The Center for Family Connections may be contacted at 617-547-0909 or