Normal is over-rated and not nearly as interesting or fun. The story of how a young, single girl with less pigment and two teenagers with more pigment redefine the traditional family model and become the All-American Family.
Team Thompson is just like every other family--every other superior family, that is :). Don't let pigmentation or age fool you. A strong family requires only one thing: committment.
Before I became an adoptive parent, I, too, would look at adoptive families and think, "How does that work?" The answer: Like any other family! It's pretty simple, I don't expect anything from my kids that I don't simultaneously expect from myself. We're in this together--we're a Team. Though my brother coined the phrase "Team Thompson", it couldn't have fit us any better.
We've been successful because we work as a team. We're honest with each other and we're honest about how people pereceive us. I have the same expectations for my kids that my parents had for me, so when they complain about something, I just say, "I feel your pain--I used to feel the same way." Sure, we started in different places, but we're going in the same direction and in the end, that's all that matters.
Diversity and having different experiences only enhances us as a family--only makes us stronger and more beautiful. The idea that I am any less my kids' Mother because I'm younger than "normal" (which is so boring anyway), or have less pigment in my skin is a myth based on social insecurities. I am confident in my role and have always expected them to feel the same way.
As parents, we decide how our children will feel about us. It's a powerful role that I have never taken lightly. If anything, I have grown so much as a person since becoming the Mother of Mychael and Malcolm. I am much more confident and well rounded now than I was ten years ago. Would I have been able to grow this much had I given birth to children? I highly doubt it. Besides, had I done that, I wouldn't have Mychael and Malcolm and I cannot imagine a life without them.
When I first adopted Mychael and Malcolm, people would say things like, "Your kids must be so thankful for you," or "The boys must be so appreciative." Yeah right! Are your teenagers thankful for you? If so, what's wrong with them? What teenagers are thankful for their parents? Mychael and Malcolm were no exception! I don't know about your family, but we're normal!