Monday, August 22, 2011

Careers

There are things that continue to amaze me about adoption all the time. Recently, I met friends of my uncle's. We were all at the beach together and the topic shifted to my new job. They asked polite questions which I answered as best I could (I had after all just started there) and we got to talking about their son who is starting to look at colleges. As parents who's first child is going away to college, they had a lot of questions that a recent grad could answer. I have no problem answering questions about any topic, so we had a nice chat and I felt like maybe I helped them calm down a little bit. Overall it was a nice conversation. Out of nowhere the friend asked me a question that really threw me for a loop.

"Your mother is a nurse, why didn't you go into nursing?" Now, he was talking about my adoptive mother and I can understand where the question came from. He did not know I'm adopted, and I didn't feel the need to bring it up. He was asking because his wife is a nurse and his seventeen year old daughter wants nothing to do with nursing as she's starting to look at schools with her brother. He mentioned that he knows several mother-daughter nursing combos and was wondering why some follow their mothers and others don't. Laying aside the sexist connotation to his suggestion, I struggled with the answer to give him. I backed off because a) we were at the beach which is not a great place to discuss personal things with all the extra ears around and b) I was with my aunt and uncle, who I love dearly but don't want to have this conversation in front of.

I gave the standard "I don't like blood and can't imagine dealing with it all the time. Also my mother was a pediatric nurse and I can't handle sick children. I guess that's why I never wanted to go into nursing because I didn't know there were other kinds." Stupid answer I know. However, that is the answer I used to give before my reunion. I always believed that there was something wrong with me that I didn't want to be a nurse. It's a noble profession. My mother had loved it, why couldn't I follow her path? She did raise me after all and her nursing skills were put to the test more than once.

In adoption however nothing is simple. My real answer is more complicated than a simple "I don't like blood". Had I had the courage to discuss the issue, I would have explained that my skill set was more inclined towards computers. I have always had a knack for them and was good at anything electronic since I was five. The joke in my family is that if it involves any type of circuitry, I'm the one who will figure it out fastest. This particular skill set propelled me to software engineering. Added to the fact that unbeknownst to me, my first family has a history of going into computer fields. My first grandfather owns and runs his own IT company and my first uncle is the vice president. It runs in the family. Without even trying, I ended up mostly in the family business.

It will never stop amazing me that there are stories like this out there, let alone that it's my story. It also amazes me how many times conversations of mine can take a turn towards adoption. At the moment I'm steering them away from that particular topic, but hopefully someday soon I'll be able to delve right in!

1 comment:

  1. I'm always amazed too at how we 'go into the family business' before we know it is the family business.I alwys cite the example of how my amother was a terrible cook and did nothing to encourage me.I ended up enjoying cooking and discovered eventually it runs on both sides of my family, some even becoming pros.

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