Interview with Lauren Jankowski by The Next Family
TNF: How has it been blogging for TNF?
It has been incredible. I have learned so much about writing and I have enjoyed every minute of it. I never thought I would write nonfiction, but I am happy that I chose to take advantage of an opportunity to do so.
TNF: How is your family like every other family and how is it different?
I think people would be surprised at how normal adoptive families are. My family is really no different from any other. We have the same dynamics and do the exact same thing. People are often shocked when I tell them I’m an adoptee. As for how we’re different, I can’t really think of anything in particular. I’m a very artistic personality whereas my family tends to be more straight-laced.
TNF: Did your family accept you and your lifestyle? If yes, explain and if not, explain what you have done to help them to accept your decisions and your lifestyle.
I can’t think of anything my family had difficulty accepting, aside from my feminism. (Reproductive rights has never been all that popular with old-fashioned Catholics, even if they’re lax.) My mother probably would have liked grandkids and I’m sure she still holds out hope that one day I’ll settle into a traditional relationship. However, she is gradually accepting that I’m not a family-oriented person and decided long ago that I do not want children.
TNF: How do you juggle the work at home with your jobs?
I’m finishing up an undergrad degree, considering (sometime down the road) grad school, freelancing, writing, and working on my own novels and short stories. I have no idea how I juggle all that and I’m sure I’m not always doing a stellar job of it.
TNF: What lessons do you feel are the most important to teach children in this day and age? Are there any lessons they, or perhaps we as parents should unlearn?
What concerns me most is the rigidity of gender roles that continues to pervade our society. Girls are expected to like pink, dresses, frilly things, and domesticity. Boys are expected to like blue, trucks, action, and “being a man”. We need to unlearn these rigid roles that continue to reinforce the glass ceiling that all women encounter, among other things. Girls need to be taught that they can be whatever they want, love whomever they choose, and will be loved no matter what. Some girls may want to play with trucks instead of princess dolls. Some boys may prefer to wear dresses. They should be allowed to explore their personalities and find what makes them happiest.
TNF: Any words of wisdom to pass on to our readers?
Find whatever makes you happy and pursue it. We only get to live once, why spend the little time we have miserable? As cheesy as it sounds, I think the best advice that anyone can give is to be yourself. Oh and read. A lot. Read things you like, things you normally wouldn’t. Just whatever you can get your hands on.
TNF: Anything you want our readers to know about you or your family?
I hope that I am a good example of an adoptee: just a regular, well-adjusted individual. I would also like other adoptees to know that genetics are not all that important. As I wrote in my last piece, I recently found out that my biological family is not exactly the most well-adjusted bunch of individuals. Also, as an adoptee, I feel that the family that raised me, my adoptive family, is my “real” family. Biology doesn’t really matter that much to adoptive families. Love is love, regardless of genes.
Thank you for sharing Lauren!