Posts Tagged ‘ step family ’

Small Miracles / Small Miracles: What’s in a name?

When I ventured into the world of adoptions as an entrepreneur, I agonized over what to call my new company.  Understand that I was not opening as a licensed adoption agency (although that had been my background) but instead, my company offers complementary services particularly in terms of independent adoption counselling; and assists in completing and filing court documents for step-parent, adult and private-direct adoption.  With respect to step-families, I believe in the power of legal adoption to relieve at least a portion of the angst experienced by many families formed following domestic upheaval.

 

I chose “Small Miracles” because it seemed so appropriate.  My friends, colleagues and business advisors cautioned that it did not, “…at a glance…” clearly reflect my product or services; an attribute so important in a world where so much information whizzes by us at light speed.  From my perspective, however, the name was perfect.  At its root, my business was about children, who are both small and miraculous…I loved the imagery and I was excited to attach myself to the idea. Mistakenly, I believed that the name was unique.  An Internet search and the entire corporate registration process failed to reveal a conflict. I was so pleased with my new name and corporate identity!

 

The many calls that I received inquiring about pet adoption were my first clue that something had gone terribly wrong.  These calls did, however, cause me pause (paws) to wonder if I should add a new product line as there did appear to be a persistent and determined market.

 

In retrospect, my initial search of the Internet may have been too perfunctory.  How could I have missed the other companies who had, or were still using “Small Miracles” or a similar name?  Regardless, I had one very serious, very concerning, doppelganger.   There had been an “open” adoption agency based in Engelwood, Colorado named “Small Miracles Adoption”.  Worse than the unfortunate name-sharing was the fact that this particular, now defunct, agency has drawn the very public ire of many birth-mothers who express their very personal pain and rage through numerous blog and web-page postings.  I have received many calls from birth mothers looking for assistance with a variety of complaints involving the Colorado agency.  I have attempted to help them and have put them into direct contact with the appropriate State social services agencies; I am touched by their stories.

 

I support adoption…particularly, I support OPEN adoption.  I am proud to be affiliated with Adoption By Choice (ABC) who I consider to be a particularly ethical and professional organization.

 

For now, please understand that while I love animals, I cannot help you find a pet and please do not confuse me with Small Miracles Adoption formerly of Englewood, Colorado! We are located in Edmonton, Alberta Canada.

Origin of the term “step-child”

Is the word “Step” in relation to families a “…rose by any other name…?”

Step-
Old English. steop-, with connotations of “loss,” in combinations like steopcild “orphan,” related to astiepan, bestiepan “to bereave, to deprive of parents or children,” from P.Gmc. *steupa- “bereft” (cf. O.Fris. stiap-, O.N. stjup-, Swed. styv-, M.L.G. stef-, Du. stief-, O.H.G. stiof-, Ger. stief-), lit. “pushed out,” from PIE *steup-, from base *(s)teu- (see steep (adj.)). Etymologically, a stepfather or stepmother is one who becomes father or mother to an orphan, but the notion of orphanage faded in 20c. For sense evolution, cf. L. privignus “stepson,” related to privus “deprived.”

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_origin_of_the_word_%27stepchild%27

In my previous blog contribution I considered the origins of the word “family”.  I  concluded that the concept of family as a nuclear, genetically-linked group is a relatively modern concept emerging sometime in the 17th century and culminating in such pop-cultural jargon as “family values”, an undefined but politically-charged term emerging sometime during the political campaigning of the 1960’s.

 

Although there have been several notable attempts to provide a better name for “modern” families, “Step” continues to be the prefix of choice.  Unfortunately it doesn’t mean “take a step in the right direction” as though it were a part of a larger and progressive process.  Unfortunately, although ancient in origin, the concepts of sad and deprived children, as demonstrated by the etymology, are all too often reflected in today’s reconstituted families.

 

Just in case you think I’m spending way too much time worrying about the ideas behind these adoption-related words, apparently I’m not the only other person thinking about this stuff:

 

http://voices.yahoo.com/the-origin-word-step-blended-families-and-7708888.html?cat=25