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adoptive families bloom where planted

Bloom Where You’re Planted

This is a cucumber plant in our yard. I did not put it there. I planted cucumbers about 75 feet away in a carefully tended garden. But this rogue cuke somehow grounded itself in the rocks, near the children’s swing set and assorted pairs of stomping feet.

bloom where you're planted cucumber

Stubborn thing.


In that carefully tended garden, I have melons. I did not plant these melons. Earlier in the summer Roger served a breakfast of honeydew with prosciutto and lime juice, and then mulched the waste. I suppose the seeds took root.

adoptees bloom where they're planted

Stubborn things.


adoptive families bloom where planted

In the front yard towering over the driveway, there is a sunflower. I did not plant it. There are no similar flowers near it. It is so florally prolific that it droops in the path of Roger’s car as he heads into and out of the garage. It’s taken quite a beating, but still keeps producing flowers that reach for the light.

Stubborn thing.


I honor the hearty biology of these organisms, that they strive to grow where they are. I admire their thirst for sunlight and their ongoing quest for growth, no matter how unlikely or unsuitable their surroundings.

I dedicate this post to Tessa and Reed, the hearty, stubborn rogues that landed in my garden. Grow with me here!

Lori Holden, mom of a young adult daughter and a young adult son, writes from Denver. She was honored as an Angel in Adoption® by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

Find Lori’s books on her Amazon Author page, and catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.

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44 Responses

  1. wondrous little rogues, they are!

    one of my fave pix of myself is from our honeymoon at an inn on maui picking my breakfast from a strawberry papaya tree that had been cut down twice and refused to die and grew back stronger each time. the fruit was phenomenal!

  2. Perhaps one of your little rogues didn’t feel like eating a cucumber one meal and hid the evidence in the rocks.

    Naah, your explanation is better.

  3. BEST POST EVER!! And my computer hasn’t even loaded the photos of your rogue crops yet. Love love love this post.


  4. So true, whether you’re a human or a plant. Yes, sunflowers are what are being banging up by Rodge’s car. Yes, a new nickame for the Hubster.

  5. I absolutely love the way you look at things and the way you connect ideas — stubborn plants to your kids.

    I love your writing and your blog. Thank you!

  6. I love this. You gave me a little more hope. I tool Mel’s advice and responded with my own post.
    Thank you!

  7. Thankyou so much for your little comment!I found that article randomly and I thought it was calming to hear that adoption isnt comfortable always. I think that I’ve tried to keep my experience comfortable for everyone around me by not talking about my feelings wether its good, peaceful ,sad or fear of the unknown I had a private adoption, so your open adoption is very interesting for me to read thru! I think its beautiful that you write your story and expieriences and you see thru your own fears for your children.its lovely.

  8. Such a nice way to look at things! Even though they aren’t planted in the best places or circumstances, they still thrive. I think that’s a beautiful sentiment… (even if I am commenting on a post that’s almost 2 years old. HA!)

  9. beautiful post and sentiment. i’ve always loved the quote ‘bloom where you are planted’. i’ve attempted to do it as well, living in a new country the past 6 months or so, but i’m stuggling a little..

  10. See! Who says stubbornness is a bad thing (well, besides my hubby… and my kidlets… and my mother… and my doctor… and … *grin*).

    Thanks for the awesome, inspirational post!

  11. Lovely post, but I’m afraid I was hooked by the idea of melon, prosciutto and lime juice, and you pretty much lost me for anything else. It sounds so blissfully summery, and so far away.

    PS. Ever had papaya with lime juice? Sublime!

  12. Oh, what a beautiful metaphor! It actually makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, because I also have happy random plants (probably thanks to squirrels) that pop up in my garden — this year it was daffodils, white foxglove, and lupine that I planted but that has spread merrily to new and exciting places. I look forward to my surprise thriver of a different sort, somewhere out there on his/her way to us. This is just gorgeous!

  13. Beautiful. 🙂

    We, too, have a rogue this year. I’m not even sure what it is yet. Some sort of squash, and quite possibly pumpkin. THAT would be a fun surprise!

  14. Our garden sounds so poor and pitiful now. We had one lonely (tasty) cucumber, and the beets, beans, carrots, and corn didn’t make it. The basil is happy, though, and we hope for some bumpy gourds.

  15. Your blog title jumped out at me in my inbox. That is an expression my mother kindly shared with me when I first disclosed that I was having trouble coping with infertility and the specter of not having children…

  16. That is so sweet! Love it.

    We planted sunflowers once. We have never had to do it again. The birds take care of the reseeding for us.

  17. Ha! One year somebody at my community garden apparently chucked some sunflower heads in the compost bin. The next year the community garden looked like a sunflower farm.

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