Not flesh of my flesh, or bone of my bone,
But still, miraculously, my own.
Never forget for a single minute,
That you didn’t grow under my heart, but in it.
I don’t know who wrote it, or where it came from, but I grew up with that verse hanging next to my bed. I was adopted, raised by people who I had no blood relation to, but who were my family as truly as if I had been born among them.
Perhaps it is that upbringing that makes it so easy for me to see others as parents for my children. To say that being a parent is as much a matter of the love and commitment, as it is conception.
I don’t have any profound words to add, for me, that simple verse says it all. Within your relationship, you will need to work out who will be a parental figure to the baby, and who will be an aunt/uncle, friend of the family, god/dess parent, or whatever works for you.
But if a child grows with in your heart, and if you let that feeling become action – to care for and raise and guide, to walk the floor with through an infants first cold, hold her hand as she takes her first steps, make him endless lunches for endless school days, bandage his hurts, praise her successes and be there in all things, because of the love you have for them, then you are a parent. Biology be damned.