By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Dec 08, 2008 at 2:31 PM

Few people ask me about the difference in my relationships with my sons, one who was adopted from Guatemala and one who is biological. I think most people feel like the subject matter is too personal, but for me, it’s not.

This summer, a close friend asked me, straight up, if I loved my biological kid more than my adopted one. I was surprised but impressed by the question.

"More? No. Differently? Yes," I said.

I went on to explain it was like having two glasses filled to the top with your two favorite beverages. It was a quick comparison, and for the months following her question, I created another metaphor that better explains what it’s like parenting an adopted and a biological child. 

I call it "Old Friend vs. New Friend."

My biological son is, indeed, like an old friend.  He feels like someone I have known forever, maybe even in a previous lifetime. I usually understand his behavior (even if I don’t like it) and can often finish his sentences. I know him like I know the wallpaper in my childhood bedroom. And yet, he is his own person, and not like me at all at times.

My adopted son is like a new friend -- the rare kind that I instantly click with. It takes more observation to know this person, but as he unfolds before me, I realize how much we have in common and marvel at what he has that I could never have given him genetically. He’s the new friend I want to be around all the time and learn everything I can about.

There are so many ways that old friend and new friend are the same. Old friend likes to draw and write in workbooks like I did as a kid, but new friend is lively and social like I am as an adult.

Both friends took time to love. Old friend emerged from my body, but it was only over time that I fell in love with him. And new friend traveled from faraway and saved me from a sad space, but it was only over time that I fell in love with him, too.

This makes me think of the proverb "Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other is gold." I would, however, slightly amend this. To me, both old friend and new friend are golden.

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.