The answer to that question is simple: he's my son because we say so.
I was raised with a very clear understanding that family is more than blood. Raised by my aunt and uncle, I grew up calling them Ma and Dad... because that's what they were. I knew my blood mother and father. I called (and still call) them mom and dad. But I recognized and valued the connection that I had with the ones who raised and cared for me. I had other aunts, uncles, grandparents... who were no biological relation. They took on surrogate roles for me, and they considered themselves family because that is what I considered them.
When I got involved in the SCA, I was adopted into the family of Harald Ulfsson. He called me son, and his family... both SCA and mundane... became mine. When I first started forming our own SCA House, I very much considered all of those members family. I still do.
Snorri got involved with our local group in college. He began hanging out with a member of my House, and then with us. He worked in my shop, and spent many a project night doing his homework for college seated at the bar while I worked on projects. Eventually he got more involved with the SCA, and went from being Nate to Snorri... and we decided he needed a last name. Norse naming practices would have his name followed generally by a descriptor or a patronymic (or both). There were exceptions, but put simplistically, this is how it went.
After several suggestions and discussions, Snorri asked if it was OK if he used the patronymic "Olafsson", as I had been something of a surrogate father to him. I was humbled. To be told that meant alot, and I agreed. I also made sure to impress upon him how seriously I took that. I consider him my son... for real. When our baby is born, it will know Snorri as its brother... because that's what he is. I have had people say "Well, he's not REALLY your son"... well, bullshit. Being adopted doesn't make a family less of a family.
Snorri now has a daughter, and I consider her my grandchild. They are my family because Snorri wished it so, and I was proud to have him.
|Dalla and our grand bebe Haley|
Ni kar'tayl gai sa'ad - "I know your name as my child"- Mandalorian adoption vow
It seemed appropriate....