Defining Family

As an only child who was (is?) adopted, my sense of family is defined well beyond DNA or shared blood.  And, for that, I am thankful.  Thankful that my family stretches so far beyond those restrictions.  As a mom of three (I’m still trying to wrap my brain around that…3, really), I hope that my own children can grow to understand the real meaning of family is so much more.

  • Family is the friend who drops a piece of chocolate at your desk when you are having a really terrible, bad, awful, frustrating, no good kind of day.  It may only be a piece of chocolate, but it represents so much more.
  • Family is the friend who takes time out of her really, really, really busy schedule to send you a note or an email letting you know that she’s thinking about you.
  • Family is the friend who doesn’t care that you don’t exchange gifts each year at the holidays.  Instead, she values time spent with you over a cup of coffee so much more than a scarf or an ornament.
  • Family is the friend who chooses to sacrifice of herself knowing that you will receive the sacrifice in love and know that no repayment is necessary.  Ever.  (Yet, you eventually return the sacrifice in kind when she needs it most.)
  • Family is the friend who knows parenting isn’t a cake walk and she doesn’t judge you when you admit you’ve reached your limit.  Again.  Because she’s been there and she knows.  She just knows.
  • Family is the friend who lets you whine just because sometimes we need to.

So, even though I’m an only child, I have a really, really big family.  And I love that.

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