photo by Mallory Fraughton
We get double looks whenever we're out parading around. I get it, we're quite the little motley crew. People have asked me some pretty strange questions the past 14 months since the kids came to live with us. Most of them have to do with people trying to figure out if I'm someone else's baby mama, or if I am unable to conceive my "own" children, or asking the kids if they're in our family. In different ways, people will ask the same underlying question, "Are these your kids, and if they are.... how?!"
I've tossed my feelings about this back and forth in my head the past year. Sometimes it's funny so I laugh, sometimes questions are so inappropriate I just shake my head, and often times I smile when I hear one of the kids respond, "Yes. We're a family."
Many people are thirsty for details of the events that have transpired to make us instant parents to two children. I've never shared them, and I will never share them... they aren't mine to share. If some day one of them wants to tell their life story, I will give my support, but I will not tell it for them.
We move in three days. The kids will go to a new school, we'll be in a new church, and we'll all make new friends. I think I've been reflecting on our particular family unit a lot lately because I know a lot of questions will come as a result of being in a new place.
Are you foster parents?
Did you adopt?
Can you not have children?
When are you having your own kids?
My sister in laws best friend couldn't have kids and had a horrible adoption experience if
you ever feel like you need someone to talk to who can relate.
How long are the kids with you?
Behind the answers to all of these questions,
deeper than the knowledge of our exact circumstance,
and stronger than anything I've ever felt in my life...
We are a family.
Our role in these babies lives will never change the fact that they are a part of our family.
We are forever engraved and chiseled inside of each other's hearts, minds, and lives.
To me, a family has little to do with blood, and a lot to do with devotion, care, trust, and spending your life
making sure the member next to you is doing okay. I see families who fight and break up and spend years mad at each other for little things. They aren't involved in each others lives and don't do anything to strength any of the members. That's not a family. That's being born to people and just existing.
My ideal family involves a lot of commitment and a lot of sacrifice from each member because they want so badly for the person next to them to succeed that they will give up their best interest to see that success come to life. A family is a little extension of heaven here on earth. And it is given to us so we can make sure that everyone is taken care of so we all make it back to the God who sent us here.
And I don't think God cares about anything like color or age or number or language...
as long as love is there...
it's a family.
Boy, do I love mine.