Sunday, June 1, 2014

On Being A Family.

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.


Lauren {Adventures in Flip Flops} said...

Perfect! Family is family.

People can be incredibly rude sometimes about demanding information. When I was young random people on the street used to ask my mom if my sister and I had the same father (she and I look completely different). She would just give them a pointed look and say something like, "thank you for asking, but that's none of your business." I know you have to handle things a bit differently when you're making new friends, but you do not need to explain yourself or your kids.

Heather said...

I say ditto to EVERYTHING you just said! We are a conspicuous little family ourselves and are bombarded with lots of crazy questions I never thought I would even hear, but a family is a matter how it all came about.

Kristen H. said...

The beautiful family that you are. I love your posts and your sweet heart!

Lila said...

Goodness! I love this and can relate so well. My family was also built by love. Thank you for sharing this. Best of luck to your sweet family in your new move.

Chrissy Delacy said...

I litterally JUST wrote a post similar to this the other day. It is incredible how judgey people can be of things they don't understand or that look different from the "norm" Family IS love and that is all :)

Caroline said...

These past few weeks, I've received such important lessons on loyalty and trust and betrayal. It's true - when you find those people that you can trust and love unconditionally, the relationship begins to exist on a plane much deeper than any term or notion constructed by society.

Because of Jackie said...

This is beautiful! My best friend gets a lot of questions about her daughter (who is half Asian), they always ask her if her daughter is really hers or did she adopt. I always wonder what makes someone comment to strangers about who is who in a family and how they got there. Your children are your children, and your family is beautiful (as you know!)

Julie said...

You are an absolutely amazing mother. I know a little bit about your family, and the way your children came to you isn't important at all. Only the way that you love them is. It is absolutely inspiring. I am inspired. I am still amazed about social media comments and I guess verbal comments as well but you are resilient in every way and you are raising your children to be extraordinary. I pray I am able to raise mine the same way, one day.

Hayley said...

Hi! I have read your posts for a couple of years now and have never commented, but really felt like this post was spot on. I respect your views on family and my husband and I are another couple who have chosen adoption. This was not due to being unable to have children, but a desire that God gave us. Not many people can understand this, but that is ok. :) We have been blessed with a beautiful daughter through adoption and I think what you guys are doing is wonderful!

My husband has an etsy shop that he recently opened called Nuggets of Wisdom. We are trying to raise money to help pay for our daughter's adoption. I would love it if you would share the link with anyone who may be interested.

Thank you and I wish the best for you and your family!

Amanda McCellon said...

This is something that has been weighing very heavy on my heart lately. I'm a 'step' mom to 3 beautiful children that live with us 365 days a year. The day they came into my life they became my kids. I deal with people telling me over and over that I'm not a 'real' Mom because they are my 'step' kids... I really, really, really hate that word. They are MY kids. My husband and I just started the open adoption process and I wonder if people will still not consider me a 'real' mom because our new child will be adopted. So many people don't truly understand what being a family is. It's not biology. It's choosing to be a mother. Thank you for this post!