A few thoughts...What makes a "Real Family"?

The following thoughts have been bouncing around in my brain for a long time. Today I saw them articulated on another mom's blog. Go visit her site and be blessed yourself!

Angel brought home two children through adoption and posted recently about the "are they brother and sister" question which drives lots of people (even me) crazy.

Part of what she said really resonates with me. Maybe it rings true for you, too?

It's from her site here:

She says:

"When I try to get at the root of why this bothers me and why this is still a question that seems important for people to ask, I come down to this, In America, our concept of family when we refer to parents and their children is based on blood, not choice, and I don't like that.
When you say someone is your mother, you are referring to the woman who gave birth to you. In Liberia, this is not the case. Your mother may be biologically an aunt, a grandmother or a family friend, but no one ever thinks to ask about these distinctions. They simply don't matter.

Your mother is the woman who nurtured you, loved you, cared for you, raised you. The same is true for brothers and sisters. They are the people you love best, and the people who love you best. If I had to name one of my top ten most favorite things about Liberia, this would be it. They get God's concept of family."

Now it's me again-

She has such an amazing explanation on her blog, please take a few minutes to go read it. I think this topic resonates with me for many reasons but a few I'll explain here.

I have "children" who are children of my HEART. They did not come through my body nor were they even raised by me but they are LOVED as if they are my children. I pray for them everyday, many times a day, just because God brings them to my mind so often. I send them little (and sometimes big) gifts and they are soooo dear to me!

I have "brothers and sisters" who were not raised alongside me but we have formed a loosely defined "family" relationship. Sister-friends and brother-friends, I guess you might say? This is the sort of friendship that goes deeper than words can explain.

As is true with all families, I've had times of being hurt by some of these other family members. I'm sure also that I've hurt some of them by my actions or inactions. Whether that action was intentional or not doesn't really matter as far as the hurt feelings go. Just as with all families, we can choose to forgive (or choose to not forgive) the person who hurt us. Even just reaching out and saying "I'm sorry, I hope you can forgive me" is enough to get us back on track most times.

We can choose to FORGIVE just as we can choose to LOVE. It's all a choice. Just as we chose these special family relationships out of LOVE, we can choose to forgive out of Love, also. Here's just one more indicator that we're a family: We are there for each other through thick and thin, no matter what. Only time can show that love and committment to the ones we love, whether those loved ones are related through birth or through choice.

Above all, we are FAMILY because we share those common bonds and beliefs that grow us together. We are family by CHOICE, not just by biology. We're Family by choice, just as God chose us to be part of HIS family!

This concept resonates with me so much that I named THIS BLOG in the spirit of that theme: CHOOSING a Loving Family!

As I've been reflecting on Love and what Love Really is this summer (the wedding of our son and our 25th wedding anniversary) I've been reminded that I am SOOOO Blessed! I have a family to love and am adding new family members as God blesses me. It's such a blessing to have a family both by choice and by birth. I pray that you are already experiencing even a small part of that sort of joy in your life both now and in the future. It's enough to make your heart sing just out of gratitude that you are so blessed by God with a family!

Dear Lord, my prayer today is that more and more of YOUR children will begin to see family the way that YOU see family. That we will begin to bless each other and treat the other person with the deep and abiding love that you hold for all of us. Knit us to each others' hearts, Lord, so that we can become a righteous, effective team for YOUR honor & glory. In Jesus' name, Amen!

I'm praying God's Blessings rain down on you throughout the coming week.

with Much Love,


(Here are a few more quotes that inspire me)

I am only one. But still, I am one. I cannot do everything, but still, I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
~Edward Hale

I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. ~Robert Frost

Stop telling God how big your storm is. Instead, tell your storm how big your God is. ~Unknown

How can there be too many children? That's like saying there are too many flowers.
~Mother Theresa

No comments:

Grandparents with some of the Grandkids

Grandparents with some of the Grandkids
Becky's parents with most of the grandkids

Jim's High School Picture

Jim's High School Picture
My goodness, we were so young!

Becky's High School Picture

Becky's High School Picture
Would you look at that red hair! Thank You, Lady Clairol!