What does it mean to be a family?
Blood is thicker than water. An old proverb meaning that the bonds of family outweigh the bond of others. But how do you know who your family is? I currently live in a house with 4 other human beings: Erin, Gabriella, Sebastian, and Simon. Genetically we are all complete strangers. Yet when I hold my son; he feels like my son. He reaches for my face and calls me DaDa without any knowledge of our lack of shared chromosomes. When my daughter does something dangerous my heart does not go "well that's not your kid". It jumps out of my chest as if trying to catch her before she even has the chance to fall. My wife is my root in the world. She keeps me sane while simultaneously driving me completely crazy. Just looking at her make me feel at home no matter where we are. And when she is holding one(or all somehow) of our children the sight of them together fills me with a sense of peace like I have found the place God has always meant for me. Without a doubt these people are my family, they are the most precious things in the world to me.
Another popular expression that weighs heavy on me is, "you can pick your friends but you can't pick your family." I did pick my family. I chose to purse my wife in college. We chose to adopt each of these children. And we all love each other as a family.
These feelings extend beyond this house as well. Our church evangelist and good friend Robert, he is our weird uncle. Our children's God father Jeffery, is like a brother to us. Today I came home to find two beautiful and very near identical toy trains made by hand from "Grandpa" Daryl. So many people around us love us and our children and treat us like family. This is a family we have chosen and that has chosen to love us back. The people that love us for who we are, not just because we share a common ancestry.
Not to discount the people that I share my "blood" with. I personally believe that I have two of the greatest parents that have ever walked the face of the earth. When I told them that we were adopting Gabriella, they immediately exploded with excitement at the thought of their first Grandchild. They drove (Mom can't fly for medical reasons) 11 hours to Nashville to be there when Sebastian was born. They love their grandchildren, biological and non, all the same, with everything they have. I think what makes them great parents, and a lot of others like them, is that they don't just love us because of that original connection. It is an ongoing connection that has been built over years of experiences together.
"Blood is thicker than water." The full expression is actually, "the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb". Meant to symbolize that blood spilt together will form stronger ties than the origin of our birth. It is our shared experiences that foster true love between people. I am grateful for the experiences that I get to share with the family around me and the "family" that surrounds us.
I hope this message finds you in good health and of a sound mind. I hope the family that you have surrounded yourself with makes you as happy as mine does. I am just another confused father from Kansas wondering...
How did I get here?
"Grandpa" Daryl also made us an awesome step stool so Gabriella can wash her hands and brush her teeth easier.