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Welcome All! I'm a dreamer, I hope you are too! A Posse ad Esse, or From possibility to reality, is a general state of mind. I hope you'll share your possibilities with me as I will with you. Namaste~

November 30, 2008

Family?

How do you define “Family”? Maybe it’s just you and your spouse. Perhaps you have a couple of kids and parents included. I was thinking about this the other day and realized it’s really a pretty hard thing to define sometimes. Of course when I’m asked how my families doing, the first ones I think of are my wife and kids, who wouldn’t? But really I think more and more it’s about the people that you chose to allow yourself to let in.

The last few years have made me have to re-think how I look at it. I’m forced to get a little more personal here than I usually do, but I think it’s with good reason. My wife and I have three boys that live with us. They’ve been with me since the youngest was just 18 months old. You see, I’m not their biological father, although I did adopt them about 6 years ago. Their biological father was A~’s ex (Heretofore referred to as X~) and there was a time that we had a hard time dealing with some of the issues that naturally come about in such a situation. We wanted things one way, he wanted them another and of course that left three little boys in the middle. There came a point when he and we came to decide that it was best just to let me adopt them. We would have the control over their future that we were so worried about, and he wouldn’t have to be so caught trying to fill a position that he seemed to be having a hard time coming to grips with. It was a blessing, I think, for all of us and is something that although it took a couple of years to fully digest, has benefited all of us greatly.

I can’t speak for X~, nor would I want to, but I assume that he’s had problems with me in the past just as I have had with him; that, I’m sure, was unavoidable. Here’s the thing though, over the last couple of years we seem to have found some oddly peaceful way of all coexisting that I never could have imagined, but am so immensely grateful for. It’s not even just he and I that have found some commonality but rather that all of us, in our hopes for what would be best for our boys, have.

So why am I talking about this? Because we just had a Thanksgiving evening that was unlike any other that I ever thought I would have, and you know what? It was good. A~ and I had family over for the evening. But to define it as such takes a little bit of creativity. You see, it wasn’t just her and I and the boys with her dad and his girlfriend, but also X~ and his mom and her husband who is not X~’s father. Two distinctly different family components came together, hers with her father and his with his mother. And each of them came with someone that wasn’t related to A~ or X~. Then there was me, not in anyway related, biologically anyway, with anyone at the table. What were the commonalities? We all wanted to be together with people we loved. Did we all love each other? No. Hey I’m just being honest here; this isn’t pie in the sky stuff. But I know we all love either the boys, or at the very least the people who love the boys. So we have a choice don’t we? Do we shuttle kids around to each others homes, schedule parcels of time when we all get to be with loved ones, and waste half a day in the process, or do we accept that we have some differences, but that really what matters most is we all care deeply for our families and want to foster that without boundaries?

As it were, we chose the latter and I think we were all better for it. We prayed together, ate together and laughed together. Our children/grandchildren were happy and felt loved. They got to visit, play with and be loved by not only one family or the other, but by both. For our part, A~, X and I that is, we didn’t have to worry about squeezing in a good holiday with the boys in time to get them over to the other house. We got to slow down, enjoy the company and be thankful for the season and for all of our gifts and blessings.

So I ask again, how do you define “Family”? Who do you chose to let in to your fold? Sometimes it really might not be entirely up to us who they are, but rather whether we chose to accept them and be happy with what we have. I do.

I hope all of your Thanksgivings were wonderful and look forward to hearing from you all soon.
P~

5 comments:

jayedee said...

my husband adopted all 8 of mine when we married. he had 2 girls, we had 2 more (one of each) lol.
i'm glad you've made it work.....not easy, was it?

Anonymous said...

Paul,

What a Great post!! I love that you can be so open on your blog...good for you!!!

We had a weird Thanksgivibg too:)

My mom and dad have been divorced for many years at least 20 or more.

My mom and step-dad have decided a couple years back it would be easier for me and my brother to just have my dad there to....so she has my dad and my step-dad and of course the rest of the family my step-brother and sister (we never use the word step).

It does look weird to the rest of the world but so what...family is family and my mom and step-dad know how to show love and it shows us how to show love. I love my family and I love to be Weird!!

Renee

Gardendesk.com

farm mom said...

Wonderful post p, really lovely. So glad you were all able to share the day and make it the best possible for the boys.

spelled with a K said...

Family is Family.

My wife and I brought our two (soon to be adopted) children to the home of my dad and stepmother and were joined by her mother, stepfather, and the mother of her now deceased ex husband.

That evening we hosted my mother, and my wife's brother and fiance, and two other married couples of which we have not blood relation, but are like aunts and uncles to our children.

...and I'm pretty sure Kevin Bacon is connected in there somewhere, he usually is.

I think human society still finds ways to express tribal tendencies even when we've supposedly outgrown them.

and BTW P~ thanks for the tips on the class outline, yours is strikingly similar to my draft, only more polished of course. It gives me a direction to work in.

Thank you.

P~ said...

Glad to hear I wan't alone...I figured as much. Family is what you make of it isn't it?

Hey ~K no problem... Hope it helped a little. Good luck.
P~