Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Family: (re)DEFINED

1:  a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head: HOUSEHOLD
2:  a)  a group of persons of common ancestry: CLAN
2:  b)  a people or group of peoples regarded as deriving from a common stock: RACE
3:  a group of people united by certain convictions or a common affiliation: FELLOWSHIP
Grandpa P with D - going fishing...

Grandpa P with K - teaching him how to make wine...

Cooking the fish they bought...

Corking the Wine...
Lets define family for a second.  Or, lets try to define family.  What is it?  A collection of people who share the same DNA?  People who came from a common mother?

Well, obviously as an adoptive parent, I'm not going to buy that as the whole basis for "family".
As a Christian, I'm not going to buy that either - in Gods family, we are family by redemption and grace.
As a husband I am family by legal contract.
As a smart husband, I am family by sheer blessing and luck as someone as wonderful as my wife has chosen to spend her whole life filling my days with joy and wonder and amazing love.

Above is a small collection of Grandpa P chilling with the kids.  What I love about Grandpa P, is that he doesn't HAVE to love our kids.  He is not their "biological" Grandfather.  However, he IS a wonderful Grandfather!

See, the children's "real" grandfather is someone whom we have seen once in 14 years - who has only met the children that one time.  Someone whom we choose not to have close relation with.  Will that change someday?  Sure.  Maybe.  Maybe not.

But standing where I stand, as a father and husband, looking at the two Grandfathers, one "real" (yet bad) and one "step-grandpa" (yet amazing) - I'll take the "amazing" Grandfather any day!  And by us welcoming him into our lives, and him welcoming us and our children... he IS the real Grandfather.

Isn't it wonderful how our children do have TWO wonderful sets of Grandparents.  Thats a true blessing because there was a time when there was only ONE wonderful set of Grandparents.

So I go back to my question... What is Family?

A step-dad who loves his step-children more than their biological dad ever did.  A Step Dad who loved them so much that the step children had their names (and their Children's) legally chanced to that of their step Dads after they were well into their 30s, so that their Step Fathers name will be passed down through the generations as a legacy which he would not have had otherwise.

What about an Aunt or Uncle who are raising a relatives child because of an unfortunate loss in the family?

There are so many ways which "family" happens... why do so many fixate on HOW they came to happen?

Going back up to the definitions above... there is NOTHING in the "HOW" as to limit what a family can be.  In fact, the closest definition of what I think most people think of is #1 "a group of individuals living under one roof ..." is very refreshing in that there is nothing related to "birth" or "DNA".  Now, clans, and race are biologically bases... and fine... Ping and I will never be the same RACE... but that doesn't mean we aren't family.

Biological, Marriage, Adoption, Loss, if there is LOVE, then to me, you have Family.

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