I was talking with a friend the other day and he was saying, like many others have been, about how lucky and fortunate our two adoptive children are to be joining our family, and while I really appreciate the sentiment, it got me to thinking...what is "family?"
If you ask Webster's Dictionary, it'll tell you that family is a household, a group of individuals living under one roof and under one head, a group of persons having a common ancestory or a social unit consisting of one or two parents and their children. True, all of us have people in our lives that we've grown to love, trust and support over the years because we're related to them through our parents in some fashion or another and we traditionally know these people to be family. But I think family is much more than that.
These four walls in our house do not define what we consider our family to be. Having the same ancestors with someone does not encompass who we consider to be in our family. Our family includes fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters, but it also includes you people we consider to be vitally important to our daily lives; you people who are close friends, who are neighbors, who are fellow church members, who are mentors and who are confidants. You people who are seperated from us by miles of pavement and some, even, who we've never met in person yet talk to on a daily basis through common interests. You have been woven into the fabric of our lives by a loving and compassionate God who has placed you in our paths to become integral parts of our journey. We value you far more than you possibly even realize and consider you just as a part of our family as our loved ones who were born into it.
My friend was right, our two adoptive children have no idea the family they are coming home to; they really don't know what "family" is. They don't know what the word brother or sister truly means because they come from a place where poverty, famine, sickness and war tears families apart. They end up on the streets struggling to survive and only the lucky ones end up in an orphanage where hopefully a loving family wants them. It's knowing these harsh realities that we realize that it's not these four walls or this last name that these children are so blessed to be coming home to, but it's you and us together that will truly be the blessing.
So, we thank you for loving us and being a part of our lives, and we look forward to introducing our newest additions to you so that you can love of them like you've so adequately loved on us.