Thursday, December 13, 2007

What Makes a Family?

The other day my mother made the comment, "You're just an aunt, I am the grandmother".

The comment was not meant maliciously in anyway, it was in reference to a conversation we were having, but it struck a chord in my anyway. Personally I think titles are bogus. As a kid one of the biggest influences in my life and one of the people I loved the most was my mother's sister, my Aunt Sue. She never forgot a birthday, always made me feel special and I would spend various weekends and then weeks in the summer with her family. She was never the "warm and fuzzy" kind, but she was very transparent and you knew how she felt about you. I knew, and it made me feel warm and fuzzy.

I spent the majority of my life living very close to my extended family. When we moved to Pennsylvania 4 years ago I was thrust into an environment where I knew no one. The family I had grown so accustomed to seeing regularly were now over two hours away at the bare minimum. I had to make some new "family".

In the past few years I am blessed to say I have more "family" here than I ever had back home (not number wise, as I come from a huge extended family, but relationally). The people that have embraced me here I would desperately miss if we ever left. My family is now here.

So that brings me back to the original question. What makes a family? It is cliche-ish, I know, but since we have started this process of becoming foster parents it is more prominent in my mind. We may never be "mom and dad" to our foster kids, or we may be more of a mom and dad than we ever could imagine. But do those titles really matter? Or is the relationship what counts? I think it is the latter.

By the way, thanks Aunt Sue. I love you.

1 comment:

Jamie said...

Being a military wife, I can totally relate. You have to expand on your idea of 'family' when you move away from blood relatives. Some of the closest family we've had has not been our actual relative. For one thing, many of them are not saved, so no matter how often we may talk or see one another(which isn't often) we have a huge boundary. We have so many wonderful brothers and sisters in the Lord and it is amazing. That is one thing I love about moving around- meeting so many new, encouraging people. Of course then it makes it difficult when moving day comes!