Family (Re)defined

I come from a pretty tight knit family. I have many childhood memories of family vacations together. I remember weekends with grandparents and attending sporting events with my uncles. I can’t remember a single birthday growing up without my cousins. To say that I have many good, family childhood memories would be an understatement.

Kids playing together

One of the beautiful things adoptive families know is that family isn’t defined by genetics. Family is defined by love and commitment. We get to create new memories with our family created by adoption. We get to create memories with the family God brought to us. Our families don’t meet everyone’s traditional definition of family and that’s ok. We feel like there is spiritual significance in adoption because God’s family is created by adoption.

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” – Romans 8:15 (NLT)

We have an open adoption with Tori’s birth mom and because of that we have people in our family we didn’t know 5 years ago. Our family now includes people named Tanya, Wayne, Sasha and Miss Jackie. People that we have come to love over the years but would not have known outside of adoption.

A Day With The Family

It was Sasha’s birthday last Saturday and we spent the afternoon with the family at a splash park. It wasn’t awkward like you might imagine that it would be, it just felt like it was the way it was meant to be. We ate, played, sang and splashed together. We joked and laughed together like people who have a real connection and a shared narrative.

Tori’s birth family never acts like there is any competition between us and they always defer to us as the parents in everything. I am amazed by the sweet and gentle spirit that requires and I am very thankful for it. It could be awkward but they do everything to make sure that it is not. They treat us like we are their family too. I enjoy seeing how all of our children are treated and accepted equally by them.

Tori’s reaction to family get togethers is truly remarkable. To see an eight-year-old take it all in stride is impressive and it shows a maturity that is beyond her years. She never tries to leverage or manipulate anyone. She just enjoys it. All of our kids look forward to time with our redefined family because they feel like they belong to something special.

Not everyone has the same definition of family as we do. Most people define family by biology and not choice. We love our redefined family because it illustrates  so many spiritual truths; love, grace, forgiveness, healing and acceptance. I am proud to be part of something so special.

How do you define family?

New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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  1. Amazing with “God-bumps”

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