F is for family.
I grew up far from relatives. My parents are both from western states. Their parents and brothers and sisters all still live in Western states. Because of work, my family moved east. We spent vacations driving across the country to see as many relatives as possible in two weeks. This means I got to see lots of states and sights across the country. I have seen the Arch in St. Louis, Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, Disneyland (but not Disney World- no relatives there!) and lots more. For holidays, my mom liked to have lots of people so she invited people who were in the same situation as us –far from extended family- for Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter dinner.
Jake grew up with all his relatives close by. When he was very small his grandma babysat him while his mom and dad worked. He had aunts, uncles and cousins in the same town and many in the same state. His family dinners were full of extended family or there were two dinners-one with his family and then a second with the extended family.
There are benefits to both. It is nice to have people around who have known you forever but it is also nice to find people who are like your family when blood family isn’t close. When we adopt, we hope the birthfamily will want to become part of our family. I want to build a relationship that involves family birthday gatherings and other get-togethers. Most people have a family tree- we are hoping for a family forest!
Come back tomorrow to find out what G is for. . .