Family is what you make it

One thing I’ve never been shy about is giving thanks for my family. I have blogged about how rich my childhood was and all of the things that each member of my family has taught me. I know how much I owe to them for making me the person I am today. I was given these people at birth, and, while I didn’t choose them, I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world.

But, as a transplant living over 600 miles away from the family I grew up with, I’ve found that much of my family now is people I have chosen. The family solely made of shared blood and genetics has been transformed into a family made of shared experiences and common interests. Much of my “family” today is made up of friends that I have met in the last 10 or 15 years. But, even though I haven’t known them for my entire life like the family that shares my blood, this family is as true and steadfast as any I’ve known.

My new family was there to support me as I went through a divorce.

They were were there to encourage me as I endured grad school and a PhD program.

And they were there when I made the hard decision to abandon it when it was no longer what I wanted.

My new family was there to love me through a broken heart.

They were there to cheer for me as I found new love.

And they were there as I ventured into the world of motherhood and parenting.

My new family was there to clean my bathrooms while I was in the ER miscarrying.

They were there to love me in gentle silence as I dealt with the emotions that followed.

And they’ve been there for every moment in between.

I love my “real” family, but my new family makes my life more complete. More whole. More full. I’m beyond grateful for every single member of family, real and new. And I wouldn’t trade any of them for the world.

This is the third post in my 52 Weeks of Gratitude series. I hope you enjoy!

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