Blood Don’t Make You Family

I was born into an incredible village; comprised of blood relatives and people born from other family trees.  Many times in my life it was the non-blood members of my family who loved and nurtured me; supported and encouraged me.  For this village, I am immensely grateful and can truly say that anything wonderful I have ever done or been is because of them.

I was fortunate enough to understand, at an early age, that biology didn’t guarantee relationship.  I embraced my village of non-bloods and added to their numbers throughout the years.  In my mind and spirit there is only one family and whether or not we shared ancestors makes no difference to me.

When people who didn’t understand the depth and breadth of family the way I did, complained to me about a disappointment they’d experienced because of a relative, I would utter what I found to be truth:  Blood Don’t Make You Family.  I often said that one day I’d write a book with this title to help folks get over what they felt they were owed by folks just because they had been randomly selected to share genealogy.  It would share the importance of relationships and the gift of receiving love.  It would take the time to  help us put down the unrealistic expectations we place on others just because of shared DNA and the absolute joy and peace that can be yours when you build a village of like-minded and like-spirited people; people who will lovingly go with on this journey with you.

My biological parents had 2 children.  I’m the oldest.  But MY FAMILY consists of an older brother I loved dearly for the 7 years I knew him before his untimely death; sisters I’ve met along the way who “get me” and love me anyway; a younger brother who always makes me smile even though we only see/talk to each other a couple of times a year…and did I mention the sons and daughters I did not have to labor with?  I’m “Auntie” , while my biological sister has no children and “Iya – our family word for grandmother” to grandchildren while the only child I gave birth to has yet to start his family.

Blood Don’t Make You Family.  So the next time you find yourself angry or disappointed because the “leaves” on your “tree” are unable to give you something you need or desire, open your heart to the people placed in your life.  There are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, cousins, nieces and nephews waiting for you.

2 Responses to “Blood Don’t Make You Family”

  1. dwillwrite Says:

    Amen! Preach! There is more to family than blood.

  2. Erin Mitchell Says:

    When I learn to write fiction I’ll have another book. 🙂 Amen to the Blood don’t make you family! Fortunately for me, I have wonderful family like you, who are carrying and caring for me during these changing times in my life.

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