The boys and I met a new addition to the "family" today. He's one week old. He lives 1.25 miles from us. Round trip it's only 2.5 miles. An "easy" run. Unless you are training for something, well then, it's a "warm up".
Mr. BBK. I refrain from using his name - see, they are our family. We share our lives. Only, yet, we don't. I'm not sure how they would feel about me putting his name out to the world - that's their job. Even though now we are all one. Only not "related".
See, we aren't really "family" - in the sense, we weren't born into each others life. We didn't marry. Nor adopt - in the legal sense. We all just became part of each others lives. Which, to me, is adoption in a way.
When I was in college, I answered an ad in the newspaper for a baby-sitting job. I got the job - the only job I ever got when I applied. (Whom really applies and GETS that job??? - I've always wondered that??). Anyway, a divorced dad with two kids. A new wife. And soon after, a new baby. Long story short. One of those "teenage girls" I was never supposed to raise in my life - "MY" teenage girl grew up. So did I. I showed up at her wedding (Yes, I was invited. No, she didn't know I was coming) with my two sons. Time had passed. Life had gone on. We had gone out of each others lives. She and I. Not her family.
At the wedding - her dad introduces me as "my baby sister". Then he explains "she's adopted". I remember distinctly an elderly woman saying "who adopted her?". Tim replies, "I did". He's only 13 years older than me.
I walked into the church - TWO HOURS early with a boy on each hand. This moment is clear as crystal in my mind. I had on a red dress. Nolan was not quite one. Duncan 2 and 1/2. I walked into the church - TWO HOURS early with a boy on each hand. She was in her dress. She never really got along with her step-mom. Her mom wasn't there. I hadn't seen her in at least 10 years. This once little girl didn't recognize me at first. For a moment. She says "May I help you?" Looking more beautiful than I could have even imagined. All grown up. All beautiful.
Then she took a breathe. Her eyes watered. Her lip started to quiver.
"Ah". "Is it you? You are here?" "Are these your sons?"
"Yes. It's me"
Family can be blood. Or people you once knew - friends of friends. Friends of family. Or some random people you meet from a newspaper ad. "It don't matter".
You see - when Tim finished telling the story to this woman at the wedding? She replies: "That's not family, that's people you know". Tim replies, "Ma'am, I mean no disrespect, but (and in the best southern drawl ever replies, "it don't matter what you think. She's my baby-sister.") Maybe they needed me as much as I needed them.....
And the little boy we met today, well, he is the grandson to our HouseSwap familly from Hawaii. If you can't call him family, I'm not sure whom you can.....