Sunday, September 22, 2013

Somehow, we are family

Back in 2010 and 2011 we dreamed of expanding our family.  We met Fiona and Rob, their sister Krystal and we thought that we were destined to be a forever family.  Things are often more complicated than how we think they will be.  Krystal was adopted by a family member and then moved down south to live with another relative.Fiona's significant emotional and mental health conditions meant she ultimately could not live in our home.  We were blessed that Rob thrived, and I am grateful every day for him.

But what I am ruminating on tonight is the concept of not giving up.  Things didn't come out the way we expected.  But our family did expand.  KC came to us, and then Lissa, and through it all, we kept being there with and for Fiona.  And though the web of family was not woven as I had envisioned, it was woven.  It is just as strong for having been made differently.

She did not run through our house much as a child.  She didn't spend as many holidays here as I dreamed of.  But she did and does, know that we love her. She spends more time now with us at home than she ever has.  Years of therapy, increased awareness of her mental health issues and the medications best suited to assist in stabalizing that have all played a role. But we are a role too.  Because we didn't walk away.  We were willing to be family in whatever way she could accept family.  Just like I am willing to have a picture where my youngest daughter refuses to turn around, I am willing to re-think, re-adjust and re-calibrate family.   I think that is paying off.  Fiona seems more relaxed when she is here these days.  It feels natural to plan what we will do the next time she comes.

Have I done the things with and for Fi that I imagined doing many years ago?  Not necessarily.  But I am no less her mom and she is no less my daughter.  We just re-drew the picture of what family was is all.

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