There is no bond stronger than the one that exists in a family. It allows us to fail without fault, to learn without loss, to love without condition. It is how we become who we are.
What makes a family?
I think there are many kinds of families. Some we are born into (obviously), others we create (having our own children), some we stumble into by circumstance (adoption/foster homes) and still others just happen. For many years it was "the four of us" here in our home. An even number. A workable number. A responsible number.
And yet, I felt outnumbered. I grew up with two sisters, I was always with girls. And having my own family of boys, I was now the odd man out. No one wanted to craft with me (no matter how many different variations I came up with.) No one wanted to play restaurant, or grocery store, or barbies or beads. They were more interested in building tracks for their hot wheels, or playing video games, or doing crazy bones, or leggos, or taping things together (yes, they did that often). None of which I found interesting. I now know how my dad must have felt living in a house full of females....four to his one. No wonder he tried to make me his "boy" by taking me trapping and deer hunting and fishing. It must have been hard.
Over the years I found myself sometimes missing that common ground of shared interest. I had always wanted one more child...I daydreamed about it being a girl. What would she look like...who's personality would she share, what would she think of her big brothers? Would she like doing girly things with me, would she need me to do her hair? (Heaven forbid). But it never happened and life rolled quickly on. No regrets or anything, just the once in a while wistful twinge that what my friends and their daughters shared was something I would never get to experience.
And then came Sadie. She blew in quickly, just about a year ago, and bowled us over with her spark and spirit. In a couple of months, she had stolen my heart. That's not to say that the year of Sadie has not had its blips and bumps. But it has also had so much meaning. I learn from her everyday. About how it feels to love your real mom even if she sometimes hasn't deserved it. And how much you want to be loved by her in return. About how hard it is to be positive when you live with people who bring you down. About how hard it is to believe in yourself when no one else ever has. About realizing how you cannot wait for life to happen, but instead you need to go out and make it happen.
I'll admit that having Sadie here evens out the female to male ratio in this house a little. I have someone to craft, shop, and watch chick flicks with now. And there is someone to do MY hair! But that is not all she brings to our house. Somehow she fits in like she has always belonged, (well another bedroom would be nice), she is the "little" girl we never had, and the "little" sister that Mitch never got (even though she is older).
She is an inspiration to me and I admire her for her courage this past year. For believing in herself strongly enough to make some hard decisions. For realizing that although she loves/needs her family, she needs to make her own way. For trusting us to take her in. For letting us love her as our own. We may not have had her, we may not have raised her, we may not have gotten to adopt her when she was two, but she is here now and will irrevocably be part of this family. Welcome to our family Sadie.