Tell the story from here. It is the story of adoption and love that is stronger than blood relations. It is the story of discovering closeness that is greater than ourselves.
It is the story of hearts and it is one of my greatest teachers on how to love others as your own family because they are by choice and you hold them with spirit stronger than sangre.
They are your grandparents who adopted your mother who flew to your grandmother’s bedside when she had cancer. It is the story about how I learned to stop everything by watching my mother hold the hand of the woman who raised my little mom by walking to the store befriending all she met and fed us Lucky Charms, and cooked my grandfather meals.
My Grandfather who loved my mother, who loved me, who loved my brother Robbie...Bobby❣️My brother who was adopted by my father, brother who gave life to my nephews, birthed out of their mother, who is my sister despite 14 years of divorce because her children are my sons. One of which looks like my mother’s first husband, who I know as my brother's dad, though our father is shared.
It is the story of my great grandmother whose daughter was pregnant with baby seven, my mother, who was adopted by my grandmother Carmen, who was adopted by Panchita, the midwife, who took in all the village kids, who had no family, because she loved children, everyone’s. The woman I thought adopted my grandma is actually my real great grandma and my mom came from her daughter. My great great grandmother was a Tarahumara. Her husband was teaching in her village and fell in love with her.
I am so thankful we are together as one familia. Gracias por mi vida.
It is the story of my grandfather, unable to have children with his wife, who worked, loved, and looked at his first just born great grandson and never once conveyed separateness. The photo in my mind pure joy. And this one grows up to clickety clack his shoes like my grampy and keeps all our favorite things about cardigan dressing alive.
And my aunt...also adopted bore me cousin from grandma but not grandpa. Well, she is also beginning her story again.
So, we all say hey! I choose you family. It’s ok.
We all are rag tag bunch of other people's, now ours, to love and to cherish. We call it belonging and hold together the glue of family. We blob tag along, hinging arms.
"Family, I chose you. Love connects us all together."
All of this hits me as I land from Maui after flying to lay next to my "sister" friend with ALS and helping my best friend of 17 years who is my family, whose family is my family. Together we visit his real father who did not raise him, is now alone in a elderly home but who set up altars for his son to yoga and self-realization to explain to my friend who he is spiritually inside forever devoted to yoga so he can be the man his adopted father who raised him wants him to be, and his mother who is both mother and father enabled him to become loving, kind, peaceful, generous, willing, forgiving, beautiful, happy, and healthy.
I realize, there are no stories. Only meaning. The ones that mean the most we put in the center of our hearts where they guide us through anything that would dare to take away the love our family has for my lovely grandparents who, childless, were praying for a baby when they met Eli, pregnant with little Carmen, my 4’11” mother.
Wonder of wonders, when my brother says, "Who do we belong to?"
I tell my mom who tells me, "You belong to me!!!"
And then I realize, we all belong to everyone.
So true, Theresa. So true, Saint Mother. So true.