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“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.”  ―    Richard Bach,    Illusions

Good mornin kitties….it is a lovely mornin. Today I would like to talk about the family. I have a pet peeve in my life, and it’s been goin on for quite a while. It all started when I was a small child. You see kitties, I was adopted. I have mentioned in my previous post that I was the only child with red hair in a family of brunettes and well, this is why. Yes, this was somewhat confusin for a while, but I could live with that as I progressed through childhood. What didn’t leave me so unscathed was the fact that everytime I turned around, I was reminded by these horrible children called my cousins (on my daddy’s side) that I wasn’t part of the family because I wasn’t their blood. I would go home askin questions after the every other weekend stay at the grandparent’s house and my mother would just tell me to nevermind and tuck me into my bed and the next thing I’d know, yellin and screamin in the other room would ensue. I soon learned to keep THAT to myself.

So kitties, I progressed through womanhood and got married to a man who already had a son and became a (gasp) stepmama myself. Unfortunately, I was very young and we didn’t see him much during his childhood so I didn’t get to be a very good stepmama, which I regret now, but I never once thought or dismissed him as “not counting” because he wasn’t of my blood! I soon had 3 children in that marriage and after a time, divorced their daddy. Life went on …..

Then, I met someone else..and had my youngest. Never once thought about how she “fit in” the family. She was a sister to my already established brood of children. The end. Right? Well, you would think so. Not quite kitties. And this is where my blood has been simmerin ever since! This is where you might want to start making mental notes and scannin your brain to see if you may have ever been guilty of this yourself…either conciously or unconciously…it’s okay, really, that’s what I’m here for…sit down, get comfy…I’ll probably get a little worked up for a bit and then I’ll calm down. I promise.

Yes, darlins, my daughter has a different last name than my other children. But, my other daughter has a different last name now too because she is married. Why do charmin certain people now assume that ALL of my children have different fathers? Really, you must think I was awfully busy. And what kind of manners do you have in the first place to just inquire personal questions in the first place? Have you not heard of the word decorum? Here it is: an observance or requirement of polite society. Please start practicin it!  Anyway…I digress.  Then, to make it worse…one of my children referred to her as a “half-sister”. Excuse me? She is your sister. SISTER. No halves about it. I read the riot act for quite a while on THAT wording.

I also was taken back to a time when I was watchin some tv show back in the 70’s (yes, I’m THAT old) when they were teasin some child and they were tellin him he was adopted and the poor child was reduced to tears! Then I remembered my older 2 children who were 18 months apart teasing my younger son who was 6 years younger than they are one day that HE was adopted. Really, adoption has that much of a stigma? Like it’s the worst thing in the world? It sets you apart and makes you this unlovable freak? You don’t fit? That’s it!!! (flashback, foamin at the mouth)  Look at a recent episode of the Kardashians! (okay, I do NOT watch this stupid show…I read about it on WetPaint online one day out of pure boredom…if I start actually watching this show, you can take all of my shoes away kitties, I promise) Apparently Khloe felt she didn’t fit in with the family so she must not be a real Kardashian so she wanted a dna test. So she must have only been a half sister. Really?

Okay kitties, stand back because here I go: I don’t care if you are adopted, fostered, have the same mother, father, or half of someone’s mother or father or a stepparent or sibling! I don’t care if you only see each other on the weekends, every day, live with them fulltime or have a long distance relationship with them. I don’t care if you grew up with them or you see them occasionally. You do not need to label someone with the words “ADOPTED” or “STEP” or “HALF” .  This is insulting, belittling, and hurtful. You do not need to make someone feel less than you. You do not need to separate them from the family or make them feel unimportant because they do not have the exact same genetics as you do. How they got into the family is unimportant. The fact that they are in the family is all that should matter. You should embrace them with both arms and love them.

Society has so many labels for so many people. We don’t like this person because they are gay, we don’t like this person because of their color, we don’t like this person because of their politics or religion. Why oh why can’t we stop it when it comes to our families? Our families are our safe havens where we should find warmth and comfort and be who we want to be with acceptance and unconditional love from everyone in it. We can’t provide that to each other if we are separating each other with labels. It just burns me up when I hear that half/step thing in there. (and I better not hear “adopted” either)!!!

Blood has nothing to do with family. Family is belonging. Family is who loves you. Family is who is there for you.

So, THAT, kitties, is what has gotten me so riled up and has had me riled up for years. Today is a monumental day for me in that I have a very special member of my family coming to town and I am welcoming him with open arms. It has brought back lots of reminders to me of my own feelings and I wanted to jot this down briefly as my day enfolded.

Soon, I will be back with a follow up to this about JUDGEMENT, the in-law/out-law diatribes…..oh, it will be a good one kitties.. I promise to wax poetic about that little topic. Until then, I leave you with this little thought about family…

“What is home? My favorite definition is “a safe place,” a place where one is free from attack, a place where one experiences secure relationships and affirmation. It’s a place where people share and understand each other. Its relationships are nurturing. The people in it do not need to be perfect; instead, they need to be honest, loving, supportive, recognizing a common humanity that makes all of us vulnerable.”
―    Gladys Hunt,    Honey for a Child’s Heart: The Imaginative Use of Books in Family Life

Now come over to Miss Scarlett and give me a hug…..

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