If I say family – what’s the first thing you think of? Maybe it’s a word or maybe you picture specific people. Who are the people that define your family? Here’s my random thoughts about families. I’ve categorized them into Original, Created, and Acquired Families.
Original Families are the ones you don’t have any choice in joining. It’s your parents and siblings. Whether you have a great or strained relationship with this family, it’s still your original family.
Created Families are the ones that we, well, create through marriage or relationship. We may add a significant other and some children through birth or the choice of adoption. Our brothers and sisters may add nephews and nieces to the mix, but its family more or less created.
Then there’s Acquired Family. Maybe you consider your college friends as family. My wife was in a sorority (which I affectionately call her ‘rent a friend’) and that group might be a family. You may consider your church a family even though you only see them weekly. Some work places develop into what you’d consider your acquired family.
I write this in the wake of losing a very close friend. We and others have said “brother of another mother” many times over the years. But I’ve also come to feel that his family is my family. Not original, not created, but acquired. Gratefully acquired.
So re-picture your family. You have many others.