Friday, January 27, 2012

Love grows

Sitting in my living room last night I was reflective of what was going on around me.

I had printed 150 pictures from things we have done as a family since October.  Lots and lots of pictures of the boys playing together, being silly and celebrating the holidays.  I had also printed the pictures we've received of Brit over the past few months.

I was carefully looking through the stack so I could pick 8 photos to put in a collage frame.  I wanted to represent our entire family.  One picture of each child, including Brit. One picture of all the boys together and one photo of BF and me.

While I was doing that, BF was putting all the rest of the photos in an album.

And during that time, I realized how much our love has grown.  Not just the love between the two of us, but the love between all 7 of us.

I love BF's kids.  He loves mine.  We show all of the children affection and attention, irregardless of who has the biological connection. Honestly, there are many times that if you saw all of us interacting, you might not know who was born to who.

Brotherly love (the two 12 year olds)
While I love that BF and I are able to love each other's children, there is something even greater than that.  It is the love that the boys have for each other.

The first words out of my boys mouths when I pick them up after work each day is "Does BF have the boys tonight?"  And if I say no, that it is a mom day for them, they moan and are visibly disappointed.  (I usually follow it up with "What am I? Chopped liver?!?!)

Two of our boys are the exact same age.  The other two are one year apart.  And it is amazing how well they get along.  We are so lucky.  I know this is not normal.  I have blended a family before, not nearly as easily. But in this case, our boys actually enjoy the time they get to spend together. They consider each other brothers.

But back to my reflections about familial love...

Just because my boys love BF, it does not in any way change their love for their father.  They still think their dad walks on water. They are crazy about him.

Pals - our two youngest
The boys don't call BF dad.  They call him by his name.  They know that he cares for them.  But they also know who their dad is.

We have never had to define it.  Is is understood.  They are allowed to love BF without having split loyalty to their father.  BF does not try to be their dad.  He clearly understand that role belongs to their father.  But he can love them the same, no title required.  No 'competition' for first place.

There is plenty of love to go around for all of us.  We didn't have to divide what love we had prior to meeting each other, instead we just grew more.  

Before adoption changed my life, I would not have reflected much on something as natural as this.

My sisters and mom
Prior to relinquishment, I knew that I love easily.  I come by it naturally.  Within my immediate family of sisters and parents ,we bring people into the fold all the time.  Family is not defined by blood.  There is always someone in our lives who we are loving as if they are one of our family.  And as far as we are concerned, they are.

Since relinquishment, I am learning that not all families operate like this.  Apparently there is a sense of clan that some families have the does not allow others in very easily.  I have also learned that when it comes to children, some adults find claiming ownership very important.  Establishing the child as one of their clan, and  ONLY their clan is important.

Me, my  (former step) daughter and her mom.  Still family in spite of divorce.
That was all new to me.  I had no idea that was such an issue to so many people.

Since relinquishment, I have also learned that there are ALOT of families who are like mine.  They grow their love based on the people who enter their lives.

I now have a new appreciation for those kinds of people.  The kind of people who believe that there can never be too much love.  And that the love well has no bottom.  You can keep dipping in as many times as you wish.

Through all of the heartache adoption has caused me, it has also made me appreciate things so much more than I used to.  And I now recognize and appreciate those who let their love grow and love without boundaries.

Yes, I will eat your pizza in front of your friends at school!

Driving the golf cart together - heaven help us

Checking out chicks at the mall
J does come around when there are presents.

PS - There is no picture of my oldest son with any of the other boys.  It is amazing how once a child turns 18, he is no longer nearly as interested in staying home to play with his little brothers. :)

Here is just a Christmas picture of him for good measure!

PPS - Here are pictures of the children with each of their biological parents, in case you wondered who was born to who.  Personally, I think it is hard to tell when we are all together.


Rebecca Hawkes said...

Well, you _know_ I love this post! Love is Not a Pie. :-)

LisaAnne said...

I kept thinking that the entire time I typed this!


Making Our Family Complete said...

I love this post! It is so try that there is so much love to go around!

Anonymous said...

L-O-V-E this post!! Love, love, love.

amelia said...

Beautiful post! I'm feeling the same way too in regards on my own experience and situation. I'll pray for you, will you pray for me?