We Never Outgrow the Need for Family

An essay exploring the 2015 National Adoption Month theme.

Elizabeth Curry November 16, 2015
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Our families are a part of us and make us who we are. This is not just for the first 18 years of our life, but our families are for a lifetime. We are part of our family when we are a baby, when we are a child, a teenager, an adult, a grandparent. They may grow, shrink, change, but it is all family.

Families are for…

  • Hugs and kisses
  • Care when sick
  • Celebrations
  • Making cookies
  • Discussing ideas
  • Sympathy when you throw your chemistry book across the room in frustration
  • Jokes around the dinner table
  • Singing songs on long car rides
  • Going to the beach
  • Crying together
  • Games of hide-and-seek
  • Remembering loved ones who have died
  • Sharing stories
  • Support when you are tired
  • Calling at 2 am when you are scared
  • Flying across the country at a moment’s notice because you received devastating news
  • Giving gifts
  • Going on walks
  • Sharing the joy of a new family member
  • Looking at old photographs
  • Retelling funny family stories
  • Waiting by the side of the road together with a flat tire
  • Arguing over who gets the funnies first
  • Surprise parties
  • Bonfires
  • Weddings
  • Funerals
  • Holidays
  • Getting the house messy
  • Cleaning the house together
  • Support in new adventures
  • A place to run to
  • A name
  • A place
  • A sense of belonging
  • Every day
  • Forever

For some of us, our lifelong families are the ones we were born with. For others of us, it is a new family, which may not have a long history, but has a long future. Some of our families may be very large and others may be very small. Regardless of origin or makeup, our families are the repositories of some of our most important memories and contain some of our most important people.

It is never too late to mend fences with family members who are estranged. It is never too late to ask someone who is lonely to join in with your family. It is never too late to bring a child who is missing that most fundamental sense of belonging and connectedness into your family. It is never too late to start making your family the safe place you want it to be. It is never too late to start appreciating the gift of having a family.

Embrace your family. Love them. Love their imperfections and quirks. Love them when they embarrass you. Love them when they hurt. Love them abundantly. You can’t use up love and there is no better place to start trying than to love your family.

Learn more about the 2015 National Adoption Month initiative.

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Elizabeth Curry

Elizabeth Curry is mother to 12 children, five of whom were adopted: two from Vietnam and three from China. She hopes that by sharing the experiences of her family she can encourage others in the trenches. When she is not taking care of children, Elizabeth writes, home schools, sews, teaches piano, and loves reading. You can follow along with her loud and crazy life at her blog, Ordinary Time.

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