I was around 10 when I learned that when it comes to family, bloodlines don’t mean everything, and in some cases, it doesn’t mean ANYTHING.
According to the dictionary, “Family” can be defined as:
a. A fundamental social group in society typically consisting of one or two parents and their children.
b. Two or more people who share goals and values, have long-term commitments to one another, and reside usually in the same dwelling place.
Nowhere in these definitions does it state anything about blood or biology.
In today’s society it is not uncommon for a child to grow up without knowing one (or both) of their parent’s. In fact, it’s almost becoming abnormal if you ARE raised by both parents. I was around 10 when I found out that my dad, who had been raising me, wasn’t my biological father. My biological father was out of the picture by the time I was two, around the same time my mom met my dad. I was definitely hurt and confused by everything when I found out. I remember asking myself, “What is so wrong with me that my own father doesn’t want to be part of my life?” It was difficult, especially at a time where you’re already confused about the changes going on in your life.
Even at ten, I never questioned who my DAD was. A father is someone who helps give you life, a dad is someone who helps makes you who you are and is PART of your life.
My dad is the one who taught me how to play softball. He almost never missed a softball, basketball, volleyball game, or a track meet. He woke my brother and I up every Christmas morning by yelling “Ho Ho Ho Merrrrrry Christmas” with my mom. He helped me move more times that I can count. He taught me what to look for in a guy by giving me the greatest example of what a man could be. Then he walked me down the aisle when I found that guy.
I always remember asking myself, “How could someone just take me in and raise me like I was their own, without thinking twice?” and then came Dave and Devon. Devon was six when Dave and I met, and had just turned seven by the time that I met her. Dave and I wanted to make sure that we were serious before I met Devon and had the chance to get attached with her and for her to get attached to me. You see, Devon has a very similar situation as I do and her birth mother has never been in her life. Dave was a single father for six years.
Most people don’t even know that Devon and I don’t share blood. She looks like me…. A LOT! (A sign that we were meant to be a family, if you ask me.) We hit it off from day one, and I can honestly say that I fell in love with her before I fell in love with Dave. We could not get along any better (even now that Devon is heading into her Freshman year of High School). There were definitely some things that we had to figure out and work through as a family. When Dave, Devon and I started spending time together it was very… tricky… trying to find my place in the family. I wanted to build a friendship with Devon, but I also needed her to see me a mother figure. I had to learn when and how to step in and be a parent without feeling like I was overstepping my boundaries. I needed to spend one-on-one time with Devon to get to know her and for her to get to know me. Dave and I both knew that if things did not work with Devon and I then they wouldn’t work with Dave and I. We didn’t want to form a family where all three of us would be miserable because Devon and I did not get along.
I’m very lucky that I met Devon when she was seven. Knowing her strong personality, it would have been MUCH more difficult to become a family if we met now instead of 7 years ago. Do I wish that I had met Dave and Devon sooner? Absolutely! But I am thankful that I’ve already been in Devon’s life for more than half of her life. (Which she made note of on her 14th birthday – that she had officially had me for half of her life.)
When people do find out that I’m not Devon’s birth mother they always comment on how lucky Devon is to have me in her life. What they don’t understand is that she has been just as good for me.
Although Devon doesn’t share my blood, she is my heart. It is from loving her that I understand how and why my dad could accept me and love me as his own. There is no doubt in my mind that Devon was meant to be my daughter (like I said, the resemblance is almost freaky) and there is no doubt that my dad was meant to be my dad.
Some of the best parents that I know are not biological parents. They are people who stepped in and loved children for no other reason but to simply LOVE them and not because they felt like they had to.Add to favorites