Posted in family, friends

What family means to me.

Family means everything to me that it means to most people, but it also means more things.

“I love you” in American Sign Language with a rainbow hand.

Which means when I use terms like birth family I am not using them the way some people use them. I am not using them to either make it more or less family. All of my family is family no matter how they came to be a part of it.

I do not like using the words chosen family. I think that is a wonderful concept for those who experience it that way. It’s not how I experience family at all, no matter who the family are. I have not chosen a single relative, whether biological or not.

I won’t get into what makes someone family if they’re not biologically related. I’d never finish the post.

But love is a lot of it. And being in my life in certain ways is a lot of it. And I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who has become my family in this manner.

But the important part.

The really important part.

Is this.

Having non-birth-related family does not take away from either my relationship with my biological family, or my relationship with my non-biological family.

And I do not, in my head or my heart or anywhere else people use as words for thoughts and feelings, I do not put either biological or non-biological relatives as more or less important, more or less loved, or more or less part of my family.

You’re all family.

And I love y’all. Every single one of you.

And I’m sorry I couldn’t make you the post you deserve.

But I did my best.

And the post got written.

And that’s something.

No, it’s a lot.

But thank you all for being in my life and making it better even though I am terrible at keeping in touch with other people. You all matter to me and having, say, a second mom, doesn’t mean I don’t also have a first mom. and these are all just bad translations of family relationships. But the big thing: More family means more people I love, it doesn’t mean dividing people into greater and lesser parts of my family. And yeah I don’t get along with everyone, but that’s true of every kind of family I’ve ever heard of.

Thank you for being out there.

Thank you for being my family.

Sorry, again, that I haven’t been able to make you the post that you deserve. But I love you, both people I know and people I don’t. people I’m related to by “blood” and otherwise. And again the reason I don’t use the term chosen family is because I didn’t pick anyone out any more than my biological family picked me out. My non-biological family are no more chosen than my biological family, and chosen doesn’t make anyone better or worse than anyone else, or more or less close to me, or more or less loved.

Also I have both immediate and distant relatives, and living relatives and ancestors, within my non-biological family. Just as there are in my biological family.

So. All of you: Thank you. I love you.

Author:

Hufflepuff. Came from the redwoods, which tell me who I am and where I belong in the world. I relate to objects as if they are alive, but as things with identities and properties all of their own, not as something human-like. Culturally I'm from a California Okie background. Crochet or otherwise create constantly, write poetry and paint when I can. Proud member of the developmental disability self-advocacy movement. I care a lot more about being a human being than I care about what categories I fit into.

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