My best friend has said there is the family you are born (or in our case adopted) into and the family you choose.
I've always loved that. I have my family, my mother and father's family and my husband's family. But I also have a wonderful family of friends, people who have shared so much with me, who mean just as much as my family of origin.
This past week I was lucky to spend time with both types of family.
First we drove to Iowa City to spend time with my mother's family. Her brother and his wife hosted a beautiful get together. It was casual and fun, filled with good food (and pie!) and great conversation. We hung out, we played golf (or tried), we swam and we enjoyed each other. It was just the way a family reunion should be.
Next we were able to spend some time with Lion's family. Because my children may never know their families of origin, we have considered the families we traveled with on our adoption journey part of their family. These children share the same history, they are the only ones to know what it was like to be adopted from that country, that care center at that time. These families have walked the same path, they know the joy and heartbreak of adoption. These families are our family.
We are lucky that one of Lion's families lives in Iowa so we were able to stop for a visit on our way home. Jared and Beth are parents of three wonderful boys from Korea and a beautiful little girl from Ethiopia. They opened their home and their hearts to us. The children played together and became fast friends. To see Lion and their daughter together filled my heart with joy. (I admit I was ready to start planning their wedding right there and then.)
This trip made me want to start planning reunions for both Bunny and Lion's extended families. I would love for my children to know these families, to know others who share their story.