Family- -Who Says You Can’t Choose

Courtney - Bartlett, Illinois
Entered on September 19, 2007

Many of my friends came from families they wish they hadn’t. Their parents were either divorced, drunk, abusive or uncaring. Their lives seemed to be shrouded in darkness.

We spent most of our time at my house growing up. My family created a home filled with the love of both parents, trust and support. Often, my friends would spend all day with my family, hanging out, eating dinner and feeling loved. My parents never minded, my friends just added to the home’s boisterous atmosphere. My friends were granted a moment of peace from their darksome lives.

Watching friends live in turmoil and not being able to make their lives better was difficult. We constantly tried to think of ways to prevent them from going home. One day we decided to form an art club. We found a way to express ourselves and at the same time found a sanctuary.

We held club meetings whenever possible and donated the bulk of our artwork. Our paintings now garnish the walls of such places as schools and hospitals. All our frustrations and deepest emotions cemented the walls of a dollhouse or adorned our colorful canvases.

Granted, the bond of friendship had always been strong, but the more we worked together, the more we noticed a change. We knew the thoughts and feelings of one another and the instant something bad occurred. During this time, we felt our bond of friendship transform into a bond of


As close friends often do, we established a pact. Though not biologically related, we became sisters — a fact that could never change. To stand by one another always wasn’t difficult a difficult promise to make. We found the pact a relief.

So this I believe: You may not be able to choose the home you’re born into or the people who raise you, but you can choose your family. You may receive a sorry hand in life, but you can make it better. Surround yourself with caring and loyal friends and you can create your own family. A family who will love you, and support you, and stand by you till your last sun has set. Your friends not only grant you a family, but a home to always turn to in the storm, a sanctuary of hope.