When I heard about this assignment, I started to go over what I value and the first thing that came to my mind was family. Family is not really a value like honesty or prudence, but family is just as strong… maybe even stronger. Family is the people who offer you support and encouragement, who let you cry to them even if your mascara gets all other their shirts, the people you chose to spend your holidays with, who you can yell and scream and vent to and they’ll never stop loving you. Family is what I believe in.
My family isn’t exactly “normal.” I was born to a mother and a father who loved me, but three months after I was born my father died in a car accident. Although I have no memories and only a few photographs of him, I feel him around me everyday and talk to him before I fall asleep every night. He will always be my father. When I was two, my mom married another man. Technically he is my stepfather, but since they day he came into our lives he has been my dad. He’s the man I argue with, come to with advice, hug before I go to bed and love no matter what. Together, my mom and dad had three kids. Although we only share half the DNA, I love them with all my heart. My sister and I developed a saying, “You’re my half sister, but I whole love you,” that pretty much sums up the way I feel about them. My family doesn’t stop there. I have three brothers adopted from Russia, as well. Although we share no DNA and were born on different hemispheres, they have made our family complete and I love them unconditionally. These eight people have been with me through everything, though they all arrived at different times in my life. We are a “Patchwork” family. We do not all have the same background, but we’ve come together and will do anything for one another.
The members of my family have shown me love, understanding and support – no matter what. We’ve shared laughs, meals, tears, fun, fights, bedrooms, secrets, clothes, memories, hugs and kisses. They have shown me that family is not biological, it’s emotional. Regardless of where, when, and to whom you were born, coming together for one another trumps any of that. They are what I believe in and they believe in me in return.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.