Families come in all shapes and sizes. With the definition of family changing faster than we can blink, people question constantly, "Just what does it take to make up a family?"
Some families are large while others are small. Some families stand alone, while others rely heavily on the extended family. There are two parent families and single parent families. Children come through birth, marriage, or adoption. Close friends find themselves known as "Aunt" or "Uncle".
Most of our married life, we did not enjoy the blessing of living near extended family. As geographical orphans, we broadened our definition of family quickly. We welcomed all close to us into our Kingdom of Sir Megabyte. Thanksgiving gatherings included others, like ourselves, far from home. Christmas meant visiting good friends and neighbours. While we loved, and missed, our family so far from us; we never felt alone.
Our boys fill our days with laughter and delight. We adore them. We wanted more children, but due to health we cannot welcome more into our home. Still, we long for more. We all feel room in our hearts to love another.
Some, in similar situations, adopt children. Other families open their hearts to pets. We often talk about both options, yet neither seem feasible. We keep our hearts open should circumstances change, and find happiness in the wonderful family we are.
Recently, something fell into our laps. Literally out of the blue. So completely unexpected, we know not what to make of it.
Some would say, "The Lord works in mysterious ways." I am only one.
Things moved fast, with a manic pace that, even I, cannot replicate.
Just what is it that fell in our laps? What are we doing? How are we becoming a family of five?
In just two short weeks, we become the proud parents to a teenager from Morocco. She joins our family, for one year, as a foreign exchange student.
Unlike most prospective parents, we do no have nine months to prepare for our happy addition. We will not get to watch her grow, fall in love with her daily. She comes to us, nearly fully grown, and for such a short time. Already, we feel our hearts filled with love for her. She already seems to be a part of our family and we look forward to our next year with her.
And so we prepare. To go from four to five. There will be adjustments, growing pains, and worries. Just like any other family. But, just like any other family, we will experience immeasurable joys.