You know how people refer to some of their really close friends as family? I always thought (in fact, I still do) that people whose friends were their family weren't close to their family or maybe didn't have one.
Today we had our 3rd annual "O'Dells and Friends Christmas Party" which consists of the same people every year. It started out as way to cut the costs of gift giving between my siblings and some friends that we regularly exchange gifts with. It has grown to a "shower the many children with many gifts extravaganza!" We started our gift exchange with two children and 12 adults. It has grown (in 3 years!) to 7 kids and 14 adults!!
Today I looked around the room and thought...
Many of these people really are my family. I have siblings and parents there, an aunt and uncle and a nephew. But there are 4 children and 4 adults that I am not related to in any way. These people really are my family and we are their's. Not one of us has a need for MORE family (quite the contrary) but all of us have an unwavering love for one another. It is a love that has withstood many trials and has seen us through many years. We may not like each other all the time but we are honest with one another and we always know that in the end, there is love that keeps us a family. To Melissa, Gabe, Benji, Erika, Isabel, Jonathan, Erik and Samantha..I love you all so very much and I am proud to call you my family.