I had a moment this morning. Joseph's first Communion is coming up. For those of you who don't know, this is a BIG DEAL. We are, of course, having a party for him because what is a sacrament without cake, balloons and tons of kids running around?
Most of my family of origin (parents and siblings) are not Catholic. While my parents, Adam's parents and perhaps his sister and her family will be there, my siblings will not come. They are not Catholic. (There's more back story here but I will leave it alone.) My father's family is Catholic but they live on the East Coast and many of them will be unable to travel. Adam's grandparents cannot travel and his cousins have young children (one which should be born any day now!) In short, most people related to us by blood will be unable to be at his First Communion or party.
Of course, this made me sad and upset and worried that Joseph won't understand why they aren't there. Then I sat down to make the list of people I need to mail annoucements/invitations too. And it hit me. There are a whole SLEW of people who have known my kid since birth who love him. They might not be Catholic. They might not be religious. But they will be happy for my child because this is something special and important to him. They will come, if they can, with bells on for cake, a smile on their face and happy words on their lips because they are lovely, wonderful people who are happy for us because we are happy. Period. Full stop.
Then I got around to planning Cole's second birthday. Adam wants to keep it a small family party- but family has grown to include Cole's godparents, George's godparents, our (almost) BIL and his daughter plus the in-town grandparents. "Small family party" now means about 23 people, half of whom are not related by blood.
We all have a family of origin, which is important and special. But just as important are our family of CHOICE, the ones who love us, stick by us and celebrate with us. Yeah, I am sad that our family of origin can't be with us to celebrate. Yes, I have days where I focus on that. But more and more, I realize that I need to focus on the people that CAN be there and that DO love my child enough to celebrate this wonderful occasion with him, whether or not it is part of their personal beliefs.
My family is so, so blessed by our family of choice.