Keeping in touch
Our family fostered a little girl a couple of years ago. We had hoped to adopt her, and it's impossible to have a baby in your home for four months without falling in love with her, so it was really hard for us when she had to go back to her birth family. She has a great family, and she's doing really well, but the transition was still difficult.
Fortunately for us, her family has been very understanding and supportive. They let us visit her a few times a year, at Christmas and on her birthday, and they come to visit us too. It's wonderful for us to be a part of her growing up, even if she's more like a niece than a daughter to us now.
She came to visit this past Saturday, along with her parents, two of her aunts, and her grandma. They brought a big pan of enchiladas, and we made a whole pile of sandwiches. My brother-in-law and his girlfriend came by too. The whole bunch of us chatted and ate away the afternoon, and I was reminded again of something that I've been learning most of my life – that family is not just the people related to you by blood, but the people who are bound to you by love. Our families are as big as our love can extend, and I am fortunate that mine includes the family of that beautiful little girl.