Friday, August 30, 2013


Tuesday was a pretty big day for my family. But before I get into that, let me give you some background on my family.

I was the oldest* child in my family and my brothers, who are twins, were born 15 months after me. I always wanted a sister to play with but substituted that by dressing up my brothers while they were too little to fight back. When I was in second grade my parents divorced. It was hard, but so much better than the fighting that went on. And it led to some wonderful things that would not have happened otherwise.
*You'll understand why I say "was" after the next paragraph.
1990: My brothers (both on the right) and I playing in our living room with a family friend
In fifth grade, my mom remarried.  My stepdad is an amazing guy and took in my brothers and I as if we were his biological kids.  He had 3 kids from his first marriage - 2 girls and 1 boy.  Together, we were the Brady Bunch (it was even our Christmas card photo one year!). At the time they got married, they had a kid in 2nd grade, twins in 4th grade, my new stepsister and I in 5th grade, and my older stepsister in 9th grade.  Talk about a house full! As with any blended family, there were some big fights as we all learned to live together but I wouldn't have it any other way.
2006: family Christmas card photo
The hardest part of my parents being divorced was the time my brothers and I spent with my dad - it was me and 3 guys. Talk about being outnumbered.  But that all changed in 8th grade when my dad got remarried.  My stepmom was younger, had no kids, and just cool.  I really enjoyed hanging out with her and finally being able to have "girl time" when I spent weekends at my dad's house.  While I was in high school, my dad and stepmom had 2 kids, both girls.  I am 16 and 18 years older than them which creates a unique sister relationship.
2008: Graduation from Notre Dame with K (4 y.o.) and E (5 y.o.)
And it should be no surprise that my grandparents have been an important part of life throughout all of this craziness. We lost my grandfather last winter suddenly, which makes the time I spend with my grandmother now even more valuable.
2009: dancing at my cousin's wedding
Over the years, with such a large and extended family, we've had our share of successes and failures: graduations, boyfriends and girlfriends that come and go, weddings, divorces, pregnancies, engagements, failed engagements, moving out of country, finding jobs, losing jobs....

Which brings me to yesterday, a very, very special day.  Because this beautiful little girl is now legally part of our family. Forever.
August 2013: Tati and my stepdad
Tati was born this January to my oldest stepsister, E, and her partner, N. Though N carried the baby, Tati has always been their child. And she has always been my niece. And my parents' grandchild.  It doesn't matter that my mom is E's stepmom. It doesn't matter that Tati shares absolutely no DNA with E. E and N are her mothers. Tati is their daughter.

And Tuesday was the adoption hearing to legally make Tati my sister's daughter.  

In a time when same-sex marriage and equality for the LGBT community are at the forefront of politics and society, I think it is too easy to forget the people that are living this civil rights movement.  It's NOT just Prop 8 or DOMA. It's not just a piece of legislation. It is the men and women and children who have found love and formed families. 

I love my sister. I love her partner. And I love my niece.


PS - Whether you support gay rights or not, that's your choice.  And that isn't what this post is about. It's about love and family.

PPS - If you haven't watched this tear-jerker of a video about a man's love for his wife of 75 years, take a few minutes and do so. The full story can be found here.



  1. I love that you got the sister and girl time you always wanted! Congratulations to your growing family- your niece is beautiful! My nieces are also my steps, but I don't think I could love them any more than I do. Blood doesn't matter!

  2. I love everything about this post! So very happy for your family :)


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