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|
|2006: family Christmas card photo|
|2008: Graduation from Notre Dame with K (4 y.o.) and E (5 y.o.)|
|2009: dancing at my cousin's wedding|
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|
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.