Family is a pretty special thing for me. Being a TCK, it's roughly synonymous with "home" and comprises a collection of The Most Important People In The World for me. We drive each other to medical appointments, up the wall, crazy, and in circles; talk to each other, at each other, about each other to each other; keep secrets and break secrets and divulge secrets and guess secrets; and generally alternate at 30-second intervals between wondering about our own sanity and each other's... Amazingly, we actually like each other, respect each other, and enjoy each other's company -- and when the chips are down, we've got each other's backs, no questions asked, no score kept.
We all feel the same way, and -- by design, by accident, by osmosis -- are passing those feelings on to the Pipsqueak. We'd long ago tossed away any concerns about bonding issues, and Miri repeatedly has shown she cares about Mommy, Grandma & Grandpa, and Uncle Brian more than pretty much anyone else, but we didn't know how solid a definition of "family" she had developed.
Working my crazy hours, I rarely share dinners with my folks, AJ and the Pipsqueak during the week -- so Mom fills me in on things I missed that she knows I'd like to (or need to) know about. The latest story was from dinner on Tuesday night, and it shows my niece has as solid a definition of "family" as her uncle does.
The Pipsqueak had a pretty full day, complete with daycare and time at the gym, topped off with Grandma & Grandpa staying for dinner when Mommy got home. As usual, she was ready to return to play a bit earlier than any of her grownups, so she began marching around the table counting chairs out loud as she pointed to each person in turn.
"One... two... three... four..."
"Grandma and Grandpa are my family. Mommy is my family."
Another pause, then pointing to an empty chair:
"Five. And Uncle Brian is my family, too! This is my family!"
My niece joined the family on July 12th, 2010. This special young lady's mother is my younger sister, which in classic Chinese culture makes me her Jiu Jiu (舅舅-- thus the title of this blog. Here I intend to semi-regularly post reflections, thoughts, stories, and assorted whathaveyous pertaining to our trip to China, adoption in general, and (mostly) watching my niece grow up. Since the web is a very public place, I will attempt to maintain my family's privacy while telling the story... but I invite you to follow the blog and come along for the adventure!