Guest Blog Post: Who is Family? by K E Garland

Photo of author/blogger K E Garland
Photo of author/blogger K E Garland.

Holidays and New Year celebrations are when messages about what family should and shouldn’t make me want to gag. They generalize everyone into one big homogenous lump.

That’s when I step back and take stock of the people I know. It does my heart good to see that we’re individuals — and that includes our families, the ones we make, or our lack thereof.

What are your thoughts on family?

Here blogger and author of books, K E Garland, describes how being adopted shapes her concept of family…

K E Garland

Being adopted has shaped the way I view who is family and who is not. When I found out I was adopted over thirty years ago, I saw the people around me in a different light. I saw them as strangers, yet I still accepted them as family because they had taught me to do so. I instantly realized that any combination of people could make a family.

img_8185In this way, I accepted my mother and father as my family unit. These were the people who’d decided to raise me from infancy as their own. They loved me, and I them. But when my mother died and my father gave up his parental rights, I began to question the definition. Was my adopted father not my father anymore simply because the Court said he wasn’t? I mean the Court deemed him my father in 1974, and so he was. Was…

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14 thoughts on “Guest Blog Post: Who is Family? by K E Garland

  1. Such a touching and important post and guest post! The holidays have, unfortunately contributed to the creation of myths regarding “family” that many people do not really identify with. For example, while I loved seeing my parents during holidays, as a gay person, I viewed holidays as sad and lonely times, because I could not spend them with the person I loved (my family) since, for so long, I had to hide that aspect of myself from my parents who viewed me as single. Likewise, while in the military, I was often scheduled to work during the holidays due to the fact that I was “single”, so that people with “spouses and families” could spend time with their families. This, of course, meant that I could not share the holidays with “my family”. “Family” means many things to many people, and the guest post reminds us that we should not forget that the human experience is diverse and that we do not all perceive events in the same way. May every person find joy in the experience of family, no matter how they define family!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. There are cultural, legal, and biological definitions of family, but ultimately a family is built of the relationships one makes with people. For some, it’s the family they marry into, for others it’s the family they create, and sadly, for others, they never believe they belong to anyone. K E Garland’s story about finding her family and making relationships while others rejected her, is deeply touching. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Good morning and Happy New Year to Ms.Garland and da-AL and their respective families. Yes, the concept of “family” also encompasses those that we meet in all the walks of life and make us better persons. Or not. Sometimes a person might have an innocuous yet soothing influence in our so emotionally-deprived and time-constrained hectic lives; only when he/she/ihr is gone, do we appreciate the full extent of their value. My dear Tango-dancer I wrote an article today praising you in extremis; whenever you can, please have a look at it and write a comment, if you like it. Are you dancing tonight in the family reunion? Can’t wait to watch it.
    Un baccione. arrivederci!

    Liked by 2 people

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