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I never imagined my life this way, but here I am this Thanksgiving, cooking food with a family in California that has fully embraced me, and I am loving every minute of it.
For those estranged from their biological family, holidays are not always easy. I often dread them because I know that sadness will likely arise and a feeling of being lost will have me struggling to get out of bed. It engulfs me almost every holiday, and I truly hate it.
This year is different, though.
This year, I got out of bed and am trying to lean in.
This year I’m saying yes to invitations and seeing where it leads me.
They say time heals all wounds, but I’m not sure I agree.
Instead, I think time puts into perspective how short our lives are and how many ways there are to find family in others when ours aren’t healthy.
What I’ve noticed is that if I just take one step toward connecting with others, I start to feel better.
I start to feel connected.
I start to feel whole.
When I eat dinner, laugh, and sip coffee and tea with others, my heart feels full.
When I put my phone and computer down and am truly present with the love all around me, I no longer feel lost.
We don’t get to choose our biological families, but we do get to choose our families.
Mine is a bit different than most, but it’s beautiful.
I have a Costa Rican one.
I have a Brazilian one.
And now I have this beautiful Mexican one here in California who has invited me to make 15 twice-baked potatoes and eat with them.
All I have ever wanted is a loving family, and after years of suffering, I can finally say I’ve found them.