Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. ~Jane Howard
I had a moving, eye-opening experience yesterday. I was privileged to see a young man I had worked with for years graduate high school. My mind reeled back to when I first met him and the trials and tribulations that he had to experience to get to this place. With those thoughts floating in my brain, I attended his graduation party that his foster family held for him and realized that we, “the system”, had it wrong. By the federal and state government standards of “permanency”, we failed this youth. His record will join the statistics of “ageing out of care.” What those numbers don’t capture is a family and church community that loves this young man and supports him today and in his future. The gathering held an intimate circle as they sat him in the middle and each person spoke about their care and commitment to this young man and their hopes for a joyful life. What I witnessed is family in action and I was reminded again that family formation is diverse and not created by birth certificates or court papers.
Take some time to reflect on what family means to you, how it may have changed over the years and who is part of your “tribe.”