Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Multi-racial and extended families

Originally published on MySpace, Aug 29, 2006

Current mood:happy

"Friends are family we choose for ourselves"

I am starting this blog with that quote because it's the God honest truth for our family. I have blogged about my family before, but it's time to revisit the subject as I have many new friends and you all know how much I like to talk about myself and my family.... (can't believe the smiley worked!!)

We have a diverse family here in our Utah home. My husband and I have two daughters, one of which currently lives at home with us and attends high school. Our other daughter remained in Seattle when we moved and fnished her final year of high school. She will be moving here the end of September - Woot Woot!!! (happy dance happy dance!)

When we decided to move to Utah we had to make a decision as to what would be best for my (then 84 years old) mother. She was living in assisted living apartments at that time and was just getting to the point that she needed more assistance than that particular complex offered. If we moved her to another area complex in Washington she would not have had much company as I had already moved her nearly 100 miles away from the town she'd lived in for years. She had the choice to stay there, but there was never really a question of her not moving with us.

The plan was to find another assisted living complex here in Utah that would provide a greater level of assistance. Once we got here and realized that she could adequately navigate our new home, we decided to keep her with us. Bless my husband and kids as it is a decision that affects all of us. And God , while you are blessing them, please give me another dose of parental patience!!!

My husband moved to Utah three months prior to the rest of the family. While we were trying to sell our Seattle home and pack and discard, we were also concerned with the welfare of a very dear friend of ours, Harriett. Harriett was the infant care giver when my children were in daycare. She was literally the first person they bonded with outside of our own relatives. She became and remains a close friend, family member, and second mom to my daughters. And just to relate this to the multi-racial title, Harriett is African American.

Harriett had lost her job around Thanksgiving the fall before we moved. She lived on her savings through that period of time. Although we encouraged her to seek unemployment assistance and offered to help her obtain it, she always refused. That is the kind of woman she is. I was nervous when it came to telling her we were moving, but it wasn't until much later I realized how much it affected her. From the very git-go we invited her to move with us.

In May 2005, when I returned to Seattle from a Utah house hunting trip Harriett was one of the first people to call me. She asked me if we found a house this time and I responded, "Yes. Are you coming with us?" You could have pushed me over with a feather when she said, "Yes."

So, along with a dog, a cat, and later a bunny, that is an introduction to the members of our household, the people I call my family. It's great when you have loved ones to watch your back!

- Mark - Betsy - Alyssa - Krissy - G'ma - Harriett