Living in different family settings of different cultures family is said and perceived in many ways. Living in Canada or the United States our family setting usually gets children to be self sufficient. Being independent is a normal thing but not without the support of parents, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents.
Family in French is la familie or Spanish la familia were families are usually big, more nurturing and multi generations live together and think nothing of it. Parents and grandparents can co-raise and tech the children. Respect between the generations is not an option but is required in my experience. A collective family to me has a certain appeal. Is this model perfect and the obvious answer is no. However their is a certain comfort in the love, responsibility, selflessness, nurturing and nature raising of a child. Devoted parents and not absentee parenting. Their lives are centered around faith the people I met but I respected their model of family and how much it meant to them. Quebec and Mexico mission trips and a Spanish church in Calgary helped mature my view of what family can be in different cultures.
The languages of parenting as my parents were of love, servant hood, teaching, faith, education were cornerstones in my sisters lives. We were blessed to have parents who chose us as adoptive parents. Moreover adopting a disabled baby boy who was me. What greater love is that and have stuck by my side through the good, bad and ugly of life. So many families split up when a child is sick or has a disability and my parents were steadfast in their marriage in loving each other and us kids no matter what. So I felt their was always sacrifice which is apart of love for each other in regards to education, health issues, jobs and sharing new adventures as a family. Thank you mom and dad you are the best.
Sports, literary, bible colleges and disability organizations have shown me the discipline or dysfunction can be with the people I was associated with over the years. The life lessons of where a person sets boundaries, assignments, work or volunteering your life strategies and agendas are developed to be successful. Most of all my servant heart was being nurtured through out my adult life.
A new language of family in the beginning stages through my birth mom and her family are being developed, Our ethics, values, love of family, friends, servant hood, education and work ethic align with how I was raised. Understanding where we are both coming from has taken love, patience,mercy acceptance, courage and a kind heart. That is what family does and this experience with my birth mom and her family is a year old and is a gift I was never expecting from God.
So I want to say thank you God for your word and teaching me about what family and love is all about. I am a work in progress Lord Jesus and want to teach me in a deeper way of what family is so I can share my experience with others.
By Ty Stingel
October 20, 2013