About our unconventional family

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Luísa and I are living away from out blood family since my pregnancy. While my folks thought I was crazy to have the baby ¨all by myself¨, they didn´t know that I actually count on a big family, my unconventional family.

I have a few amazing friends that I can count on for anything, even things most people would ask only their family members. If I ever needed to borrow money, a month living in their home, someone to take me to the hospital, hold my hand for a week and then pay for the bill, they would be there.

In fact, when I gave birth to Luísa, one of my best friends was there holding my hand. Her boyfriend was taken by the hospital crew as the father and was congratulated by all the nurses (one of them asked him how he could deal with having two women, one having a baby and the other giving support). My blood sister flew in to help me for two weeks (a life-saver).

Luísa´s fathers

Luísa´s biological father lives in another state. Our story together was very short, only three months dating and when I found out I was pregnant, we weren´t together anymore.

I moved back to our town in the Northeast of Brazil and he came to meet Luísa when she was four months old. He stayed for six months and in that time we dated again for another while. He was very close to Luísa back then but long story short, he left and never called us ever since.

I made it clear back then that whenever he realized what he was doing that the doors would always be open for him to be her father, even if that took years to happen.

Although he never calls, his grandmother does sometimes and his mother is also very interested in her grandchild. Luísa´s great-grandmother would call and cry on the phone every time, saying how much she wanted to meet Luísa. I invited her and all the family to come and stay with us, but they never did. So back in July, 2010, I decided it was better we went there to meet them (besides visiting my friends).

We met Luísa´s blood grandmother, two great-grandmothers and her father again. Unfortunately he only came to visit Luísa like three times and spent only ten minutes or so, which was obviously not enough for them to connect.

His mother, on the other hand, spent a whole day with us on the beach and came to see her a bit more. They could connect.

Despite her biological father not being around, Luísa can certainly count on a real fatherly figure.

Luiz, Sandra and Vitor (their son who is Luísa´s age) are our neighbors back in Brazil. We are good friends and we are always hanging out.

When Luísa and Vitor started to speak, she would do like Vitor and run to Luiz saying ¨Daddy, daddy¨. Later on, when Luísa would see him and say ¨That´s daddy¨, I would add: ¨Yeah, that´s Vitor´s daddy¨. And so she learned to refer to him as ¨Vitor´s daddy¨ (but she still calls him daddy sometimes).

I´m really thankful that we have these friends to influence Luísa´s life. And Luiz is a great fatherly figure for her to be around.

Luísas grandmothers

Luísa´s grandmother on the father side lives in a far away state from us. We only met her that one time and my mother is dead.

This hadn´t prevented Luísa from having a real and loving close grandmother.

That´s my friend Cláudia. Since she is older and have children that are my age, when I had Luísa we agreed that it would make sense that Luísa called her grandma. This took on to her being a true grandmother, giving Luísa lots of love and attention.

We visit each other often and we all enjoy this unconventional bond (not less real than a blood bond, I´m sure).

My blogging buddy Jenna knows well the joys of an unconventional family too, she just wrote about her daughter´s few grandparents and how thankfull she is for them. Unconventional grandparents are the best.

Luísa´s brother

I like to see Vitor as her brother. They spend a lot of time together playing and fighting. His mother and I take turns to drop and pick them up at school and we always drop them at each other´s houses when we need. There is another best friend of mine with a son, that I like seeing as another little brother for her. I think this is like exposing her to a bigger family.

I do think that sticking to the blood family and making them the only people you think you can really count on is really limitating. It reminds me of private property somehow.

My blood family

My ¨real¨ family lives in São Paulo very far away from us. We love each other and have a good relationship and we see each other once or twice a year. I have a father, a brother expecting a baby, and a sister with a little girl.

We are all one big family

This article was originally posted on Tripping Mom by Marilia Di Cesare on January 31, 2011. Republished with authorization. Click here for all other posts.


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