Monday, April 25, 2011

Three of a Kind (Not)

Even though these flowers are the same type of tulip, no bloom is the same as the other. Some of them are more pink than white or more white than pink. Even in a garden, no two blooms are exactly the same. While sharing similar genetic makeup, each tulip is still unique and distinct from each other.

These three flowers remind me of my siblings and myself. All three of us share the same parents, same DNA, and yet we are still three completely different individuals. Although we share some similar facial features and personality traits, we look more like ourselves than each other. Once we open our mouths and share our thoughts, the differences become more apparent. Like these white and pink tulips, my sister, brother and I share the same roots, but even in our sameness, we still grew into different flowers.

People assume that it is our similarities that make us a family; I disagree. I think that it is our differences and uniqueness that form the foundation of our connection more so than shared genetic strands. We need our family members' unique qualities and traits to complement and/or challenge our own characteristics and tendencies and help us grow into the people we are meant to be. It is the blending of what makes us different that creates a family and allows families to be formed many ways including by marriage, adoption, foster care and/or even friendship. Imagine how different our family dynamics would be if we celebrated the differences that bring us together, instead of being frustrated by them.

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