Defining My Own Family

Apr 21, 2017

A Rockford-area organization has, for several years, been active in promoting families, and that's a good thing. What isn't good is its insistence on narrowly defining its idea of a family -- a married man and woman and their children.

Some organizations, often with "family" in their name, seem obsessed with their own idea of what they call a "natural" family and will often put derisive quotation marks around the word when commenting upon those which don't neatly fit their traditional religious views.

Yet grandparents, foster parents and, yes, single parents have led and nurtured families with the same degree of love, support and devotion as their married counterparts.

As a single parent, I knew I would be in a minority. As a single adoptive parent, my uniqueness stood out. But the family I formed was no less legitimate, no less real, and no less natural than any others.

Eventually, my son would marry and begin a family of his own, blessing me with two wonderful grandchildren and a loving daughter-in-law.

I realize that some of you might see this as something other than a real family, and I probably could never convince you otherwise. But I'm willing to make a deal with you: Don’t put quote marks around my family, and I promise I won't put them around your faith.

 I'm Jim Kline, and that's my perspective.