- Sam Dad is Sam Estes, my adoptive father. He's the first father I ever knew. He is, in my head and heart, my "real" dad. He died in 1977 just before I turned 12. To my kids, he is a collection of photos and they refer to him as Grandpa Sam or Grandpa Estes.
- Dad is Hal Jones, my step dad. But I just call him "dad". He became my step-father back in 1978. I think I subjected him to many years of just "Hal" before I finally felt he earned the title of "dad". And earn it, he did! To my kids, he is Grandpa Jones.
- Dean, my birth-father. My birth-mom found him for me back in 1986. He went through a period of signing cards as "Uncle Daddy" but it always felt weird to me. "Dad" is a very special term to me. I don't just toss it about. And as much as I loved Dean, he was not "dad". But he was very special to me and I've missed him a lot since his death in 2002. To my kids, he was GranDean.
- Bruce, my birth-step-dad. Ha! Bruce is married to my birth-mom. We jokingly came up with his title a long time ago. But normally I just call him Bruce. But to my kids, he is Grandpa Bruce.
- Mom is Rose Jones, my adoptive mom. She's been in my life as long as I have formed memories. She and I are very closely bonded due to all the early hospitalizations as an infant and our constant communication. To my kids, she's Grandma Jones.
- April, my birth-mom. Although I don't have a solid memory of it, she held me for an hour (I think) before she had to relinquish me. I grew up obsessed with finding my "real mom". She found me in 1985, 2 days after my 20th birthday. She is "April" to me but is much more special than just some random woman. We have a very special bond and I'm pretty much her darker-colored clone. To my kids, she's Grandma April (sometimes "Grape").
Once I gained a step-family, I gained 3 more grandparents. And the cool thing about them was, they treated me like their grand kid. I remark on that because I've seen step relatives in the world that can't bring themselves to make that kind of commitment to anyone outside their family.
When my birth-mom found me, both of her parents were alive. So I gained two more grandparents and from then on, I was one of their grand kids. Again, I find that pretty special. They were never uncomfortable with me. They never introduced me as "our recently found bastard grand daughter" or anything. Hahahaha. Oh sorry. Perhaps only I find that funny.
So Pokemon Boy and Lil'Bro have scads of grandparents, one living great grandparent (although when Pokemon Boy was born, he had 3 living great grandparents), innumerable aunts & uncles and a virtual cornucopia of cousins. They've also met more than a hand full of their 2nd cousins on both my and their dad's side of the family. It's nutty. And awesome. And it never ceases to amaze me: the amount of love and support that God has put into our lives.
I don't take it for granted. Well, not often, I hope. Knowing how blended families and adoption reunions can go, I see my huge extended family as the miracle it is.
Pretty cool. Thank you, God.