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One Family By Kennedy Rutherford 

While I was younger, about 5 years old my parents got married at the time though I didn’t think much of it. Once I got older, possibly around 9 or 10 I found out my dad was my step dad. I felt as though I was crushed and confused under the weight of the news, and on top of that I was told I had two older brothers and an older sister from my biological father. 
I felt as though my real dad didn’t care for me or any of my other siblings from him and that I was pointless to him, but I never said a thing as not to start an argument. When I first met my sister from my biological dad, I loved her. We often sat around like two cherries on one stem, basically never a part. Soon I was also told that my 2 sisters and my brother from my biological mom had different dads. This made sense to me since one of my sisters didn’t quite have my chocolate complexion, I just thought it was a coincidence. 
This soon perplexed me. During my down time I would often think that me and my siblings weren’t like my friend’s families that had the same mom and dad. This discouraged me like when I got Cs in math or couldn’t color inside the lines. Soon I asked my mother about my thoughts. 
My mother told me that they were still my brothers and sisters no matter what dad they had. This made me happy. I realized that my family is special, maybe not to other people but to me they were. From that moment on I never regretted anything about me and my family, I’m glad I have such an awesome and supportive family. 
Soon I met my cousins from my aunt or my mom’s sister. We got along great, often teasing each other and making jokes. My mother then told me that I had aunts and cousins from people that weren’t even related to each other, this really confused me since I thought that family was a group of people bound to you by blood and genes. 
I soon started hanging out with my mom’s friends, often calling them auntie or aunt followed by their name. Also, I started to call my mom’s friends who had kids my cousins, one of which I am very close to and I can tell anything in the world. My family became more diverse in skin colors from milk to dark chocolate but we never brought up. Never did I think about it more once I began to build my own relationships with people. 
Therefore, within my family I have realized that an American family isn’t a mom, dad, and their biological kids but it’s a mixture people don’t even really have to be related to you biologically to be your family. I now feel like my family is complete and that my family isn’t biologically connected, but our hearts are connected in one beating motion. 
So finally, I really got to appreciate the fact that family isn’t always about who you are related to biologically, but those who stick with you and love you and are there for you not for who looks like you. Now I never have to second guess who my real family is, I know who they are and I know when I add new people to the flowing circle of love my family makes.

© Kennedy Rutherford . All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team through this website and we can put you in touch with the young person's teacher.