Graduation Day!

So here's the thing... I stirred the pot a little bit a few weeks ago when I posted my 'Do You Want to Have Kids?' blog. I didn't really mean to create a ruckus. Ok, maybe I did. But, I honestly thought that I was in my own little world of believing in 'chosen family'.

So here we go again.

You know how people say you can't choose your family? I totally disagree. Yes, I have a crazy aunt or two, or seven, and I didn't choose them, but I find them awesome. In addition to them, I've added a few people that I think were meant to be my family.

One of them is Gaby.

For those of you who don't know our story, Gaby and I met in 2001 at the Casa Hogar Children's home in Oaxaca, Mexico. When we met, I thought we were roughly the same age (not even close, I was 19 and she was 12…) because we were fast friends.

We shared a lot of chores and projects together and she helped me with my Spanish every day. As the years went on and she was in high school, she helped Bryan and I with a meal program in the city dump. In fact, she took over delivering meals to the families while we were in the states. All the while, never falling behind on her homework, and always taking care of the girls she was responsible for.

Around the same time Gaby was getting ready to graduate from high school Bryan was looking to launch a Simply Smiles scholarship program, offering a chance to exceptional students to move to the states and pursue a college education. Gaby was the no-brainer first choice.

Five years ago, Gaby moved in with us, and after rocking the intense ESL program (which isn't true, English is actually her third language - not that I'm bragging or anything...) at Norwalk Community College, Gaby graduated with her associate's degree in business last week.  Almost five years to the day from when she arrived in the country for the first time not speaking a word of English.

I'm so proud.

I'm so happy that Gaby and I have chosen each other as family.

My house doesn't resemble a lot of other homes, but those of us who live in it (five people and one dog) know that in our own weird way, we are our own family.

Congratulations, Gaby.