What does it mean to be a part of a family?
Family does not necessarily mean people related by blood. Family can be any group of people who are devoted to each other, loyal to each other, who take care of each other, and who support each other. People who choose each other, and keep choosing each other, over and over again.
I had never met either of the two women in this photograph with me until this weekend. Knowing them online for almost a year had let me know they were special, but the #InstillingStrength2015 conference allowed me to feel that specialness in person.
When our flight from Kansas City was delayed by three hours, Jenn and Cheryl were out of luck. There were ZERO hotel rooms in Kansas City at that moment, there were ZERO flights leaving the airport, and there were ZERO options for food in the airport. (ATLiens, it was legit terrifying. No bodega, no newsstand, no fast food, no restaurants. Seriously. Otherworldly.) We didn't know what we were going to do if the plane didn't get fixed. But all those zeros still added up to something, and that something was family.
Although they missed their connecting flights, they were able to find some in the morning out of my native Atlanta. That just left one problem: finding a place to crash until the wee hours of the morning.
Because of the family that ProDoula created, these two women nestled under an heirloom quilt in a nice cozy bed in the downstairs guest room of our home. They were safe and they were cared for and they were loved. Because that's what family does.
ProDoula is the best organization for teaching people to care for families because we ARE a family. For me, the conference was a family reunion.