Jessica's Family

 This is my family of origin. I am the oldest of seven children. We are all  grown and living on our own (or with our significant others) in various parts of the world. 

family picture

Standing from left to right: Me, Joe, Jason and Nathan. Dad and Mom are seated in the center and seated
in front (again left to right) are: Annette, Patty and Rebekah. (Picture taken circa 2005. . .it is a bit dated)

Even as we have grown up and gone our own ways my siblings and I remain in touch as much as possible with our own families starting and growing. The picture above was taken just before significant others were officially added and little ones started coming. We don't always see each other very often given our busy schedules but we all know that we are there for each other if there is ever any need. 

Definition of Family                                                       Unit 1

Definition of Family

Family is many things: It includes the people you are genetically related to, the people you are legally related to, the people you grow up with, and as you go through the process of life family also becomes those you choose to be committed to (legally or otherwise) and the people who love you, support you, and walk through life with you. And sometimes (or always for me) family includes more than just the human members:)

For example, my family of choice includes the three dogs my significant other and I have:


       First pictured is Ursula, she is the queen (smart and dominate), next is Dudley (sweet and passive), and last (and most recent) is Daisy who wishes she was the queen (she is playful and busy)!

Unit 1  (My example -using my family of origin)

Cohesion: My family would be considered somewhat separated and somewhat enmeshed. Most of us are living on our own with our significant others and maintain contact but are not daily involved with everyone else. My brother Jay and I would probably be considered the separates or even a little disengaged as we call or visit the others every couple of weeks or so. My other siblings and my parents would be considered enmeshed as they are constantly in contact with each other and extremely close to each other and involved in each other's daily lives.
Adaptability: The type of flexibility exhibited in my family leans very much to the "chaotic" side. While I was growing up, our family would have been considered more at the rigid end of the spectrum. However, due to children growing up and moving away and my father's health problems (he was the rigid leader) my family has moved more to the chaotic side of the spectrum. There are still some pretty binding rules (see Metaphor below) but there is no clear organization or established method for decision making.

Metaphor: A great (if humorous) description of my family would be "A Three-Ring Circus". With so many of us there is always so much going on in so many different directions. Due to the more chaotic nature of my family, the lack of planning and organization means figuring out what is going on in each of the different rings can be a circus ring in and of itself! There is also a lot of laughter and fun going on most all the time.

Boundaries: Our family has fairly permeable boundaries as long as the theme of "family first" is kept in mind. My mom has always welcomed friends to be a part of anything anyone is doing and there are alway extra 'family members' at most events.

Theme: The best description of my family would be "Family First". This is especially true for the members who remain tightly enmeshed, but for all of us there is a sense of loyalty and responsibility to each other. For those of us less enmeshed it might still be true as we use that "Family First" focus toward our families of choice.