I became a father for the third time 20 years ago this month. I began dating a very nice woman with a daughter who was a junior in high school. Now, not everything lasts forever, but by the time we said goodbye, the daughter was in grad school and had become my oldest child.
The first thing her mother said in that bittersweet conversation was, "I don't want this to affect your relationship with Paige." And it didn't. She was, by then, well on her way to becoming an Episcopal priest, and, since then, has married my youngest and his wife (see above) and baptized two of my (now) four granddaughters. And, as it happens, she's now my geographically-closest kin, being about two hours away in York Harbor, ME.
When she isn't marrying folks or dunking babies, Paige is busy transforming the world, and has come up with something called the U2charist, a eucharist service that uses the music of U2 to help spread the gospel of mercy and charity, and, specifically, the Millennium Development Goals of eradicating poverty. As you'll see (and hear) here, the movement has spread throughout this country and has extended to England, New Zealand and Hong Kong as well.
I'm not a churchgoing type, and I'm not a big U2 fan, either. But I'm a huge fan of getting to watch a person reach out and transform the world -- especially when it's somebody I'd love anyway.
Here's to 20 more years of voluntary kinship.