What Is Family? by Rachel

November 15, 2019


What Is Family?

In Little Fires Everywhere By Celeste Ng, a woman named Bebe Chow gives her child away fearing she cannot afford to care for it. Shortly after, she gets a job and is financially and emotionally stable. She comes back for her baby only to find out the baby girl is being adopted by another, ‘more capable’ family composed of a husband and wife, the McColloughs. Bebe is relentless to get her child back. She gets a lawyer and makes the decision to sue the state. All of the attention is now focused on them and whether the name of the baby is May Ling Chow or Mirabelle McCullough. There is a divide between the entire town and it brings forth the question, as a reader, to decide which side you are on personally: What is family?

Family is a word with many definitions. One may see a close friend as family and another will see family as a person that shares the same mother and father with them, and added members through marriage. According to family.lovetoknow.com, a family is a group of people that share a genetic bond and that even having a genetic bond brings a deeper meaning. There are two different types of bonds. There are legal bonds like adoption, marriage, legal contracts, etc. And there are Blood Bonds like common ancestors, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. This source also says that there are nine different types of families. There is the extended, nuclear, complex, single parent, step, traditional,  adopted, foster, and childless family. Referring to chariscounselingcenter.com, family is a word you call those that surround you with care, concern, and love. It also states that some people feel like their closest friends feel more like family than their biological family, so the true meaning of family doesn’t always associate with who you share your blood with.

According to courses.lumenlearning.com, a family is a socially recognized group and an economic unit of society that also forms an emotional connection. To conclude the meaning of what a family is, a family is anyone you care so greatly about in your life and is also someone you would surround yourself and your own children with everyday. You have an emotional connection with this person and you love this person. When the baby from Little Fires Everywhere grows up, she should be able to decide who her family is but should also be aware that her biological mother did not permanently abandon her and still loves her. In the meantime, her family should be anyone who has the best and purest interest in her and her future. 

Works Cited

Featured Image. https://thesayingquotes.com/loving-quotes-about-family/. Accessed November 15, 2019.

Lumen, Defining Family. https://courses.lumenlearning.com/alamo-sociology/chapter/reading-what-is-marriage-what-is-a-family/. Accessed November 13, 2019. 

Mayntz, Melissa. Definitions of Family. https://family.lovetoknow.com/about-family-values/meaning-family. Accessed November 13, 2019.  

Nason, Michelle. How Do You Define Family? Charis Counseling Center. Published May 12, 2017. https://www.chariscounselingcenter.com/blog/how-do-you-define-family/. Accessed November 13, 2019.

Ng, Celeste. Little Fires Everywhere. Published in New York. Published by The Penguin Press. Published in 2017. Accessed November 13, 2019.