They say that families come in many forms.
There are traditional nuclear families and step families. Some families have one parent. The courts and society have come to accept families with biological children and families with adopted children.
In the past few years, we have made tremendous progress in accepting families with parents of the same gender who love each other and are committed to each other.
But one beautiful story from Canada shows us that families can take forms we might not have thought of, both emotionally and legally.
This is the story of Elaan Bakht. When Natasha Bakht gave birth to Elaan seven years ago, everything seemed fine. He had ten fingers, ten toes and a beautifully sweet face. But it soon became clear that he wasn’t reaching his developmental milestones. Natasha learned that her son was born with damage to parts of his brain. He lives with cerebral palsy which impacts all of his motor skills.
Because it can be difficult for Elaan to do things for himself, Natasha needed an extra pair of hands. Her close friend, Lynda Collins, often came to the house to assist with Elaan’s care. The women discovered that they made a great team, and truly enjoyed sharing in Elaan’s daily life. Lynda explained it this way:
Since he turned out to have some disabilities, Natasha needed a bit more help than she had anticipated. So I had the appetite to help and she had the need, so I was over here a lot, day in, day out.”
The two women are law professors at Ottowa University, which is where they met. They fought in court for two years before gaining the legal status of co-parents. Now they can rest more easily in the assurance that Elaan will always be cared for. They can share the financial burdens, the emotional strains and the physical stresses of raising their son.
Both of the mothers are single at the moment, but are open to having relationships, and to seeing the family grow. It’s just that they want anyone who gets involved with either of them to understand that they are a package deal.
Families absolutely do come in many forms!
See the video of Elaan and his moms right here.
Featured image via YouTube screengrab.