Yesterday, I had the deep pleasure of adding two babies to my brood of “nieces and nephews,” the children of my dearest friends. I don’t have kids of my own, but I do have a brood of children who I love deeply, pray for daily, and try to be a role model for, even if it’s the wild and crazy model that gives them a place to act out while still having parents that define good boundaries. It’s a great role for me.

Yesterday afternoon, I met Jack; he was born 10 weeks early and has already had more of a struggle for survival than I have known in my time here, but he is strong and gorgeous and tough and perfect. I love him already.

Last night, a dear friend of over 16 years called to tell me her daughter Marin had joined us out here in the air. Mom and daughter are well, and Dad was apparently quite amazing during delivery. Brother Symeon will be introduced to his sister today, and his good nature will guarantee that he dotes on her, as every big brother should.

I am so blessed to have these children – and the 20 or so more – in my life. So to Mathis, Ilya, Jonas, Ben, Ella, Molly, Katie, Ethan, Zoe, Ian, Jamie, Henry, Vivian, Anthony, Maria, Ella, Quinn, Chloe, Regan, Jack, Marin, Symeon, and the four new ones on the way, I remind you that I love you, that I’m here, forever your Auntie Andi.

May you all be so blessed to have friends that let you love their children as mine do.