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Like a plate on Thanksgiving day, our family is a mingled, hodgepodge, mix mash of bizarre combinations, misfits and matches.

Myself, a romantic synthesis of cultures and experiences, mixed but not blended. Strong but reluctant, I sift intuition and instinct, seizing upon a flavor without a second guess.

Sara, a boisterous flambé of unparalleled vivacity and fragile taste. Expressive yet tender, she compliments both the savory and the sweet, undaunted by supposed limitations.

Sally, an overflowing expression of sweet, filling compassion. Formidable and delicate, she offers warm comfort, pouring out gentleness in lavish and generous self-exhaustion.

We adopted several children along the way.

Gary, a gay, AIDS victim, nearing the end of his rope. He is out of resources and bitter at losing his independence. Always joking and sometimes inappropriate, not a day goes by without missing Jimmy.

Oleatha and Anthony, the homeless couple with a new home. Anthony is sharp, smart and alcoholic. Oleatha screams and cries and smiles, and has been off crack since she got out of prison.

Ethan and Brittney, 4 and 5, children of Mexican immigrants, their mother may be deported. Ethan has more energy and fun than three hyperactive kids combined. Brittney is sweet, sincere and subtly commanding.

This is our family, a crazy, mismatched hodgepodge. And I love us deeply.

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