"Don't worry kid, you're family" a close friend of mine once said. He and I have been friends for a very long time and would do anything for one another. After hearing him say that, I began to think that the concept of family could encompass more than just a bloodline...
I lived with a host family during my semester abroad in Buenos Aires. Although we don't share the same genetic makeup, I consider them my family too.
Years later, upon returning to Argentina, I met my aunt's host family and instantly connected with them. We bonded over conversation for hours even though it was the first time we had ever met. They are my family too.
I have known my father's childhood friend for many years. Over time, we have developed a strong bond and he has become a father figure in my life. He too, is family.
Through life experience, I have expanded my definition of family from solely a genetic perspective to one that includes connection as well.