What do I define as a family

In order to describe what I define as a family I want to first tell you a little about my own family.

I grew up in a big one. In the beginning it was just the five of us, my little sister, me, my brother and my parents but as I grew older different kind of people would come and join our family. This might sound strange to you so let me explain what I mean by this. My parents have always been loving people, they wanted to do something more with their lives than just raise us and live for themselves. They have a heart that desires to do something for others. So that is what they did. My parents are social workers and during their work they would often meet different people whose life situation was extremely bad. You can think about things such as extreme poverty, violence and abuse. They would always try to help them the way they could, but sometimes these people needed more intensive care. In this cases my parents chose to let them live with us for a period of time. We have had little kids living with us in our house, teenage girls and even a sweet old disabled woman. Our house was always full of people.

A lot of people ask me if it has ever been hard for me to share everything with these other people. My answer is always no. What people often don’t understand is that when you give something away, you always receive double in return. The young teenagers whom I had to share my room with, my television, my toys, my clothes and even my parents, truly became family for me. They taught me one of the greatest lessons I could have ever learn in life. They taught me that whenever I accepted them, I felt accepted, whenever I told them they belong, I felt  that I belong,  whenever I loved them, I felt  loved! They have given me so many joyful memories that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

So in the end, for me family is not only a group of people that are connected through blood. For me family is much more than that. It is a bond that can not be broken, where you accept and feel accepted, where you share things that you do not share with others. It is a place where you feel unity, where you forgive, where you support and respect each other and most importantly it is the place where you feel that you belong.

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