Family: group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head; a group of persons of common ancestry. Lately the word family has been tossed around a lot and I've found that there are very many different definitions of the word depending on who you are.
Some of us have been blessed with the traditional definition of the word: Father, Mother, Brothers, Sisters and it is truly as God intended it. Loving, nurturing, supportive. But for many of us, this has not been the case. Whether you grew up the only child of a single mother; children of divorce; estranged from extended family for any of the countless reasons Oprah so creatively covered in her 25 years on the air; the definition of family for you may have very little to do with genetic code but more to do with strong bonds and relationships. I was recently struck by this principle while watching popular genealogy programs.
I have become really intrigued by family trees and ancestral roots since I have been watching shows like Finding Your Roots and Who Do You Think You Are and I was struck by the recent episode of Finding Your Roots that featured some popular Latin American people in the public eye. It got me thinking, are breaks in the traditional definition of "family" more prominent in certain ethnic groups? Although there truly is no such thing as the "perfect" family this seems to be statistically true. So where does that leave the human need for strong bonds and relationships? We build our own families with the people we meet and the bonds we cultivate with those who become important in our lives.
I have been truly blessed with the people God has brought into my life. Spending most of my life estranged from my biological father, the Lord blessed me with men in life that filled that role for me and I am eternally grateful to them and for them. Sisters, brothers, I've got them all; people that I can turn to in times of joy and sorrow. You all know who you are, I love you and couldn't love you more if we shared genetic code.