Many have said that “blood is thicker than water,” but humanity, in its finest moments — has proven otherwise.
Successful adoptions have shown that biology plays a miniscule role in the connection that is fabricated in the constructs of a family.
That Proverbs 17:17 friend that sticks closer than a fleshly brother has proved that blood has little to do with love.
When I came to America, my mother forged a bridge to help friends of friends from Argentina come to America. She housed several people to help them take their shot at the ever so coveted “American Dream.”
At one time in a two-bedroom apartment on Broadway in my hometown Newburgh, mom housed 6 foreigners. We converted the living room into another room.
6 new young faces quickly became family.
We learned how to play billiards. We had food fights, and impromptu dance parties.
6 of them and 5 of us.
Mom has an inborn leader spirit.
She was the organizer of all the family get togethers.
She found several other Argentine families in the area and together, we made a new family, one that substituted the aunts and uncles we were growing up without. Being an immigrant is tough, so finding solace in keeping your culture alive, smelling familiar aromas and hearing and speaking your personal dialect helps overcome the loneliness that comes when you leave your native land.
Despite not being physically related, our holiday seasons were filled strangers that I know as Tios, Tias, and little primos.
In need to keep our culture alive mom’s enthusiasm for friendship molded us into a new family.
Our food, our music, and a little bit of our dialect was able to survive because of these interactions with non-biological-relatives.
When I got older, I came to learn about another group I call family.
My spiritual family. If you didn’t know, I’m one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the love that we share is something rare and special.
My husband and I are a part of worldwide brotherhood. We have experienced first-hand what “love of stranger” really means. Not only what it looks like, but what if feels like.
Wherever we find a Kingdom Hall (what we call our place of worship) we are home.
Despite ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds — we are family.
I’ve learned that family is not who you share a gene pool with but rather those who are willing to stand by your side. Those who hold the same virtues and values. Those who choose to forgive you willingly and freely. Those who hold you accountable when you step out of those core values. Those who will not only die for you, but who will LIVE for you.
Tell me friend, what does your family look like? Who’s faces do you see when you hear the word family?