What makes a family?

Back in May, I wrote a post, found here, about familial bonds and that ever popular phrase, “Blood is thicker than water.” Recently on facebook, one of my friends posted a status about this subject and it got me thinking about it again. In her status she essentially said that she is beginning to feel that water may just be thicker than blood, at least in her own personal relationships, anyway. So, my thought now that I am married and have acquired a new family member is this:

392534_437792662902630_100000157001782_1787913_1339968661_n2If blood is truly thicker than water, how do we explain what our spouses become to us? Or even an adopted child or a best friend?

It’s a good point, right? I mean, here we are putting such value upon our blood bonds to people when the person we have chosen to share our lives with, in every intimate detail, is in fact, a water. Or those children we’ve invited into our homes when they didn’t have one before, or the friends that become so essential to our everyday lives that they areIMG_7279 now our brothers or sisters. Perhaps we should reevaluate this phrase so that it can encompass all of our family, both chosen and not, because the heart doesn’t love based on familial bonds. We love because of who people become to us in our lives, which reminds me of conversations I’ve had with other people in the past on this subject. Several of my friends have never been able to look past the “blood” aspect where I am concerned, even when I have been just as essential to their lives as any family member should be. When asked why I am not considered (and often, treated) like a true member of their family, I have been given the reply, “oh, I love you, of course…but you’re not blood. It’s different, you just wouldn’t understand.”

friends-are-familyWHAT?!?! Me, not understand?! How is that even possible when I, too, have blood family? But the answer is right there, in the underlying crap of a response I am being given, they are saying, “We care about you, just not as much as those we were born caring about.” Merriam-Webster defines the word family in a similar way where bonds beyond those in our genetic makeup are not really mentioned. However, in a part of the definition it says, “a people or group of peoples regarded as deriving from a common stock : race.” So, does that mean that all white, black, asian, latino, etc. people are related? If so, shouldn’t that be the first part of the definition? And, on top of all of this, if we wish to get 286119382546768694_nh02T1q6_beven more technical, which I love to do, wouldn’t it be fair to say that even interracial people are then related to us all and that a white person could have had a black great-great-great-great..whatever hundreds of years ago? Where do the questions end? Why not just make it more simplistic by expanding our small minds and allowing those non-blood related individuals into the fold, for real? Will it really hurt you overall? The answer is, no it will not. In fact, you will be making your friend, child, spouse, or spouse’s family very happy and you, too, will benefit from this outpouring of love. Giving more love creates nothing but more love, which should be everyone’s goal anyway, with the added bonus of giving a family to someone who perhaps never felt they had one in the first place. That, my dear readers, is a very worthwhile reason in itself. So, if you or someone you know is shunning others from being in their “blood family” take a stand right now! For yourself, for them, for all of us who have been uninvited waters!

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