What makes someone family?

“Nine years ago today I rushed to the hospital to wait for my first nephew to be born. He wasn’t technically my nephew then, and he isn’t ‘technically’ my nephew now. But I will never forget what his mom said to me ‘You will always be Aunt Dayle!’ . . . I adore that child regardless of legal titles . . . So Happy Birthday to my first nephew! Love you dearly!”

That was my Facebook status earlier today. It got me thinking about family, and what it means to be family. I have 4 nephews and 2 nieces. Technically, none of them are really my nieces and nephews. Technically, I’m not even related to 3 of them. But blood lines and legal titles mean nothing to me as far as family is concerned.

My best friends for 15 – 20 years are family. The cousins that I was raised with are more like brothers and a sister. The aunt and uncle that helped raise me are more like parents. The foster sister that was adopted by another family, and who I longed to see again for years, is my sister. And my ex-husband’s sister and her son are family. Love makes a family. Nothing more. Nothing less.

I’ve never considered myself normal, so why should my family be normal? I have a sister 25 years younger than me, a 23-year-old sister that I haven’t seen since she was 2 years old, sisters and brothers who are really friends and cousins, nieces and nephews who are . . . oh, forget it . . . They’re all FAMILY!

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