What defines family

The Cambridge Dictionary defines “family” as being “a social group of parents, children, and sometimes grandparents, uncles, aunt, and others who are related.”

Seems like a pretty cut and dry definition.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary had a similar definition, “a group of people who are related to each other”, and it outlined that it could include “a group of related people including people who lived in the past.”

Now, we are introducing the importance of past generations in the definition of a family.

However, the definition that I was able to most connect with was the Oxford Dictionary’s. It was not their primary definition that stood out to me, since their primary definition was essentially the same as the other two; “a group consisting of parents and children living together in a household.”

The sub-definitions below the initial definition started to scratch the surface of how I tend to see my family.

One definition touched upon how people are related by blood or marriage. People tend to forget that marriage brings different families together, and it binds people together.

Being related to one another whether by blood or marriage can result in a special bond, maybe there is a unique intimacy or loyalty you share with those “family” members. The Oxford Dictionary highlighted that this idea.

The word “family,” and how it's defined has always unsettled me. I feel that dictionaries tend to inadequately define what a family is or can be.

"Family" is a weighted topic for me, since I am adopted. My family is my family, even though I might not be related to them by blood.

I had a hard time with this concept growing up, but their endless support, love, and continued patience has shown me what the true definition of a family is.

We share a commonality. The commonality of caring for one another and striving for helping each other to be the best we can. Though we might not get along all the time, we are always there for one another.

Growing up I had a very rough time when I came across the definition of family. It made me feel like I was an intruder and the ugly duckling who was a misfit, as a result of not sharing blood.

With time and the help of my family and friends, I’ve come to realize that the dictionary definition of family doesn’t do it justice.

Family, can of course reference those you are related to, whether it is by blood, marriage, and ancestrally. However, you do not need to be related by blood for parents, aunts, or uncles, to be your family.

I know this first hand. I have one of the best families in the world.

To me, a family is any group of people who share commonalities and form bonds together. You do not need to be perfectly compatible with everyone, but bonds are formed and that’s what makes a family.

Friends can become a part of your family, for the sole fact that they become bonded to you or others in your family.

At the end of the day, we are all looking for people we can connect with and share the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Some people are able to find that connection with blood relatives, while others find it with friends or marry into a completely other family. Either way, you make a connection and become a part of a family or form your own.

Know that you have a place among the ducks, even if you feel like a swan in mid transformation. Everyone finds their family at some point. I know I found mine, and I'm blessed with the families I have.