I'm heading back to Cyprus today and have spent the past month surrounded by family. Our parents and siblings have been constant companions for me during my stay. In my last week in Michigan, I was reminded of how vast my family really is. It's not just blood. It goes deeper.
It's my Lebanese aunt and uncle who prepared a feast for me and my parents at nine in the evening because my dad hadn't had dinner yet and they wanted us to stay longer. It's their two boys who might as well be my cousins for how deeply they've nuzzled their way into my heart.
It's the mother of a high school friend whose face lit up when I got to see her for a few moments. It's the dad who might as well be mine who smiled as if I was his biological daughter when I picked him up at the airport. It's an aunt and uncle who don't look a thing like me, but I know they're mine because I chose them.
Family is being there for a friend because his own family is too far away. It's a comfortable sofa, a warm embrace, a new friendship that feels old. Sure, we're all born into certain families. But family is a lot more than that. It's what we make of it.
I'm sad to be leaving Kitty, Nonny, Mom, and Dad here in the States, but I'm so homesick for my other family on the far side of the world. The moms who have adopted me, the twins with the cheeks waiting to be pinched...I'm ready to see them all. But more than that, I'm ready to see my husband, because no matter what family I choose, it just doesn't feel right without him.