It's not very often that I feel like I'm among family. I was born into a huge Lebanese family, all of whose names I'm still not clear about. I ate family dinner every Sunday and holidays were unreal.
But when my dad died when I was 7, we moved to Florida to be with my mom's family. That family is a family by choice, not by blood. I spent much of my childhood assuming they were my blood relatives and when I learned that they weren't, it didn't change my love in the least. But it did change my perspective.
Since then, I've gained an entirely new family: the Cohens. They are all incredibly accepting and very lovely to be around. But again, they are still not my blood relatives.
This past weekend I spent 3 days with my mom, her sister, and my 2 cousins. They are all blonde-haired and blue-eyed; I look more like my cousin's boyfriend than like my actual family. But despite looking nothing like them, I felt more at home, more comfortable, and more safe than I have in a long time. I was loud, I belched, I cracked up, I zoned out, and I napped. And that was just Sunday. There's nothing like family.