I believe that blood does not determine who your family is. I do not consider some people family even if we are blood related, but some of the people who are not blood related to me I consider family. I live my life very conservatively when I meet a new person.
My mother’s father left my mom and grandma, I call her Gran Gran, when my mom was 17. I was not born yet and to this day I have never seen or heard his voice in person. I have only seen pictures of him when he was in his mid-twenties. I wish that he would try to connect with us but he doesn’t. He does not care about how my mom and grandma are doing or how I am doing. He wants nothing to do with my family so I do not consider his as a part of my family. He never writes us letters or even sends my mom birthday cards. It is because of his disconnect with me, my mom, and even my grandma that I do not count him as a part of my family.
Then there is my aunt who was adopted, but I didn’t know this until I was around 12 years old. I consider her family because she truly cares about me. When we talk, over the phone or in person, she really wants to know how I am and what I have been up to. I can tell that she is interested in my life and I am interested in hers. She always sends me cards on my birthday and for Christmas and I send her thank you notes in return. It is these little things that are so simple for a person to do that make her a part of my family.
These things affect me in everyday life because I never accept or shun someone the first time I meet them. I try to see how they will act towards me and if they even care about what I have to say. Just because someone is directly related to me does not make them family to me. If they do not care about me then I do not believe I should call them family.