I love you. We were introduced to each other during my prime rebellious pre-teen years and having a new family definitely didn't help. But each of you still too in my too tall, too white, too big for her age, and too picky-eating Colombian pre-teen into your way too way big Mexican family hat for the most part overwhelmed me. I went from having no family to a million tias y tios, a trillion cousins, and a countless amount of love. From the moment I walked into the first family reunion I was showered with "you're so beautiful," "you're going to fit right in," and the one that hit me the most "welcome home."
My new family took me by surprise. I understood so little about what was about to happen. All I really understood was everywhere I went I met new Tías, Tios, and primos. This family reminded me of the ones on TV—loving, caring, and whole—everything I’ve never had, and I yearned got it. You loved me no matter what and opened my eyes to what the American Dream was really like.
My new grandparents took me in like they were there for my birth. I’ve never felt more love. So thank you Abuelita and Abuelito for loving me unconditionally even though you had no obligation to. Thank you for taking me under your wing to teach me how to cook pozole, taco dorados, mole, and so many other amazing recipes. Each you have a piece of my heart and there will be a way for me to thank you.
To the cousins, aunts, and uncles that has the most doubt about me—thank you. You each taught me how to be okay with not being okay. You each either loved or hated me, either gave me a chance or didn’t, but that’s okay because even though it hurt at first, my love grew with each hateful word that was said to me. And what that, my mentality grew. I know now what it means to love and be loved, and I only have a few of you to thank for that. Those who did accept me for who and how I am I love you and thank you accepting this freakishly tall, Colombian, pale skin girl.
Going from a world of a single mother to a countless number of family member was extremely hard, and sometimes still is, but now I know that I have the love of the most important people, and even though we aren’t blood or have the same name, we’re still family. And I couldn’t ask for anything more.