I realized a long time ago, that your family is really the people who choose to be around you. Who choose to be with you. Who choose to support, love, and care for you.
10 months after I was born my mom met my dad. (not biological, but he is my dad). Since I was 10 months old he's been the father figure in my life. His family took me in as their own. It actually took me until I was about 9 years old to know that they weren't actually "my family".
When I was 12, I met my bio-father, the one who's DNA I have. I realized that he was not fit out to be a dad. I realized his family was so different from how I am that I could never be apart of them. They were curt and rude and even said mean things about my mom's family (aka the people WHO RAISED ME). I was so furious, and still am. I cut them out of my life and never looked back.
When I was 8 my dad married my stepmom. They got divorced and she is now remarried. I still call her my stepmom. She has been there for me every step of the way. She let me live at her and her boyfriend's house for two years. She always checks up on me, is always making sure I'm having a good time. She has supported me throughout my life, from coming to awards/shows to taking care of me when I needed someone to talk to. She also took me out for my 21st, we went to a casino with a few of her other friends, ate food, and went to the club inside the casino. I am so close to my stepmom I feel like I can (and do) tell her anything and everything. She's just like a real mom, supporting me, giving me advice, and loving me as if I'm her own.
I have 3 siblings and a cousin who I call my sister. Two of my siblings are half-siblings, and one technically isn't related to me but she's my dad and stepmoms child so she is my sister. My cousin lived with me from when she was a few months old until she was 4. I spent all of my time with her. I always say she's my sister. I have a bond with both of them I cannot explain. My sister and I have a bit of an age gap, but even so, we still make fun of each other, share clothes, and fight. She's my sister even if she isn't blood-related to me. My cousin and I have an even bigger age gap yet we still talk on the phone all the time, I take her out to fun places, and I care for her as a big sister should.
You know a lot of people say you can't pick your family, that is kind of true in the sense of blood relation. But in all honesty, you can pick your family. Your family is the people who you choose to spend your time with, who love and support you, and finally people who care about you. Family is not always blood, it's the people who are in your life that wants to be there. I realized my family consists of the people I love, that love me, that try, and that have been there for me. The ones who stuck around.