What is Family?

What is a family?
Is family a creation of the people we were taught to love and protect that share the same DNA?
Or is it a creation of the people we learn to love and protect?
Is it the comfort you have with the family you’ve known your whole life?
Or is it creating comfort with the family that you have created?
Is it knowing, they have to love and care for you?
Or is it finding out they love and care for you?
Is it limited to one option?
Or is it be both?

    Since being in Ecuador, my perception of family has changed. I have found myself thinking of April —when I will have to leave Ecuador— and feeling sad. Because I didn’t know I would cultivate powerful relationships with my host family, I never thought I would feel melancholy 5 months before I have to leave. I never thought I would be so comfortable with people I met less than three months ago. I was ignorant in not knowing that such different people could have so many similarities. Ignorant of the idea of having love for them- the thought of caring for them was absent from my mind. But, I now know that the relationships I have formed here will not stay here- they will follow me wherever I go. I now know, my family has extended.