If you are lucky, you come into this world with a mom & dad awaiting your first breath. You are even more lucky if you have grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings also anxiously awaiting. It's bonus when all those people have other people waiting to meet you.
If all of the above is true - consider yourself one of the fortunate ones in life and go buy a lottery ticket. Although, you've already won the lottery. Look at that start to your life.
Then family changes. I'm not talking about divorce. I'm talking about marriages.
You grow up, you fall in love, you get married. (No need to discuss heartbreaks at the this junction of the story). You now have more family. It's funny a piece of paper determines that some stranger is now your family. And not only is this stranger your family, their family is now your family.
Mom, Dad, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Siblings, Cousins, Husband/Wife. Family. Now let's add in the fact that divorce effects over 50% of all marriages. Boom! You just doubled your family. Not halved - chances are mom/dad will get remarried. You then have more 'family'.
What about all the people along the way whom you have no "legal ties". Nothing that officially states they are family?
Friends are the family you choose.
The first person you would call in the middle of the night when you have something good/bad/silly to share. The person whom taught you how to drive a car. Gave you your first drink. Took you to your first concert. R rated movie. Held your hair back when you were throwing up. Was at the hospital when you were born - or they were there when your first son was born, before anyone else. Picks you up at a train station in the middle of a foreign country. And possibly even broke your heart. The person whom loves your kids as if they were their own. AND taught your kids how to drive a car. Or shoot a gun.
There are no titles for these people in our lives - we tell people "they are friends". Aren't they family too? Yes, they are also strangers whom we have changed into family. We just don't have any blood or paper to tell us they are family
And life starts out with one family; then you add another. THEN if you are really lucky, you add more people to your family and it looks quite different from the family you thought you had. In fact, it looks so much fuller. What a great view.