It is hard to write about my family because I worry I am going to leave someone out unintentionally. I consider myself lucky to even be able to say that I am likely to leave someone out. I do not have photos of everyone, so I will refrain from adding photos, except for one of my own family.
In Lebanon, I was raised in a four person household with me being the eldest of two daughters; my sister Dania is 5 years younger than I am. I also grew up with my two male cousins, Rami and Mohammed, who are very close in age to me. I consider their mother, my maternal aunt who is also married to my dad's brother, my "other" mother. My third mother figure is my maternal uncle's wife; she opened her home to me during my college years and treated me like a third child. My parents, my sister and I lived in the apartment building my paternal grandfather built for his sons and so I was close to most all of my paternal cousins; except for those who were overseas and those who belonged to my dad's only sister since they did not live in the same building.
When I moved to the US, my family grew considerably. I was welcomed with open arms to Jeff's immediate, and extended, family. I became a daughter-in-law, a sister-in-law, a cousin-in-law and a granddaughter-in-law. Every time I visit the family in Seattle, or the family in Minnesota, I feel like one of their own.
Then, I got married and Jeff became my family. For five and a half years he was it; and then Jannah-Rae was born and I became blessed with an even bigger family. With Joseph Ramez's birth we became complete.
I also have a small group of friends who I cherish dearly and consider as "family;" they know who they are! They are the ones who come into my house and make themselves at home. They are the ones I connect with on very rare occasions but every time we talk it is like no time has flown by. They know who I am and I know how they were. They come to my rescue when I least expect it, and without my asking.