Sharing blood and DNA is a funny thing. We are brought up to believe that this is what makes a family. You grow up around the saying, "you can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family". You try to make relationships with your blood relatives work far more than you do any other relationships, because these are the people "you're stuck with for life".

For over 20 years, I believed this. I believed I had to change my personality every weekend to fit in with the other half of my family. I believed I had to love this side of my family who mocked me for being sensitive; for having an unbreakable bond with my mum and sister that I could never have with them; for having anxiety and depression and putting down my "different" personality to those illnesses.

And then I finally understood. Whether you share blood with someone or not - if they don't accept you, they're not your family. In the physical sense of the word? Yes, they are. But the definition of a family to me is: people that make you feel like you're home. Safe, loved and respected.

Until I was 21, I had no real male presence in my life. Men were there, but they weren't dependable. And then I met my dad. Yes, I met my dad when I was 21. Not my biological father - but my dad. The man who spends hours listening to my problems, any time of day. The man who attends every hospital appointment without being asked. The man who drives hours to see me whenever I need him. The man who gives me his time, and realises that's the most priceless gift of all.

I hated Andy for months when he and my mum first became partners. I referred to him as Andy for the longest time. I put off meeting him for a while, because there was no way I could ever love this man for taking my mum away from me. I finally met him, and after he left for the first time - the dad seed was planted. This man was wonderful. He was kind, caring, supportive, attentive; this man would be my dad one day.

3 years on and here we are. I have the world's greatest mum and dad, and genetics don't come into it. It's taken me 24 years, but it turns out you don't have to feel trapped - you can choose your family.


  1. Very well spoken Zoe, as someone who has a similar history with my family and not speaking with certain members or just not clicking with others its amazing how many people that aren't "blood" in the conventional sense become family.

    There's a great quote from one of my favourite shows (Supernatural) that i'll share below, thats family to me :)

    "Family don’t end in blood,’ but it doesn’t start there either. Family cares about you. Not what you can do for them. Family is there, for the good, bad, all of it. They got your back. Even when it hurts. That’s family.”

    Josh AKA Beards & Books

  2. ❤❤❤❤❤
    Cora | http://www.teapartyprincess.co.uk