My husband and I have long had conversations about the definition of family.
There is a narrow view out there that "family" is a group of people you share blood with in some way.
I grew up in the military community. We had an extensive family in Ontario, but no one in the military, and often for years on end, we didn't even see our extended family. It was just the four of us. A small family. Or so it would seem. But we have a tendency to pick up strays along the way. People just become a part of our family, no blood required.
My husband's immediate family was also four, with a series of aunts and uncles, half-aunts, and a step aunt, plus cousins too numerous to even name. I know I haven't met half of them yet. (I have met the important ones though!)
As we've grown, our immediate family has changed; now we've added our own friends to our extended network of family. Our sons have one first cousin, plus a couple of second cousins (or is it second cousins, once removed?), but they have an extra handful of "aunts" and "uncles" who are equally important to our sense of family. Friends who are there for us and for them and who share our days and weeks, our ups and downs, and who are part of this evolving family we are making.
Sadly, some of our actual family members have become absent too. We miss them.
I know other people go through these things too. All I can say is that we all have family we are born to and family we choose.
I am so grateful for the family that Ray and I have chosen. We look around and talk about this frequently, amazed and humbled.