If there is a such thing as a home away from home, then there is certainly such a thing as a family away from family.
Recently I have been missing my family quite a bit as I am sure any American does around the holidays. It is not easy being all the way across the world alone knowing that you should be with your family eating Thanksgiving dinner. On top of that, feeling selfish for being that far away. You know it is all your decision, not theirs, and yet you have to put the distance between yourself and them. It is a real tug of war.
This week however has shown me that family does not always have to be blood related. The Tsai family and Chen (who will not allow me to share her picture online!) opened their hearts to me for one week and instantly I knew I was with family, not just friends. They didn't have to, and yet this whole week was filled with running from this spot in Kaohsiung Taiwan, to that spot, and trying really hard to overcome the language barrier between us.
It did not matter that we didn't understand each other's words all the time. I understood their love, warmth, and caring. The sentiment was plain to anyone around, and was certainly not lost on me.
So I want to say, "Thank you," "謝謝," to the Tsai family, and to Chen, for showing me that there is no replacement for blood family, but there can certainly be additions to it. You will always be in my heart and this will not be the last time I come to Taiwan to see you.