I was sitting at the kitchen table last night, serving myself stuffed green peppers prepared by my host grandmother (affectionately referred to as “Mamá”) when I recognized the sound of Frank Sinatra’s voice echoing through the hallways. At the same moment, Mamá giggled to herself and said to me, in Spanish of course, “Oh how Miguel loves Frank Sinatra.” I laughed and explained to her that I have my own personal obsession with Sinatra, so the music was welcome on my account. She nodded and then suddenly exploded into a burst of enthusiasm, explaining how much she loved this one song by Elvis Presley, as she ran to get her cell phone. As a native Memphian, I almost jumped out of my seat when she opened YouTube and started playing “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” my favorite song by the King. For the next half-hour, Mamá took on the role of our DJ, playing her favorite American songs – from Kansas’ “Dust in the Wind” to the Beatles’ “And I Love Her.” We sang and danced and laughed, and my smile was permanent as I watched my beloved Spanish abuela dance around the kitchen. She sang the few English words she knew and hummed the rest, all the while dancing around our dog and ironing her bed sheets. All at once, I realized how overwhelmed I was with affection for this family, this place, this life I’m living. I spent the first few weeks adjusting to my life with this new family, which is essentially just Mamá, her silent husband Miguel, and our dog who is more like a toddler brother. I was nervous; Mamá likes things perfectly ordered, cleaned, pressed, and organized. She’s completely unafraid of confrontation if she thinks you’re in the wrong, and her opinion is always made known. As a laid-back and anti-confrontational person, I was uneasy around such a structured and strict personality at first.However, I am endlessly surprised by my ever-growing relationship with this little woman who presses her bed sheets and grumbles if the tablecloth is off-center. She has become my safe haven, my stronghold, and my home here in Spain. We laugh until we cry as she recounts stories of pranks from her time in college. We cry until we laugh as we share stories of heartbreak and loss. We peruse books about the archeology and anthropology with enchanted eyes. We discuss political and social inequality with heavy hearts. She is a woman with an incredible past, having grown up in Africa with eight brothers, working as a military nurse, a university professor, and the leader of an organization that develops underprivileged women for future careers. She has friends who work with Mother Theresa, a brother who was a cardinal in the Vatican, and a son who is the sixth generation of Navy men in the family. She has loved, lost, and learned to love again. She can carry more grocery bags than a woman of her size and age should be capable of. Her style is impeccable, and her generosity is endless. She reads me like a book, hugs me when I need it, and serves me extra vegetables because she knows I love them. We drink tea every afternoon and eat dark chocolate on hard days. We share shoes and pictures from our pasts. In just two and a half months, this woman has become my real grandmother. She begs me to stay with her in Spain forever, and we speak of our similar characteristics as though I inherited them by blood. I hoped to feel comfortable in my home here, but I never expected to truly find a family. I arrived in Spain with only one remaining grandmother, and I am returning to the United States having gained another.