Unashamed Truths of a Middle Class Twenty Something

I'm figuring it out as I go.

My Surrogate Family

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A year and three months ago, I moved into my best friend’s family’s home – see previous post. They offered me a free place to stay as I transitioned into post-graduation life. It was supposed to be temporary, six months at most. Here I am, a year and three months later, still living in their home. There were extenuating circumstances, but eventually I will stop taking advantage of their never-ending kindness and room availability.

I thought living with a family would be weird; I hadn’t lived with my own in four years. I was an adult. I had taken care of myself. I had paid my own bills. I had not reported to anyone. I had lived with a man for years. What would I do with parents and a little sister?

To be honest, whenever I move out, I’m really going to miss my surrogate family.

I moved in, and it has never been weird. I don’t really know how to express my gratitude. They didn’t just give me a house and a bed. They gave me a family, a safe place, but most importantly a home. Now when I travel, I’m excited to come home and see the family.

For the first time in my life, I can be utterly and devastatingly me with parental figures. My surrogate mama knows EVERYTHING. I don’t know how happy she is with the knowledge of everything going on in my past, present, and future, but she has never stopped asking or caring. She tells me to go to the doctor, to go to sleep, if I’m being a pain in the butt. She worries I’m throwing away a very expensive piece of paper by bartending. If she hasn’t heard from me in a day or two I get a text “Dead in a ditch?” She doesn’t care what I’ve been through or what I’ve done, instead she accepts me, my quirks, my idiosyncrasies, and everything in between.

I grew up with a younger brother, who I adore. I, however, did not grow up with a little sister. A year and three months ago, I gained a surrogate little sister. She is now 17 and one of my favorite people. We are completely different and bicker like siblings. There have been so many days/nights we have crawled in bed together and talked/vented about our days, our boys, our lives, and all the things in between. When I don’t know what to wear she helps. She has a tendency to borrow my stuff without asking, but I actually love having someone to share stuff with. She has celiac’s disease, and so I have learned to cook sans gluten. It was rough at first, but now I do it without thinking! I found a little sister who I love to the ends of the earth. In the two years I’ve known her, I’ve watched her grow so much. It has been a blessing to be a part of her life.

My surrogate dad is quiet. I think it was four months before we had a conversation lasting longer than five minutes. We have bonded over the fact that we are the least picky eaters in the house. His love for his family and guitars is enormous. I have never seen a man so protective of his children; it has moved me to tears before. On my most recent trip he delayed his bedtime to check the air in my tires, as well as give me a talking to about leaving in the middle of the night. I adore his quiet yet stern presence in the house.

They took me in when I needed a safe place and a family. I couldn’t be more grateful for the love they brought into my life.


Author: Midwestern Twenty Something

RaeAnna is a wanderer on a mission; though, she's not always sure what that mission is. Taking on adulthood with a sense of humor, a book, and her dog, she's ready to conquer the world. Unafraid to celebrate her faults or photograph her tumbles, she aims to help people see life as an ever-rolling, lopsided wheel instead of the perfectly manicured and Instagrammably stationary square we wish it were.

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