but there are unique challenges that come with kids, having to always put their needs first, having to be at least partially aware of what they are doing 100% of the time. they are expensive, emotional, and erratic. but they are also huggy, giggly, innocent, and all the things that make you willing to put everything aside for them. the littlest is also handicapped, so communicating with her has been a whole other issue. but when she giggles and grabs on to you, its such an example of unconditional love. on both sides. which i might feel stronger than i ever have before. i know i am not their mother (although if i could i would consider adopting them), and i am fully aware that the youngest probably will forget i even exist as she grows up. which honestly doesnt bother me one bit. of course i would love to know about their lives in the future, who they become. on their end i know the relationship may be fleeting, but for the present i consider myself undeservedly fortunate to fill the role of their mother, father, friend, whatever they need. when the children first came into the house i was very worried that some of the other people here might not want to deal with the shared burden of raising two kids. two very emotionally damaged kids. and honestly, it was tough, for the first time since i have been out here i felt really stressed. but everyone has manned up and taken their share of the responsibility. even to the point that now its not an issue at all, we all feel fortunate that they came to us, and couldnt imagine the house without them. i wanted to send them on their way asap, but now the idea of long term care seems like a gift. but its borrowed time, i know.
i heard a lot of horror stories about living/working here. and i can only imagine the difficulties that my predecessors had to deal with. but every individual to come here has been a wonderful addition, like there was a hole that needed to be filled by their presence. thats not to say we dont have our troubles. i am the dominant one in the house, everyone knows what i say goes. im usually so brash and loud, so if i get quiet and serious, they are not just worried, they are a little scared. which is a good thing, someone had to take that role here, and im glad to do it. my word is law in this house, and is unquestioned. but recently for the first time someone doubted the reasoning behind some of my decisions. this is fine, sometimes they dont, or cant, know the whole story, i am usually glad to explain why certain situations go as they do. but this individual was actually putting the house at risk with his actions. so for the first time, i brought out the big guns. i got nose to nose with him and cursed in his face. i expressed so much anger that i was shaking. i ranted about his selfishness and attitude. not that he understood it, he doesnt speak a lick of english. but he got my meaning. i have never seen someone go from belligerent to docile so quickly. the other people in the house that witnessed it were terrified. when asked later, they said that if i had done that to them, they felt they were not fit to be human. but as soon as he calmed down, i explained logically and clearly (with an interpretor of course) the reason for my outburst and the fact that safety is my number one priority here. then i walked it back and told him quite a bit of personal information about myself, why i am here, what i have faced. he was astonished, he had no idea who i was, or really even why i was there (he is the newest addition, and a standoffish male, so we havent really bonded yet). he understood that i could empathize with his situation, that my efforts were 100% for his, and everyones, well being. i then explained to him the reasoning behind a lot of my decisions that he was doubting. i think (hope) that he fully comprehends why he has to follow my word no matter what the situation. we hugged it out, very honestly and deeply. i told him he was my family, and i would do everything i could to secure a good future for him. so even though i had just gone off on him in the strongest way i could (okay, maybe like 80%), we came to a better understanding than we ever had before. neither of us bares a grudge, and we get along just fine.
i have no fantasy that we all have this amazing bond that will last a lifetime. we will go our separate ways as soon as it is possible, and will have little, if any, contact. but when the littlest one comes in to call me for dinner, and we all gather around the table and laugh, joke, talk, emote, whatever, it really and truly is my family that i am with. my lifestyle does not lend itself well to long term relationships. but what i lack in time i make up for in sincerity. whether they know it or not, i would die to keep these people safe. they are my life, my loves, my friends, and my true family. most of them have been spurned or treated cruelly in their past homes. but here, i know that some of them feel safe for the first time. now im not trying to tout myself as this selfless, heroic individual. not at all. the deep feelings i have may or may not be reciprocated. but that is not the point. when we sit down together, we have a bond as strong as any blood related family might have. i am so humbled that i am able to have these relationships, so fortunate as to be even a whisper in their lives. in the past i have struggled with my decisions to never stay in one place long enough to build long term relationships, but this makes up for it all. like i said, its the quality, not quantity. and that they will go on to build their own families in the future makes me so contented. it is a struggle for everyone here, and one of the things i told them is that i understand that we see the worst sides of each other, even worse than usual because of the very out of the ordinary situation we are all in. but that makes it even more real, and more amazing that we care for each other so much. so i can no longer wonder if when i come to the end of my life, will i have ever had children or a family. because i have it now, and to me it is just as sacred as any blood family, and i will cherish it while i have the opportunity.
so for all the people that dont have a loving family, or are worried about being alone, know that there are people out there who will live and die beside you, if thats what it takes. they may not have your skin color or upbringing, but they will be willing to build an amazingly close relationship with you, and share parts of themselves that they would never share with an outsider. and that is honestly more important than blood family, isnt it? because we could opt out of this family if we wanted to. but we dont, because we know that we are the closest people we have to each other. so i am immensely appreciative of the time we have together, and of the people that i can call my sister, brother, son or daughter. even if it is just a stepping stone for them, it is a necessary one, because they would not reach the other side without it. and now it has become more than it being my duty to shelter them, it is my hearts greatest wish to see them succeed and create happy and healthy lives. my family is here, and although it is not permanent, it will be part of who i am for my entire life.