Happy 18th anniversary to my Mom and Dad! However, we’re not talking wedding anniversary. On Friday, April 2, 1999 at 4:30pm I moved in with my parents. Yes, I know the exact time. I’m neurotic like that.
My life actually changed two weeks prior this, when I met them for the first time at their home.
One of my many caseworkers said he had a family he thought I would be perfect for. I still can’t quite tell you what that means. How do you know an eleven-year-old girl is perfect for a family?? I didn’t feel good enough for my “real” family, why would someone else want me? We haven’t even met yet! (Read my thoughts on the term “real” here.)
We drove up a windy road, lined with a creek and tall trees. This first trip up I learned exactly how car sick I’d be daily. We eventually pulled into a postcard scene after what felt like forever. I think this could be home. This would be home. I was already told next Friday I was sleeping over and the following Friday moving in. Yikes!!
Sadly, I cannot remember exactly what happened the first time we met. I was excited for something new, but anxious about what that meant. I’d moved so many times-rotating through family members and friends-I didn’t let myself attach to the thought of moving in with someone for good. As I’m writing this I realize I’m not using the word “live.” I guess because that didn’t exist for me.
I remember the excitement of where they lived. I love exploring, hiking, and being outdoors. Home is on thirty acres of open pasture (formerly filled with horses), surrounded by a forest and a small creek running into the already mentioned bigger creek. They had two playful dogs, one that I immediately made mine. Connor, a border collie that had a similar upbringing to me.
What I can remember are 18 years of feeling love and support, even during my darkest times. These two never, not once, abandoned me. My freshman year I went bat shit crazy (I’ll eventually do a full post on this)-taking it out on my mom the most, yelling, acting out, cutting, and running away. I don’t know how two people after having a child for only a couple of years could handle that, but they did. They knew I needed help immediately, which meant I moved into another foster home while I waited for an evaluation and treatment. They were STILL there, coming to visit me and pressuring my caseworkers to ensure I received help. I was cold to them even then, I thought in the end they would leave like everyone else. But no. I still have them and I am beyond lucky I can say that to this day.
Most of the woman that I am today is because of these two. My work ethic, my compassion for others, my desire to have a peaceful romantic relationship, my OCD, my fear of balloons (talking to you mom), my love of good clothes, my socializing sometimes ridden with anxiety, and more.
So cheers to many more years of unconditional love, support, and memories. I love you both tremendously and I just hope you know how grateful I am that you took a chance on me.
Ps. Thoughts on doing an interview video with my parents? I’ve shared so much of my story I thought it could be interesting to hear their point of view. Would you like that?