A family of strangers.

A family of strangers.

24 hours after walking out of my office for the last time, two handsome, healthy boys walked through our front door.

Smart, athletic and fabulously funny, these brothers quickly earned our respect. And a couple nicknames.

The first two days were about discovering. They found out where to find the good toys and who threw a decent spiral. We learned what Takis were and which 7-11 carried the best flavors. (For the uninitiated, Takis are a snack akin to rolled up Doritos.)

Together, we are figuring each other out.

What makes this new person smile? Where are their buttons? And how do they respond if I hit one?

It’s tough living with someone you’ve never met before. Unpredictable. Scary.

And I’m the adult.

I can’t imagine being the kid. In a new house. With different rules. With complete strangers who suddenly have control over what you eat, when you go to bed, and so much more.

These brave kids seemed unphased our first weekend together. Finding comfort in familiar places we visited and seeking adventure in new experiences we tried.

We all built with Legos, munched on Takis and laughed about farts. We also tried avocados, jumped on the trampoline and went to church.

As we raced through the house during an epic hide-n-seek match, Jonathan showed the kids a secret loft in our den. And suddenly they claimed it as their hideaway. I grabbed carpet squares as they found homes for their favorite toys.

It became their perfect little haven. So perfect that the state might not let us keep it. Let’s just say a ladder is involved.

Whether the ladder stays or goes, these boys will be staying for a good long time. And we will keep trying to find our way together as an awkward new family of strangers.


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