So my extended family finally caught up and bit me in the arse after twelve blissful years of me only being vaguely aware that they exist in some form far away from me.
A recent reunion/wedding sealed my fate, and in a year give or take six months I will be the proud owner of two intelligent, beautiful, sheltered and incredibly paranoid sisters in their late teens, shipped directly from a walled, dogged and guarded compound in South Africa to my backward home in Canukistan, Alberta. My favorite aunt's daughters, see. (Lovely woman, we really get along great. I never expected her to give me her kids, though. It would have been ace if she'd consulted me first. I had the option of vetoing the deal, but the girls are adorable and I won't be harmed too badly financially... and the alternative was them living in a tiny apartment all alone. Now I get to pay for my soft heart.)
I fear for my sanity. I'm a 20 year old Uni student in a good situation, housing them won't be a problem, money isn't an issue given reason for expenses, and short of someone's untimely death they are
coming, but... Well. Meep?
How in the name of any god you could choose to name can I prepare for being the on the spot guardian for two girls who, including and beside the obvious anxiety, are going to be completely and utterly out of their depth?
I'm going to be handed a 17 and 18 year old who have never in their lives walked down a street without fear, and have been chauffeured to and from their destinations past walls and iron gates for as long as they can remember. I know where they're coming from, but I moved young.
It's a doozy, and a very odd situation. I'm not involved in the relocation process and school registration and the like, but I am expected to take care of 'em until they settle down, get jobs and eventually find places of their own to live. That'll take years. I'm certain I can deal with any material issues that crop up, but when it comes to family and living together with people and taking care of them I'm going to be learning as I go. Gosh, even when I lived with my parents I only spoke to them once every other day, even when I was a kid! This is going to be a rough change.
Parents and boarders out there, I'm a low maintenance guy. Outside of a computer, a gym membership and food I don't need much, but could any of you give me an idea of what sort of things I might want to secure to make a pair of young adults feel at home? I've got plenty of room for them, and furniture I can get from auction, but there are other things.
What might I expect emotionally from girls who've just traveled outside of their country for the first time? I won't be their parent, but I imagine that parental sorts of issues are going to crop up anyway. For that matter, which online resources are good, solid reads?
I don't even know what questions I should be asking, here. I'm just scrabbling for all the information I can get. Experiences with family coming from abroad, advice for handling siblings, anything.
I know I'm making it sound like I figure I'm being handed a pair of completely useless dependents, but considering their home situation I'm looking at the worst case, and I know that at their age maturity is relative. If I end up being big brother, I want to do right by them. I won't be completely alone in this, my family lives in the city, but I'll be on the spot every day. This is a pretty scary responsibility, it's not just a case of providing a roof and the occasional hot meal.
Thanks for any thoughts or links you might have!