Published by Care.com
I became a parent overnight when my cousin Tina* was hospitalized for four months. Her daughter, Ella*, was four years old and had no one to care for her. Tina’s parents had passed away and her ex-husband wasn’t fit to be Ella’s guardian. As Tina’s next of kin and emergency contact, it was only natural that Ella should come live with me, even though I didn’t know much about raising kids at the time.