Although I have a great family that I was brought up in, I do have a second family.  As I’ve mentioned before, I live with 4 others. 3 other wolves, and one good friend.  The way we met up was very strange to me.  Hal was the first of my new family that I met in person.  I had only met him on a therian site 4 months prior to meeting face to face.  I was 18, and still in high school at the time.  I was in band, and we were taking a trip to disney world. I learned that Hal lived very close and was willing to meet up.  To me, this was a very safe way to do this.  I would be with friends, and have an adult present if things went sour (not that I wasn’t confident enough to handle myself, but authority figures are always a plus).  So Hal and I planned ahead, and I gave him the itinerary for the trip.

The day came when we met.  I was enjoying myself.  Me and a group of friends just got off the haunted mansion ride, and I had a text from Hal that he was waiting at the exit.  I’d seen pictures of Hal, and told him I was wearing a wolf shirt so that he would recognize me.  I was off the ride, walking and looking around.  I spotted a guy in a black hoodie.  I wasn’t completely certain if it was him, but I kept staring.  The stare turned more into a glare for some reason.  As I passed by him, I got up and started walking.  My group ended up stopping at a nearby vendor, looking at different things to buy.  I kept watching this guy, unsure if it was who I thought he was.  Finally I found my common sense and sent him a text message.  Right as I sent it, he approached me smiling.  It was Hal. The trip went great.  My friends liked Hal, and there wasn’t too many questions asked about how we knew each other.  We didn’t get a chance to talk about anything wolf related because of everyone around us, but there was generally a different feel to him.  Could have just as easily been in my head as well.  Regardless of that, it was a great time for all of us, and Hal even got a huge group hug from everyone on the last day.

After the initial meeting with Hal, we began talking more.  The two of us already had other therians’ contact info and spoke to them.  Hal began introducing me to others he knew.  I was introduced to Miles on a phone call I had with Hal.  The two of us a had a very quick “click” and got along great and began talking on a more regular basis.  Soon we began showing interest in not only meeting up, but also living together so we could pursue this and support each other in it.  We started planning for a fun meetup/vacation in Colorado that summer after Hal and I had met.  It would be tricky for me since my parents still knew nothing about them, or what I was trying to do.  So it would be difficult to explain why I would be doing this, but I would stick by their own words that being 18, I could make my own decisions.

I’m not entirely sure when BB came into the picture, but I remember Hal saying something about him having a partial shift, and needing help with them because they started happening on their own.  So we then included him in our plan, as well as a friend of Hal’s from Germany, Demitri.  The meeting came up soon, although I ended up a couple days late because of dealing with family.  I didn’t quite have my own vehicle at the time.  My parents went to a dealership that was a good two hours away where I had family.  We were going to visit them for a little before they did their looking around for a car.  My the fate of me going to meet everyone was left up to whether or not they bought a new vehicle.  It ended up going well, although on the way to the dealership, my parents played 20 questions with me and demanded info about each person (I didn’t tell them about Demitri because I know a guy from Germany wouldn’t help my case at that time).  My parents decided to get my cousins involved (all of them that we were visiting were over 30) saying they didn’t know these people, and kept discouraging me from going. I held my ground, and answered their questions without saying the real reason why we were meeting up.  Finally, I was free and drove nearly 8 hours straight to Colorado. I was tired at this point, driving almost 8 hours straight, stopping only for food, and gas.  I was anxious, nervous, and ready to see how this would work out.  I was given the address to the hotel everyone was at, and finally pulled into a parking spot.  I got out, grabbed my backpack so I could find the room.  I walked not too far, when somebody grabbed my shoulders behind me. I jumped, ready to defend myself, only to find it was Miles.

The trip was great, we went camping, ate good food and some really cool looking places, and enjoyed getting to know each other. We didn’t discuss too much about moving in together.  I figured this was just to get a feel for each other and see how it would work.  Also during this trip, I found out about BB’s sleepwalking problem.  One of the nights, we stayed at a small hotel that had a large pond with an island in the middle of it.  It was fairly late and we were all relaxing together.  BB started having a strong mental shift and started making lots of growling sounds.  He was laying on his back (on the bed) eyes closed.  He then started getting up and started opening the door.  BB is a big guy, 6′ 4″.  We saw that his eyes were still closed, and did our best to get him to lay back down.  We struggled with him for a while, and finally settled on just following him.  He made his way towards the large pond, but showed no signs of stopping, almost went straight in.  Here we made sure to keep him safe and didn’t let him walk in.  After a while, we slowly guided him back to the room.   When he woke up, he didn’t remember anything of that.

The rest of the trip was fun, had some mental shifts, became good friends with everyone, and figured it would be worth a shot at getting together.  I made my sad trip home, but hopeful for something new.  Even without knowing the plan, I still needed to finish my first year of college.  We initially were thinking we were all going to move to Colorado, but planned on Utah since Miles was already established and could find us a house.  I was the last one to move in because of college, but was able to go visit and see everything  in January of the next year before I moved.  I liked the house and again, had a good time with my brothers.

Finally it was time for me to move, but I was not done with all the obstacles.  I had told my parents already that I was moving, and they weren’t the happiest.  After college was done, I spent 4 weeks with my brother since he was the only one who could pick me up, then spend about 5 days with my parents.  During those 5 days, I was told I was compromising my soul by my dad, and had a huge falling out with him.  This came about because according to him, I was being selfish since my brother had given me his car, (he had been planning on buying a new one soon) and used many different things against me.  In the end, I told him it was my choice, and I was seeing it through.  I was angry and ready to just leave.  I had to wait though, because Miles was flying in to help me drive.  I had to persevere.  Eventually my dad apologized, but basically said that he will be there for me once things didn’t work out.  When Miles came, we stayed one more night with my parents.  They asked all kinds of questions, very accusingly.  After breakfast the next morning,  I moved out with whatever I could fit into my car, and a little less than $400.

It always hasn’t been the easiest, but I made it where I wanted to be.  I have my wolf brothers, who are my family.  We love and support each other, and try to pursue physical shifting and learn about it through each others’ experiences.  I’m very grateful to have them, and hope we can accomplish our goals together.