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A long-distance family reunion 5 years in the making

How it started

The wait for this family reunion is almost over! All the fundraising, waiting out a pandemic, planning, and pivoting are ending. Our journey to unite these cousins began in 2018 and was initially set for September 2019. Five Scottish cousins were to come over and meet two American cousins for the first time at Disneyland. We called our mission: Stranger Cousins and it was to be the family reunion of a lifetime.

Park tickets and hotels were paid for with money fundraised throughout the year. Sadly, there were problems with passports on the Scottish end of things, so tickets and accommodations were refunded, and the hard-earned money was set aside. The reunion was postponed in a very sad way.

Then, 2020 happened.

We waited.

Two more stranger cousins were born. (Hi Brody! Hi Rocky!)

Now it’s 2023 and the whole reunion has been turned on its head but it’s happening!

How it’s going

In August 2022, the family experienced significant trauma when we were all already struggling with different aspects of our relationships.

A few hours after driving to Wales from Scotland to visit with the oldest Stronach sibling and his family, our dad went into cardiac arrest. He received 9 minutes of CPR from our mum until the paramedics arrived. Then, they strapped a LUCAS device onto him for 40 more minutes of CPR, and eventually got a weak heartbeat. From there, he spent 16 days in a coma, contracted sepsis, and was transported back to Scotland by ambulance. Once in Scotland, they took him out of the coma, kept him in the cardio ward for care, and put in a pacemaker before sending him home.

He’s home and has a traumatic brain injury. He looks great but has no short or long-term memory. In a way, we’re strangers to him now too.

The trip we planned for these cousins to meet for the first time is now an official family reunion. Instead of some Scottish cousins coming to meet us, we’re heading across the pond to meet all of them plus aunts and uncles my girls have never met in person with the bonus of seeing Granny and Papa in person and hopefully being able to be helpful to them while we’re there. We also have an epic road trip planned to meet up with MY cousins too.

Of course, we still plan to have a Disneyland trip, but for now, we’ve pivoted and I’m going home for the first time in 13 years.

Join the family reunion with us!

There has been so much support and cheerleading for these cousins to meet that although the plan has changed, we couldn’t NOT share the first stamp in my girl’s passports with you.
We’re excited to kiss the faces off all the cousins but first, we need to figure out how to pack all the gifts and goodies we want to spoil them with!

Follow the Stranger.Cousins Instagram feed to see what’s happening.

We have 2 weeks together and a lot of catching up to do!

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