Merideth Rose hadn’t seen her adopted family in 20 years, so when she was visiting Atlanta, she mad a spur-of-the-moment decision to surprise her aunt and grandma.
Although they aren’t technically blood, Rose says she can’t even remember a time without them in her life. She explained that they basically adopted her from birth, and that she spent 80 to 90 percent of her childhood with them.
Since she was raised by a single mother with no siblings, this other family helped out and quickly became her family too.
Years later, when her Aunt Abis and her family moved 800 miles away to Atlanta, Rose didn’t get to see them as much. But despite the long distance between them, their bond remained strong.
When Rose and her husband, Michael, were in Atlanta celebrating his birthday, Michael asked Rose when the last time she saw her aunt and grandmother was.
When she said it’s been 20 years, Michael told her that she’ll never know when the next time she’ll be able to see them again, so they agreed to surprise them and visit.
When she arrived at her cousin’s house, they ran outside screaming and gave her the biggest hug. Then it was time to go next door and surprise her aunt and grandmother.
As soon as she walked in, her aunt jumped up and down, ran to her and hugged her.
Although her grandmother is now 91 years old and experiencing symptoms of dementia, she still knew exactly who Rose was and was beyond thrilled to see her again for the first time in two decades.
“Every child wants the feeling that they belong to somebody, and I’ve been so fortunate to be raised by a village of women, of men, who are not biologically my own, but they’ve treated me like family,” Rose told USA Today. “And so it’s such a unique story, it’s a beautiful story, and I’m so grateful for those women, for sure.”
Watch the heartwarming surprise reunion in the video below: