At twenty, most individuals yearn to indulge in spending time with friends, having fun, unwinding, and expanding their social circles. However, not everyone has the luxury of fully embracing their youth. Life often throws unexpected responsibilities onto the shoulders of young people.

For Christy, fate dealt a heavy hand as both her parents passed away within two years. Suddenly, she found herself thrust into the role of caretaker for her seven siblings, the youngest being only four years old.

Following their mother’s passing, social services intervened, proposing to place all the children in orphanages. Christy’s heart raced with anxiety at the thought of their separation. Where would they go? How would they fare? Where could she possibly find them all again?

After careful consideration, she made a courageous decision: she would become the guardian of her siblings, pledging to keep them together no matter what. Fortunately, local authorities took notice of Christy’s determination, and the guardianship agency granted the family six months to prove they could live independently under the care of their older sister.

Christy found herself compelled to abandon her college education and work remotely from their rural hamlet. Tasked with managing the farm, milking cows, and ferrying her siblings to and from school, she also took on the responsibility of cooking, cleaning, and laundering while her siblings were occupied.

Six months later, social services revisited the family. They confirmed that the family was being well-cared for, with everyone properly groomed, clothed, and nourished, and the house maintained in an orderly fashion.

Christy successfully delegated tasks among her siblings, with each having their responsibilities: one of the boys took charge of feeding the cattle, while the girls helped in the kitchen, hung laundry, and swept.

Despite their efforts, they faced challenges with water supply, requiring Christy to trek several kilometers to a spring for water. Upon learning of this, local authorities took action, installing a water line to their residence, transforming their situation into a genuine relief and easing their burden significantly.

Artem, the next eldest in the family, pursued education at a technical school, a decision supported by Christy as she took on the responsibility of overseeing the younger siblings. During Artem’s weekend visits, he engaged in tasks traditionally associated with “men’s work”: repairing, nailing, and fixing various items around the home. The state also assisted, with Christy receiving an allowance for the younger ones.

Despite the challenges, Christy persevered, often seeking solace from a neighbor in moments of overwhelming hardship. Though she sometimes finds herself in tears, Christy quickly composes herself, knowing she cannot afford to give up. Deep down, she longs to experience the carefree life of a young woman, to go on dates and attend discos. However, her devotion to her family remains her top priority.