After two years of searching, Rachel Scherrer, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin has finally filled the hole left in her life by the deaths of both her and her husband’s parents.

Rachel, and her husband, Dan, had been married for ten years. In those ten years, Dan and Rachel had four children and lost their parents. The loss of their parents was difficult and created a hole in their lives.

“The death of our parents was really, really hard,” said Rachel. Most of the family members who gave them support later became too busy to do so.

Rachel began looking for other options of support and found a Facebook group for people looking for “surrogate grandparents.” The group provides a space for people without that part of their family to search for it.

When Rachel found the group, there were no surrogate grandparents from Wisconsin, but then the Gustafsons joined the group looking to be surrogate grandparents. The Gustafsons’s children live throughout the country and are not frequently in their lives.

The Gustafsons and Sherrer’s got to know each other online before meeting in person.

Their meeting was emotional, Karla Gustafson describes. “She got up, a big smile on her face, and walked towards me, and gave me the biggest hug. And that hug was so genuine,” she said.

There was a strongly-felt connection between the two families as they came together. “I just really believed it, and felt it. And that sealed the deal,” said Rachel.

Now Rachel and Dan’s four children- Ella, Lily, Everly, and Wilder- get to experience the joy of having grandparents in their lives.

“That’s what life does, it never gives you what you think you want, but what you need,” said Rachel.

Jowelle M. is a college student interested in sociology, political science, and Spanish. Aside from academics, Jowelle enjoys blogging, reading, music, and spending time with family. She is happiest when she is working with others to improve the community.