Return to Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
Raising 4 gandchildren at 60 - by Melanie
Raising Henna - by Val
Grandma Mel- Raising same grandson 10 years after first time.
Raising two Granddaughters and one grandson
Raising 3 grandchildren
Grandbaby and 2 teenage daughters
Raising two Grandchildren
Kristin's Story: Raising three
Raising a beautiful Granddaughter
Joanne and Berlie:
Raising a Grandson
Arlena from Ohio:
Raising her 10 year old grandson
Rhonda in Baltimore:
Raising 2-yr-old granddaughter
Susan in Louisiana: Raising 5-month-old grandson
Lena in Nevada: Raising Katrina Baby
Papa and Mimi: A success story raising two grandsons
68 and 54 in Ohio: Grandfather with cancer
Cami in Indiana It does get better
Raising 4 Grandchildren at 60 - by Melanie
I am a single 60 year old grandmother raising my 4 grandchildren, ages 9, 10, 12 and 14. The 9 and 14 yr olds are boys. The 10 and 12 yr olds are girls. The 14 yr old has Asperger's Syndrome. They all have the same Mom (my daughter) but the oldest one has a different Dad.
3 1/2 years ago, my daughter turned the 4 children over to their fathers at the strong urging of Child Protective Services due to physical and emotional neglect on her part and the abuse of her live-in boyfriend. The oldest went to live with his father in Alabama, who was in the military. The other 3 went to live with their father and stepmother who lived nearby, about 20 minutes away. I got to have them come visit on a regular basis..every couple weeks for the weekend. Two years ago, I got a call from Dad saying he needed to bring the kids over for the weekend because they had been evicted from their home and moving. 20 minutes later, they were on my doorstep. He never came back for them. The following week, CPS helped me get full guardianship of the 3 kids. Apparently, they were in the process of removing the children because of abuse and neglect. It took almost a year of counseling before they began behaving like "normal" kids, and not the "wild Indians" their counselor described them in the beginning.
March 25, 2012, my oldest grandson's father was killed in a hit and run accident in Alabama. Within 24 hours, he was flown to Michigan to come live with me. His father's family lives in the same area I do. His body was flown back here for the funeral and burial. I have since learned that his father was also physically and verbally/emotionally abusive to him. He has just recently (over Christmas) started grieving. He is so angry and has become very abusive, verbally and physically towards me and the other kids. With the Asperger's playing a big part of it, life in our house has become very stressful. The police have been her numerous times, and we are currently working with a home-based counseling program to get him the help he needs.
I am raising these kids on state assistance, food stamps and death benefits from the 14-yr-old's father. There is absolutely nothing extra to do anything for the kids except things that are free. The same goes for me, so I do not take care of myself very well. I have a group of friends from my Bible Study group as well as a couple neighbors who are my wonderful support system. My health (arthritis & fibromyalgia) has definitely been affected by the stress of taking care of the kids.
I very rarely get a break from them (i.e., a weekend). Mom comes to visit every two weeks, so it's like having 5 kids when she comes. She had been head injured in a car accident when she was young, so is cognitively and emotionally impaired. The oldest grandson's extended family on his father's side (grandparents, aunts and uncles) have not been very helpful. One uncle has taken him a couple of times but has bailed on him more than anything. A grandmother has taken him one time.
My ex-husband and his wife help us out by paying for cable/internet/phone, but only take the 3 younger ones a couple times a year (not that I haven't asked them to do more). They will not take the oldest one because my ex knows about his rage and is afraid of him (poor excuse).
The father of the 3 younger kids had not seen them in almost a year before he saw them at his own family Christmas party, which I took them to. He has since seen them a couple more times and taken them for 1 day this past summer, but otherwise has no contact with them. He has two sisters who have recently stepped up and said they would be willing to take the 3 younger kids for the weekend.
So... all that to say, it is really hard at this age to be taking on the responsibility of these 4 kids, but I love them to pieces and wouldn't trade the experience for anything. I have seen the younger 3 grow and mature and become awesome kids. I know that eventually we will be able to peel away the layers of anger and grief of the oldest, and hopefully he will become the tender, sensitive, awesome kid I have seen glimpses of.
My son and girlfriend announced they were having a baby. At first I was upset but thought perhaps it would ultimately be a good thing. My son has had legal problems and I hoped this would give structure and better meaning to his life. Things did go smoothly for the first few months after the birth of the baby however it fell apart within the first year. I received a phone call from my son that the girlfriend kicked both my son and the baby out of the apartment they shared. I literally picked them up on a street corner. My granddaughter was 8 months of age at the time. Within 2 months of moving in my son left my home leaving me to raise a 10 month old baby girl. Both my husband and myself work full-time jobs and I was desperate to find daycare.
I am truly blessed in my first call to a daycare just down the street from my home was able to take my granddaughter in. I forgot how expensive daycare was and filed for state assistance. It took several months but thankfully I had a very compassionate caseworker. I qualified for both cash assistance and daycare help. During this very humbling process I encountered people who gave good sound advice and assistance. I will be forever grateful to them. What was most troubling was the realization that I could not legally seek medical treatment without parents consent.
Even though my granddaughter was essentially abandoned the parents could come and take her from my home and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I was fortunate enough the parents agreed to give a power of attorney to seek medical care. After the first year of this I inquired about legal guardianship. Once again I was fortunate enough the parents agreed to sign over the child so I could legally seek guardianship. Both parents are in my granddaughters life in a very limited basis as they both continue to have legal problems and drug abuse issues. I find at 50 years of age it can be very trying to both work full-time and keep the house together.To put things in perspective my daughter graduated from high school last year and my granddaughter started kindergarten this year. I am literally starting over. I love my granddaughter and have no regrets but it is not something I planned on happening so,it definitely has it's challenges.
Hi, well my story began when I married my husband. He had a daughter and a 2 yr old grandson. His daughter was living with her grandparents on her mom’s side, because she was mad at her dad. Her grandma was an alcoholic, her mom was a hard core addict and so was her Uncle. She was not in a good place, I tried to get her to come back to her home (she was 16). I offered to watch her child if she wanted to go back to school and or work. She would having none of that. She was having too much fun parting. Our grandson, over the next 5yrs, was moved every week from household to household, to his dads or us or his mom would keep him for a day or two. She never worked, it was crazy, I was always buying diapers, formula, and clothes. She wasn't married so we helped her get residential custody of our grandson when he was 2.
Then when he was 5yrs old, she had another baby with another man. He had 2 kids from someone else that he didn't see or take care of. They lasted about 3 months after the baby was born. I had to buy everything for the baby, to take him home from the hospital because, as usual, she did nothing for her own baby. A boy named Z. I told my husband when we saw him in the nursery for the first time that he would be living with us! He asked why I thought that and I replied, “Well the father doesn't take care of the two he has and our daughter barely takes care of the 5yr old.”
I was going everyday to her house to pick up the baby because she would just leave him in a baby swing in wet diapers. I will never forget how he would smile at me when I would walk in the room. Finally they split up and she left Z with me for a couple weeks. I was taking him to work with me at 5am and she wasn't calling to see how he was or anything. Then all of a sudden she would call after a week or so and act like nothing was wrong. After about 3 months of that we got guardianship on Z and talked to the 5yr old’s father about him getting residential custody. So we took care of Z from 4 months to 3 1/2yrs old and the 5yr old’s father got residential custody. In that period of time she never called or sent anything. Then she called out of the blue and wanted to pick up Z. I was horrified. Z had no idea who she was, I told her no way. Well she had married this man who had a drug history. His mother was giving them money for a lawyer, because our daughter had told her that we stole Z from her. His mother gave them an allowance of about $3500 a month. She never called us to find out what was really going on. We hired a lawyer (who's secretary at the time was our daughters, husbands, moms best friend; we didn't know at the time!) We lost in Wyandotte County. They handed over Z to them without any counseling or anything. Our lawyer told us there was nothing we could do and said there were no grandparent rights in Kansas.
She let us visit Z every other weekend, but stopped that after about 4 months because she got mad at us. She came over to pick up Z that particular weekend when she was mad. Screaming at us, telling us that we would never see Z again! Z was crying, screaming at the top of his lungs, kicking and reaching for us at the window in the car when they pulled away from our house. In reality she just kidnapped Z! That's how it had to feel to him, he really didn't know them, he didn't like them, every time he came over for a weekend he begged not to go back. After about 3 months of not getting to see him, we hired a lawyer. Our daughter made one big mistake and that was she moved to Johnson County! We took her to court for grandparents rights, it took a year and it went to the higher court but we won! We made case history, so our lawyer told us!
I remember when I first got to see Z after a whole year, at first he asked me who I was and I told him I am Grandma Mel, he told me that he is not suppose to talk about me or look at me because he would get in trouble. She put that little boy through emotional hell, because she hated her dad so much, and she knew that hurting Z would hurt her father. She was very viscous.
I hugged him and told him it was ok now. He can look at me and talk to me from now on! That was the best hug I ever got in my life! It was such a heart breaking year, but our lawyer was fantastic! Now Z is 15yrs old. He lives with us again now. She never was a good mom to him. She used Z to hurt her father as much as she could. There is so much I am leaving out from over the years! Thank God we got those rights because she tried different ways to have him taken away by the state, for different reasons, but the counselors all saw through her. I was right there by Z’s side the whole time! He is such a great kid! He has some issues from living with them the past 10yrs, but he is doing well now! I am going to have to get guardianship in court so Z can be covered on our insurance. My husband is retired now, so I am saving the money to get that done.
I could write a book about Z's life. It was really sad, but with the grandparent’s right, we were able to show him that someone did love him and teach him right from wrong.
Cami in Indiana
I am Cami, 47yrs old and have been raising my grandson for 6 and a half years. I wish I would have found this website yrs ago when I 1st got custody of my grandson.
Arelna from Ohio, made me cry, she and I are kindered spirits I think. I have not cried in many years. But I can say that the 1st year that I had my grandson, I think I cried everyday and sometimes twice :) But it has been 7 years since then, and we have ajusted nicely. He is such a great boy and he loves me and his mother very much.
I received custody of him within 6 months of my daughter not returning to pick him up. They ( Mom and Dad) got visitation. And all seemed to be going fine, sorta. My daughter would call and threaten to take him, or just call to make me feel awful, and say I took him. I would just say if you want him back take me to court.But know this now, I have raised him, I am all he knows and I will fight you like you were a stanger till the end. So get your life in order and fight like you love him. She finally did take me to court last summer. And I walked out with Full Sole Custody. I thought she would never forgive me. I wasnt sure I would ever see the daughter that I loved more than the air I breath again. But she has come around, and even said, " Mama, I know my son is where he should be". She made her 1st trip to Indiana to see her son, and we had a great time together.
I just wanted to share that it does get better. If you remember that the most important thing for our grandchildren is that they are loved by everyone. My grandson knows nothing of the court battles, He only knows, that I love him, his mother loves him and he loves us!
and 54 in Ohio
Only worries are my husband who has advanced
prostate cancer and we are waiting to see what and if other treatments
he may need he is 68 . I am 54 and should he become very ill, I do not
know if I could manage financially or not . We are living off
retirement. But I cannot consciously let this child leave. Mom lives 9
miles from us and only sees him when she feels like it or I let her. If
she cannot pass drug test I do not let her see him or take him. She has
really put us through the wringer. Too much to write about that is for
sure and she does not care. Our grandson has Left side hemipareies (mild
form of CP). So we take him to treatment 1 x a week and goes to a
special pre school 2 days a week and then daycare 2 days a week. But it
feels as if we still never get a break. But he still is the love of our
lives, and we would not have it any other way. Special little guy he is.
We have 2 other grandchildren in Cali. and it seems like they get
slighted a little. Whenever they see us they see grandson too. Though I
would do the same for them if they ever needed us. My husband is great
as he is the step grandpa and stepfather to my 2 daughters. I guess I
just want to say . Thank God for grandparents and all these other
wonderful grandparent stories I am reading here. We are a special breed
and our grandchildren are loved and they love us. Even during all the
trails and tribulations. God Bless us all.
My husband and I are 57 and 56
respectively. We are raising our now 16 and 13 year old
grandsons. It seems I'm an "oldie" on this website as we've
had the boys since birth, so I'm pretty much a 16 year
veteran. Our daughter was very young when she gave birth, 15
and again at 18. She lived with us for several years and we
tried parenting the kids together. That never worked. They
stayed confused. Then we tried very briefly putting them
with her when she had her own apartment. That lasted all of
2 weeks. They were "homesick". Of course they were. They'd
always lived with us. Then our whole family just stopped
trying to fit into some type of mold that we couldn't fit in
and we decided that it was best for Papa and Mimi to raise
the boys but for Mom to be very much in the picture. It has
worked splendidly for all of us. The boys know where "home"
is, but they also know and highly respect their mother. So,
there are no bad feelings. It also created a healthy
environment for our daughter to get her life together with
no "guilt" attached and now at 31 she is very happy with
herself and her many accomplishments, and so are we. My
advice to anyone would be to do what is best for all of you
and don't let people dictate to you what you should do.
Every situation is different.
My grandson is a hurricane Katrina baby. His
teenage parents were evacuated after the hurricane and had known each
other only a few months. After the trauma of the hurricane, and in a Red
Cross shelter, they told the volunteers that they were married in order
not to be separated. The Red Cross set them up with vouchers for
housing. Soon after 'setting up house' I got the phone call that they
were expecting a baby. These are high school kids, far from home and on
their own. Soon as the FEMA money and Red Cross vouchers ran out, they
returned to Louisiana. It was there that my beloved grandson was born.
After his birth, and with the new hurricane season approaching, I
accepted a transfer to Las Vegas to get as far away from the hurricane
zone as possible. They eventually joined me here. It wasn't long before
their relationship failed as it was not built on a firm foundation. Las
Vegas sucked the life out of that young girl and she was unable to care
for the young child. My son, barely 19, was also unable to care for his
son; so I took the baby. He has been with me for over 5 months now and
is a joy each day. Yes it is a struggle as I am a single mom with a 12
year old daughter that has diabetes and no medical insurance. We have
lost our home and all three of us are living with a dear friend who has
opened her home to us. We struggle; it's hard but God is good and we
Susan in Louisiana
name is Susan. I am 40 years old and live in Louisiana. I am
raising my 5-month-old grandson. My daughter and her
boyfriend lived with me after the birth of my grandson.
However, neither one of them sought treatment for their
mental and emotional disorders; therefore, I kicked both of
them out. For a while my daughter bounced around with my
grandson, then she started calling me to come and get him
all the time, so he stayed at my house the majority of the
time. However, he was going on 3 months old and had not
received his 2-month shots and she would not sign any paper
work for me to take him. Then came the hardest part, I
called CPS on my own daughter, because she would not take
her son for his shots nor give me permission to take him.
CPS pulled him from her because she was unemployed, had
lived in 4 different places in a month's time, and was
neglectful of his needs. I was given care-giver rights and
this is where the fun part started.
Dealing with CPS became the biggest
nightmare of my life because of the way they handled the case. They
neglected to make my grandson's abuse check-up after they took him from
my daughter; that was done a week later. And, after they called me and
told me what time to be at the doctor's office, without any concern of
my schedule, my grandson and I went, but the social worker did not. On
top of that my foster care worker was so rude and acted as though I was
the one that neglected my grandson. I kept going to the main person in
Baton Rouge over CPS, finally she got tired of me blogging about their
mistakes and the way they handled my grandson's case, that she got the
judge to give me full legal custody.
My daughter and her boyfriend hardly
ever try to see my grandson. Partying and their own needs seemed more
important than he is. She still does not work, nor has she tried to get
help for her mental and emotional problems. Now she is pregnant again.
In a little less than 8 months, I am going to try to adopt my grandson.
Because of the fact that I am on disability and SSI, they will not help
me unless I adopt him. Plus, I feel that he will be better off with me
raising him, which is the most important thing.
It has been really tough as I was continuing my education. I could have chosen online schooling but had already
re-started college right before I got my grandson. He has had various
problems such as colic, heart-murmur (which is now closed), and a few
other minor problems from being premature; however, I have learned to go
without sleep again! But, he is worth every minute I have with him. He
has become the most precious thing in my life. I do not know what I
would do if she ever did get him back.
Rhonda in Baltimore
April 3rd I received a phone call from my son and
daughter-in-law from Arizona. They were worried that social
services were going to place my two year old granddaughter
in foster care due to too many reasons to go into here! I
hung up the phone and flew from Baltimore to Tucson that
next day. I didn't hesitate one bit. I had to chuckle to
myself that I had just sent my youngest off to college and
was relishing being an empty nester and getting to know my
new home! Hello new life! my son and daughter in law both
signed over legal guardianship to me, the judge signed the
papers and we flew back home to Baltimore the following day.
That Sunday morning we woke up to freezing cold rain. I had
no diapers, one change of clothes, no milk, no car seat, no
stroller, NOTHING! But I didn't care, it seemed like
Christmas morning to me. I had that baby in my arms. Before
I moved to Baltimore, my granddaughter spent every weekend
with me and sometimes more. We were close as close could be.
Two peas in a pod together. Monday morning came and after I
got over the shock, we bundled up and walked down to the
only resource I had... My hairdresser! When he opened the
shop door and saw us soaking wet, the baby was laughing and
I was crying and he immediately picked up the phone and
started making calls. He found us a wonderful nanny to help
watch her during the day while I worked. We needed a
pediatrician, clothes, baby items and food, and I have to
tell you the community of downtown Baltimore came together
in full force. Never in my wildest dreams would I expect
complete strangers to help us, but they did. I had only
lived here for about 6 months and didn't even have a bed for
her to sleep in. People came over to clean the house, cook
meals, take the baby to the park. It was and still is the
most amazing community, and I'll be forever grateful to my
hair dresser Neal Foore for pulling everything together for
us. He has become our adopted Uncle Neal! And downtown
Baltimore has been gracious to us. It's been seven months
Arelna from Ohio
have been raising my grandson Brandon since he was 3 years
old. My daughter, his mother, was in a situation that I did
not feel was a safe environment for him at the time. On an
Easter Sunday he came to my house and has not left since. He
is now 10 years old. I have no legal guardianship, custody
or anything else on him. He started school with me and is
now in the fifth grade. I fill out all paperwork concerning
him, I take him to all doctor's appointments, buy everything
that he needs or wants. He has everything he owns at my
house he does not even have so much as a pair of underwear
at his mother's. My daughter will not give me guardianship
or custody. She is bipolar and has no patience with him when
he does finally agree to go visit her. If he leaves on say a
Saturday to spend the night with his mom he's wanting to
come home by 7:00 the next morning. I have had to come home
from out of state funerals because she thinks I have been
gone too long, and she can not keep him. I have been dealing
with her for 7 years making threats of coming to take him
away from me when she gets mad at me, her telling me he is
her child and that I took him from her, etc.. but when it
comes right down to it she would not take him because she
has gotten so used to her freedom without him. She will not
change her life style. I love my grandson ever much but my
stress level gets the best of me sometimes and I find myself
thinking of all the things I could do if he did not live
here. Then I just sit and cry for having these thoughts
because I do not know what I would do without him being in
my life everyday. I know one day he will want to live with
is mom again but right now he does not want to even spend
the night. I think what gets to me the most is my daughter
threatens to take him when she is mad but when things are
going smooth in her life the only contact he has is a
nightly phone call. It is like pulling teeth to get her to
watch him once in awhile or even come to his football
practices. She usually makes it to all of his games but the
practices or fundraising part of his activities she does not
want to be bothered with. She says she doesn't have time for
all of that or she is tired. She is 27 I am 47 with a lot of
medical problems, but I do what I have to do to make his
life as normal and happy as possible. It does get very
stressful when I get my other grandkids because they all
want to live with mamaw like Brandon does or they can not
understand why I buy Brandon clothes, shoes, toys, on a
regular basis and not them. I do not show difference in my
grandkids but I have nine of them and it can get rather
costly trying to buy something for all of them because I
have to get them things that Brandon needs. He is the oldest
out of the nine and sometimes he gets jealous of them
because I will let them do stuff in his room or play with
stuff he does not want them playing with because it his. I
can not get him to see that I am their mamaw as well and I
can not push them away because he lives with me. Does this
Joanne and Berlie
Hello everyone. My husband and I have been married almost
30 years. We have raised 3 grown sons and our daughter is 16
and a Junior this year.
My husband has worked for the same
company for 22 years and is a wonderful human being.I work
for the school system in Child Nutrition. (Lunch Lady) I
have been there about 7 years. Last July I had decided to
take online courses so I could become an assistant teacher.
Two weeks after I started school our 3 year old grandson
came to live with us. He has had a hard start to the first
years of his life. His mother and father are both out of the
picture. Parental rights have been terminated and we are
going to adopt as soon as everything is in place. It was not
easy starting again but I cannot imagine us doing anything
else. The only problem I have had is paying for daycare. I
never had to use day care when our were growing up so it
came as a surprise at how much it could cost. I would love
to tell Damions story but for now he is doing great and has
caught up and passed other kids his own age. We were truly
blessed when this little man came into our lives. We thank
God everyday for him.
My husband and I are raising our grand
daughter Haily. In March of 2004, when she was almost
3 years old, her mother and father (my stepson)
separated. Her dad was barely ever there and was violent
with her mother, although we did not learn of this until
after the separation because he was arrested for domestic
violence. We found out after the fact that he was
heavy into drug use and would even steal the bill money
right out of his wife's wallet to buy drugs and then tell
her that it was up to her to find the money to pay the
bills. Right after they separated, we were very
supportive of him, helping with court appearance and
custody. Within a week of them separating, her mother
met a man in the park and immediately had him move
into her home.
In June 2004 there was a hearing for
custody. Just two days prior to the hearing, my grand
daughter was at a visit with her dad at his mother's
home. While giving her a bath, it was noticed that her
entire behind and hips had many bruises on them. When
her dad and other grandmother did nothing, I could not stand
by and called our local CPS office, who did an
investigation and the mother admitted beating her with
a belt because she was disrespectful. They made the
mom go to parenting classes and became involved. The
outcome of the custody hearing was shared custody, a week
with mom, a week with dad. The CPS office then opened
a case and monitored my grand daughter at both parents
houses. Haily became very withdrawn, would cry when she had
to go back to her mother's home and would always ask
if her mother's boyfriend would be there. It broke our
hearts to send her back every week, but there
was a custody order and we had to return her.
In November of 2004, my stepson
decided that it was too overwhelming to have custody
of her and petitioned the court to give primary custody to
her mother. This knocked visits down to every other
In January 2005, CPS was getting
ready to close the the case as it had been
approximately 6 months and there were no other obvious
abuses against my grand daughter. That was definitely a
mistake. On January 31, 2005 her mother was working and the
boyfriend was taking care of her. He held her hands under
scolding hot water, for what reason is unclear, and
did not seek medical attention for her. When her
mother returned home later in the evening, she and her
boyfriend took my grand daughter to the emergency room.
Instantly the doctors realized that the burns from the
scolding hot water were not an accident. You could actually
see a finger marks of where her hands had been held.
The staff at the hospital immediately called the police and
CPS took custody of my grand
daughter immediately and placed her in protective custody.
She had to spend the night in the hospital and then for the
next two months had to go to the doctor every couple
of days to have the dressings on her hands
changed. When she was removed from her mother and boyfriend,
the boyfriend kept saying that he was not going to jail for
As soon as we found out that she was
taken into custody of CPS, we called them and they
informed us that they could not tell us where she was
because she was in protective custody. Her mom and dad
were then allowed supervised visits within CPS and were
given a family plan of some things they had to do. Mom had
to submit to drug testing, take parenting classes, provide a
home, and leave the boyfriend. She did everything
except leave the boyfriend. Her dad had to submit to drug
testing, provide a home, take anger management classes, and
obtain a driver's license. He could not pass a drug test,
has yet to get a driver's license, would only go to anger
management classes a week before any hearings, and
never passed a drug test. My granddaughter was then in
a foster home for almost a year when CPS approached my
husband and myself to take her into our home as kinship
foster parents. After we came to realize that neither parent
would step up, we agreed because the next step would
have been to terminate each parent's rights and then
place her for adoption. We did not feel that it was fair
that because they did not step up that we would lose the
right to see our grand daughter.
Since she did not previously live with
us, my husband and I had to go through the whole foster
parenting process, which we did. It took us about 4
months to do so and in the meantime our grand daughter would
come and spend Sundays with us. On January 22, 2006 she came
to live with us and has been here ever since.
Her mother continued to stay with the
boyfriend and her dad continues to abuse drugs, has since
had another child that his new girlfriend's aunt is
raising and they will have another within the next month.
When my granddaughter came to live with us, she was so
happy. She continued with counseling and became very
trusting of my husband and me. She then began to talk
about the abuse that she endured. Not only were the
tops of hands burned by her mother's boyfriend, but he beat
her with a belt almost every day, locked her in a closet,
locked her in her bedroom, gave her hot showers and laughed
at her, and sexually molested her. All of this
occurred before she was even 4 years old.
We have fought hard to see that
justice would prevail even though we did not have the
help of either of her parents. I have testified in court and
she has spoken to the judge in chambers. When the case
was getting ready to go to trial, he took a plea
bargain and now is in state prison. During the
sentencing phase of this, the only one that stood up to say
anything in the defense of my granddaughter was
my husband and I.
Her mother continued to stay with him
even after he went to prison, but after about a month she
had a new man twice her age living with her. We expect that
we will be raising our granddaughter for the duration. She
is a great kid and has suffered more abuse than any person
should have to in a lifetime. She currently has
supervised visits with her mother 3 hours a month and
her father has chosen not to request visitation from the
courts. He is very angry and unfortunately we do not
speak hardly at all. I have put some restrictions on
him, one to be drug free and to be consistent with
his daughter. He cannot even be consistent with phone calls
and he says the reason is because he is angry at us.
I never thought that at the age of 52
and 45 that my husband and I would be raising another
child. We do this for no other reason than to give our
granddaughter a loving and stable home where she can thrive
and know that she is loved.
Update on my story.
Well there is now another baby in the
mix of all of this. I spoke to my stepson about a month ago
and he is now saying that I am keeping his daughter, my
grand daughter Haily, away from him. He currently has 4
warrants for his arrest for nonpayment of child support and
continues to use drugs, but I am the bad guy in this
situation. Go figure. He and his girlfriend had another baby
last month and the only way that I found out about it was
that someone told me. My stepson has yet to mention this to
me. I had to inform my grand daughter of this and her
reaction was, "Now I have another brother I have to take
care of." She is going to be 7 next week and I just find
this so sad, it's as if she knows that the baby will not be
taken care of...On a positive note, she will 7 next week and
is the most happy, beautiful and loving little girl that you
could ever meet.
We too have found ourselves
raising three grandchildren, ages six, two, and one. What an
experience this has been. This began 6 1/2 years ago. Our
daughter to our shame has been on crack cocaine since the
oldest was around 6 months old. The father is also on drugs.
They are not married and our daughter was living with us
when she became pregnant. She left when the oldest was 5
months old. We did not know about the drugs then. When we
found out we refused to let them take him for visits. They
called the police and DSS got involved. At that time DSS
gave us a paper saying we had temporary custody. I found out
later it was not worth the paper it was written on.
After a few years our
daughter became pregnant again. The father is unknown. DSS
allowed her to take the baby and go to a rehab. She
abandoned the baby at 3 1/2 months. We were given
guardianship by a judge for this child. They could not give
me guardianship of the oldest because it was in a different
One year later she had
another child and DSS did not step in. She "seemed" to be
doing better so we kept a close eye on her. Unfortunately
she abandoned this child at 6 months. DSS stepped in and
took custody of the oldest and the youngest. They still live
in my home, but we have been to court many times in the last
few months. DSS wants to work with the parents to reunify
the family. One thing wrong with this is the oldest child’s
dad had not been in the picture until DSS contacted him, and
he showed up wanting visitation. He has a criminal record a
mile long and is on intensive probation. The judge gave him
one hour a week supervised visits in my home. After 3 weeks
the judge gave him unsupervised visits once a week. My
husband and I had no say in the matter.
daughter and the dads were given court appointed lawyers. We
were not given the time of day. The same day the judge did
this I hired a lawyer to the tune of 1,500.00 to start with.
Thank God they take plastic. We are praying God will grant
us the grace to handle whatever the outcome. After all God
is big enough.
I am 42 years old and have been a widow
since March 12, 2001 the day my husband committed suicide
and left me to raise our two girls (who are now 13 and14), a
daughter from a previous relationship (22), and son from his
previous marriage, also 22. After 4 years of putting my life
back together with my younger daughters, my oldest daughter
and his son moved out of the house. I now have kinship
(custody) of my 8 month old granddaughter. I have had her
since she was a day old. My daughter had tested positive for
drugs when giving birth and the baby has been placed with me
ever since. My daughter is still with the father of the baby
and I don't see any light at the end of the tunnel of her
turning her life around and caring for her child. I feel
very conflicted presently as this life altering change has
left me with a new life, not the one I had had and was very
happy with. I enjoyed going to my girls sports activities,
shopping with them, sleeping in on the weekends till noon,
going out to lunch or dinner at a moments notice, going to
college (I was in the process of getting a degree), and now
I am back to changing diapers, being up at 6 a.m. everyday
and the stress and strain of raising a baby. I love my
granddaughter and would never have made a different decision
other than taking her and raising her, but I mourn for the
life I had built with my girls after the devastating loss we
suffered 4 years ago. I have tried and tried to get my
daughter on the right path and now I am resigned to the fact
that she never will. I resent her for getting pregnant,
having a child, and pushing her onto me to raise when I
already am still raising two daughters. I also feel she has
intruded on their lives as well, as I am not as involved as
I would like to be in their lives because of caring for my 8
month old granddaughter. It's very overwhelming at times and
I feel that the stress and strain are now taking a toll on
my other daughters. With prayer and God's help I hope I can
do the best I can for all my girls. I am thankful for the
chance to tell my story as it does help to hear others, as
well as be Nana to beautiful Serena Nicole
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I live near
Placerville, California and am a grandmother of 2 beautiful
girls ages 1 and 2. They have both been with me pretty much
since birth. They are my 22-year-old son's children and they
are beautiful. My son had the oldest one until she was 7
months old until Mom bit her,
CPS came and took her. In the 7 months she was with them, I
had her 99 percent of the time, and when she wasn’t with me
I worried constantly...for so many different reasons, abuse,
neglect, starvation. Her mother would not feed her; she
ignored her and never bonded with her. My son tried, but he
is very immature and just not into parenting. The
baby came to me and then went to Foster Care. I had to have my
fingerprints taken, a background check done, and my house
checked out before I could keep her. I was furious with the
system. Finally after two months, she was back home with me.
Yeah!! Boy what a nightmare it has been, court date after
Then the news came, another baby. I about
went crazy not knowing what to do. I was so tired because
Kirsten kept me up at night. That had been her schedule,
awake at night and asleep during the day, because that is
what Mom and Dad did. It took me a month and a half just to
get her in a crib and to sleep at night.
When the next baby was born, a girl, Mom
would not let me go up to the hospital and see her. CPS
took her from the hospital and put her in foster care as
well, until I was checked out all over again. I was beside
myself until she too was placed with me. I had to work 50
hours a week just to make ends meet. The money that I had in
savings was gone, and I finally got up the nerve and signed
up for WIC and cash aid for the children.
My daughter who is 24 helps me when she
can, but she is very busy. I also have a roommate who is my
best friend and is very supportive when she is here. I am
now in the process of adopting the girls, and I am grateful
to have been able to start a small business at home. Not
anything big, but it helps me with staying home with the
August 2006 update by Shylia:
are doing well and they have now been adopted. There has
been one more addition to our family his name is
Kameron he is the girl’s brother
he is with us and he is now one year old. We our currently
in the process of adopting him also, he is the cutest and
the happiest baby. I love him dearly everyone is in good
health and Kirsten will be 4 in a couple of month.
Keyara is now 2 and a half and
they are just keeping me really busy. I’m tired and stressed
but I wouldn’t take any of this back ever.
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Two years ago my daughter gave birth to my first
grandchild. I was very excited to become a grandparent, as was my husband, who
didn't have children of his own. We had seen my daughter struggle with drugs for
most of her life (she was 32, at the time), and just before she became pregnant,
she was prescribed anti-psychotic medication for a bi-polar disorder. So she had
been taking that medication throughout her pregnancy. No one really knows how or
if it affects unborn children. But the baby was beautiful and seemed perfect in
every way. Toward the end of my daughter's pregnancy she began to abuse her
medication and I had to take her to the ER several times. It wasn't long after
our granddaughter was born that it became apparent that she couldn't care for
her. So we took custody and filed for guardianship. At the same time my daughter
was also incapable of caring for herself and I had to have her committed to
several different psychiatric facilities for over a year.
We took custody of the baby when she was four months old.
She had difficulty digesting any formula, couldn't sleep nights and was very
uncomfortable and so were we. I was feeling quite drained even before the baby
came to us full time. Just before Christmas I learned I had cancer. Although it
was not an aggressive type the doctor said that it seemed to be growing rapidly.
I began chemo almost immediately. Which meant that my husband had to stay at
home to care for me and the baby.
It is times like these that tell you who your friends are.
We have our our own business and I was shocked at how many people offered their
help and prayers for me. My cousins came from Minnesota to stay with me and my
friend from high school flew out from Florida to stay for two weeks. They were a
It is a year later and Cierra has turned two. I am cancer
free and participating in a clinical trial which will hopefully keep me that
way. But we have another addition to our growing family. My daughter had a boy
last month and tested positive for drugs at the hospital, so they took the baby
away. He is also having digestive problems. My husband is having a difficult
time accepting another baby and worried that I might get sick again. The lack of
sleep is the biggest obstacle, but the baby slept 4 hours straight last night so
maybe this will be a trend.
All we can do is pray for my daughter's recovery. I know
that I need to take some time for myself, but when there's a choice I usually
opt to take a nap. My husband's sister has adopted her two granddaughters and
has been raising them practically from birth so I knew my situation wasn't totally
unique, but I didn't realize how widespread it was. I hope the next generation
does a better job of taking care of their responsibilities.
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When I married my husband 17 years ago,
we thought the biggest challenge we might ever face would be
his ex-wife possibly dumping his 3 teenagers on us (the
children had been adopted by a stepfather and been told all
sorts of false stories about my husband). Once those teens
reached adulthood age, they did contact us occasionally but
we were content with raising the daughter we had together
and everything was running rather smoothly. Little did we
Lonnie's second son and his wife had come
to live with us in the fall of 1999, stating that they
wanted to establish a strong relationship with our family
and get a new start. Along with them came their two
children together, ages 18 months and 6 months, and the
wife's daughter, age 3. We suspected that something was
going on, but could never quite get enough proof to be
sure. About 3 months after they had moved into their own
place, they took off and moved back to Oklahoma without even
telling us they were doing so. About a month later, she
sought help in leaving him from a domestic violence center.
Caseworkers determined that the children had been abused
both physically and emotionally as well as neglected by both
parents and they were placed in foster care. Although we
were contacted during the investigation, we were told that
contact would not be allowed as the children were so young
and we lived so far away that in-person visits were not
The parents of the children divorced and
every once in a while we would hear from one or the other,
but after a year the contact ceased. Then in November 2002
our phone rang on a Sunday evening--it was my stepson's
ex-wife and she dropped a bombshell. My stepson had
relinquished his rights the previous spring and she was
facing a hearing to terminate her parental rights. She told
me that if she were able to choose where the children would
go, she would choose us. She also told us that there were
no remaining biological relatives that might possibly be
able to get them.
After talking to the caseworker in
Oklahoma and much discussion with our teenage daughter, we
decided to see if we could get the children placed with us.
After going through the home study process to become
approved as foster parents and adoptive parents, we
journeyed to Oklahoma in May 2003 to pick up the children.
Earlier this year, Oklahoma approved us to adopt the
children and now we are waiting to get approval on
subsidies, Medicaid continuation, and legal expense
As of this month, the children have been
in the foster care system for 4 years. Their ages are
currently almost 8, 6 and 5. The two older children are
both girls and fairly easy to handle, although they still
show signs of the abuse they have suffered. The youngest, a
boy, has 15 developmental delays and is in the 99th
percentile of his age group for ADHD - we have recently
placed him on medication and are working to determine the
We just returned from a family trip to
Oklahoma, and while we were there, the children saw many of
their relatives including my stepson. So far there do not
appear to be any negative reactions to the visit other than
the fact that their mother did not arrange a time to see
them and the girls were very disappointed (the boy does not
even recognize his mother in photos).
still have many potential obstacles down the road - bipolar
disorder runs in the mother's family and that is why she
does not have the children. In addition, the oldest girl
was placed with her biological father for a period of time,
until she alleged that he was sexually abusing her. The
oldest also has learning disabilities and receives some
special education services at school. I have learned more
about IEPs [Individual Education Plans] and special
education in the past year than I ever thought possible (the
5 year old goes to Special Ed preschool). Our lives have
grown very hectic, but I would not change it for the world
as we want these children to know that their family members
still love them, even if their parents did not bother to
take care of them.
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