Nine years ago I would never have guessed we would become Mom and Papa to our beautiful two year old grandson. We were enjoying playing the grandparent roles, spoiling, playing, and sending him home with Mommy and Daddy. We had also begun to enjoy the empty nest! Our home was always clean and tidy. We had plenty of discretionary income. We were having a blast.
Then, God had a different plan. We inherited a whopping two year old son! Did we accept and adjust easily? Not at all. We struggled with not only our own acceptance issues, but his as well. In the beginning, isolation was a problem. We knew no other grandparents who were raising grandchildren. I searched for support to help with the loneliness, and I found one special group. Not long after that, in 2009, I started another group, and we are still thriving today with nearly 200 members.
I have totally connected to some absolutely, undeniably, precious human beings. People who are struggling, because for whatever reason, their grandchildren have come to live in their homes. These are people who have stepped up to the plate. People that COULD hide behind guilt and judgment because others do not understand how this situation can come to be. I am here to represent. These are good, hard working families from all walks of life. They have been judged unfairly by peers, friends, family, teachers, counselors, etc. Unfortunately, there is an epidemic of grandparents raising grandchildren. I am a part of that epidemic. Sad, but real. I am also an educator. I guess I am here to make a statement. For anyone that is tempted to judge a child or family based on the fact that grandparents are raising him, please STOP. These people, and I know at least 200 families taking on this difficult life challenge, are doing society a favor. Taking these children out of the foster care system. Ensuring that they are being raised by family. Most people mean well, but unless you are inside the situation, you cannot know what is happening. Many families with grandparents at the helm, are stable and healthy. Never forget, grandparents have more love than money, and love is what children need the most.
While this blog is about a journey to simplicity, there are going to be many distractors along the way. When our son turned three, the adults were discussing how life can throw at us some "curve balls". I pointed at him and said, "Meet our little curve ball". He replied, "I not a curve ball; I a duck!" That boy is no duck! He's our son!