Understanding the adoption process

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Photo by Maria Lysenko on Unsplash

When I found out that I needed to step in and care for my granddaughter, I never expected that I would actually end up raising her.

To protect my grandchild from her drug-addicted parents and to give her a better life, I sought out to find her a new family. I wanted her to have parents. During that process, I had my daughter and her partner’s parental rights removed. When you remove someone’s parental rights, someone has to adopt the child at the end of the day; now that someone is me.

My granddaughter has been back with me now for 2 months. Some of the reasons I sought adoption in the first place are showing themselves now. My fears are coming to fruition, but isn’t that how it works? When you fear something, the energy you put into the fear gives it power.

My fears? My granddaughter having her grandparents for parents. Her getting asked questions about where her parents are. Her feeling badly that she has a mom and dad who aren’t available to her. My granddaughter living with the reality of her parent’s choices and feeling somehow responsible.

I have only had small glimpses of those fears in the past 2 months, but I am starting to give those fears less credence. This is our life now, and I will do my best to cushion her from what I can, and also make sure other people are aware of my boundaries on the subject.

“Grandparents, like heroes, are as necessary to a child’s growth as vitamins.” — Joyce Allston

There are many steps to adoption, and even though I have been raising my grandchild for over 2 years, I have to jump through all of the bureaucratic hoops required for adoption.

A lot of documentation, vehicle registrations, adult children’s birth certificates, fingerprinting, background checks, and so on are all needed to proceed with an adoption. Adoption is about a 6-month process from start to completion. With all that I have tried to do with finding my grandchild a forever home, it will be well over a year.

Somehow destiny comes into play. These children end up with you,, and you end up with them. It’s something quite magical. -Nicole Kidman

When I began trying to find my grandchild’s parents, I was focused on that very point. In the back of my mind, I always knew if the adoption process with new parents didn’t work, then I would, of course, adopt my granddaughter. I really didn’t know what adoption entailed even though my very own brother, we adopted as an infant. Adoptive parents are far more scrutinized than biological parents ever are. I was not prepared to go through this level of scrutinization; I just wanted to make sure my granddaughter would not end up back with her biological mother, my daughter, until she was able to be responsible, if ever. My sole objective was my grandchild safety.

What I learned from this entire process is that my granddaughter saw me as her primary caregiver. She had imprinted to me, and she and I had a bond that I underestimated. My sweet little angel gave every adoptive family all of her heart, all the while holding on tightly to me. When each of the three families ultimately ended up backing out, she was more than thrilled to end up back in my arms. She already knew what it took me a while to figure out; she wanted to be with me. She didn’t need parents and grandparents; she needed me to continue doing what I had been doing for two years.

“A grandparent is a little bit parent, a little bit teacher, and a little bit best friend.” –Author Unknown

My grandchild and I have been reunited now for 2 months, and we have completed the adoption paperwork, and we have done our home study and the adoption agency is doing all of the background work. Now we wait, for the adoption to become complete and final. Literally it has taken zero time for either of us to readjust.

I have shared pictures of her birth parents and shared the story of how she came to be with me in the first place. Sharing stories about my daughter with my grandchild not only helps my granddaughter by knowing her story; it also helps me heal. For the past 3 years, I have had to compartmentalize my daughter and the reality of her situation, just to remain emotionally in tact.

In the long run, us having each other, will help both of us, sort out the past and we can have a happier future together.

My Adoption of My Grandchild

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