Realities of raising your grandchild
It has been a very long road, however, Monday, February 8th was the day the adoption was final, and my granddaughter, as seen in the eyes of the law, is now my daughter. The judge referred to me as mom several times during our day in court, and to be honest, it took a little joy away from the moment.
It has been a very long hard road. I removed my granddaughter from my daughter’s custody because living in a car wasn’t my idea of a home, and it was keeping me up at night. I had hoped losing her daughter would set my daughter back on the right track, but she and her partner were too deep in the throes of drug addiction.
Someday, I hope that my daughter will live through this experience and come out on the other side. I hope that she and I will have a day of reckoning because I am sure at this moment she can’t see that I did what I had to for her child, my grandchild.
You were born with the ability to change someone’s life, don’t ever waste it. — Unknown
As I look to the future, I hope that I can share my daughter’s story with my granddaughter and have it not be a source of pain but a source for learning and excepting what we can not change. Her mother’s choices were never a reflection of her, and we are all family.
Facing your adult child’s drug addiction is a challenging place to find yourself in, and add starting all over raising a toddler simultaneously, and it can be a hard uphill battle. There are days where having my grandchild gives me solace and a piece of my daughter when I can’t physically see her or talk to her or if I don’t know that she is safe. Other days, I feel my age, and I feel resentment that I have to figure out how to get off the floor after playing legos. On a typical empty nest day, I would have no reason what so ever to go rolling around on the floor (the struggle is real).
When my granddaughter first came to live with me, she started calling me mom, then we worked on it and got her to call me Nana. Now people assume I am her mother and call me her mom more than she does, but she plays with calling me mom now. I have told her that I’ll answer anything and whatever she wants to call me is fine. I had been very conscientious at the beginning thinking my daughter would be back soon. However, reality has set in, and I don’t see anything that leads me to believe she will be back in her life within the next decade.
Why adoption, you might ask? Here is my rationale, guardianship can be revisited, adoption can’t, period, plain and simple. My daughter isn’t going to drag my life or her daughter’s life through any more trauma. She will get it together, or she won’t, but I will be the judge when she is in a functional place and will be a positive person in her daughter’s life. I won’t have a social worker or a judge making those decisions for my family. I also won’t have my daughter’s relapses setting us back on the path we are already so far down. My granddaughter has a bedroom, stability, a mother, and a father, without addiction, which is priceless. My worst day at the moment is better than my daughter’s best day, to quote my sister. If I sound angry, it is because I am, I am mad at my daughter and her partner, I am mad at myself because I was naive and an enabler. I am angry that MY daughter, who I raised, who was and still is on some level, my responsibility that she is capable of this. It is hard to get your mind around.
I focus on that now my grandchild is safe, and every night she is in a warm bed being read to and has had healthy, warm meals. She has an everyday life aside from being raised by two olds. She has the gift of just being a child, and I will do my absolute best every day to give her an everyday life. I will protect her, even when the person I am protecting her from is my daughter, who I love and cherish. I will make mistakes, all parents do, but I keep my eye on the prize, and that is my granddaughter.