Two grandsons but not a grandmother
You might wonder why I have two grandsons but am not a grandparent. It's simple really.
Gregory is 24. I have never seen him or spoken to him. He is the child of my oldest son and was adopted by another family when he was born. Niles is a teen now and we adopted him so now I am his mom. He is the child of my youngest son.
I wasn't able to be Gregory's grandmother although he has always been in my thoughts. I can't be Niles' grandmother because I have to be the parent. Either way, with two grandchildren, I feel the loss and the grief of not having the coveted role as grandma. I don't get to spoil either one of them. Even though Niles calls me grandma, he loses out on a grandparent because there is a world of difference between wanting a grandma and having a parent.
I am not alone. There are grandparents out there who have lost a grandchild to adoption. There are many grandparents raising their grandchildren and can't be the grandparents either. While grandparents may not have adopted their grandchildren, the status of parent is the same.
Don't get me wrong, raising my grandson is the best thing I have ever done and if that is my legacy, I am quite satisfied. I just think that there are other out there who feel the same way. It is neither bad nor good, just what life is. Here's my thoughts on grandchildren and adoption.
Our grown up grandson
Giving up Gregory
One fateful afternoon, my then 16 year old son and his girlfriend approached my husband and I with an issue. It seems she was pregnant. This was not great news because they were still in high school. She had already decided that the baby would be put up for adoption but my son wanted us to raise the baby. We were not opposed to the idea but she was adamant and the times were different. She held all the rights. I remember the day when my son and I drove into the city for him to sign over his rights as the child's parent. I think we both cried a lot that day. I was sad for him and I was sad for me. I had just lost a grandchild.
As my friends started having grandchildren and talking about the joy that being a grandparent was, I remained silent. What could I say. I had no grandchildren to talk about. After a while, it stopped hurting but the child always remained in the back of my mind.
Just recently, he contacted his father to get medical information. He does not want to nor cares to talk to me. After all these years I had hoped for more but it was not to be. It seems that my hope of being his grandparent is over.
My only piece of Gregory
Helpful book for grandparents raising grandchildren
Niles Baby - Slightly angelic look that went away when he became a teenager. He was soooo cute!
We were there when he was born and held him when he was minutes old. We had hoped that he would have a successful life and enjoyed being grandparents. We would visit and play with him. Although his situation was not the best we had hoped for, we were surprised to get a call that he was in foster care at 2-yrs-old. We were granted temporary custody and he moved in with us. There were many other things that happened but when he was 4, he was back in foster care. It took 7 months and all our retirement savings to have him returned to us. When he was 6, the adoption was finalized and he was ours.
It has been a joy to raise this child. He is sweet, smart and just plain adorable. If it sounds like I'm bragging, it's because on paper or on-line, I can be the grandma. What I write is much different than what I will say when he gets home from school. I will ask how his day was and tell him to get busy on his homework. For the next hour, he will stall and I will nag. That's the difference between being the mom and the grandma. I don't offer him cookies and let him have a free hour before starting on the homework.
Do you hear the screaming?
I want to be a grandma and experience all the joys that the other grandparents talk about. I have been cheated and no matter how hard I try, the thought remains that it shouldn't have been this way.
I'm not always screaming
There is something completely satisfying when he turns to me and says"That's right, huh grandma?"
It doesn't get any better than that!