Posts Tagged ‘Grandparenting’

What to Do When You’re Old.

Wednesday, June 15th, 2022

Part One

It all started when my daughter gave birth. She had been an addict since she was fifteen, but, miraculously, had not carried a pregnancy to term until she was 31.

My wife and I were present at the birth. A doctor and a nurse spoke to us in hushed tones as we were watching our granddaughter get her eyes and thigh treatments, erythromycin and vitamin K. Their message was profound and deeply troubling. Our daughter, despite her continuous denials of using any drugs, gave a birth to a little girl now addicted to eight drugs including heroin and methamphetamines.

The state, in its wisdom, took our granddaughter away from her birth parents the moment the drugs were detected. My wife insisted, without a moment’s hesitation, to adopt the child. I had several moments of hesitation but yielded to my wife’s gut reaction. I was wrong. She was right.

Our granddaughter spent the first six weeks of her life in a NICU, Natal Intensive Care Unit. My wife visited daily, often several times. I visited every other day. Feeling responsible for the fragile, tiny being was easy. Feeling paternal was a study in patience and acceptance.

Part Two

My wife, and I later discovered, me, have endless room in our hearts for our granddaughter. We had a house, we had our health. The one thing we didn’t have was extra money. Unfortunately that is a key ingredient in bringing home a child.

Bringing her home from the hospital. We had weeks to prepare. We forged an alliance with the California Department of Children and Family Services. We were told the adoption process was much abridged for blood related family. After going through it, I can’t imagine what it must be like for non-related people to adopt. Taylor wasn’t coming home with us if we didn’t meet the Department’s requirements.

We turned a bedroom into the baby’s room. We baby-proofed the house to the best of our ability. We bought everything we could think of to prepare for her arrival. You never think of enough. Armed with our possessions, we came to the hospital, official release in hand, ready to take the six-week-old home.