May 17th, 2007
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Counting the three grandchildren that I adopted, bringing my total number of children up to 39, we’ve had 16 new births in twelve years time. That’s a lot of babies to hold, our own population explosion with three more due in the next couple of months. 19 babies in all from a family largely built from the adoption of older children.

That one choice just made me be a grandmother faster and at a younger age than normal. An abuelita (grandma) by age 40 and it had nothing to do with the fact that I birthed my oldest child when I was barely 19.

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My oldest granddaughter, now 12, is in a grade with three of my children; two uncles and an aunt in her class. Her mother is pregnant now with her fifth child and has done a wonderful job in raising her own family.

This is yet another reason that I’ve stopped adopting. I have empty beds now in my house since 17 kids are grown. I am slap busy attending soccer games, softball games and church events with my children. Adding the grandchildren’s schedules is crazy.

I’d like to attend my granddaughter’s honors program tomorrow along with her father but I’ll be taking her mother to the OB-GYN as she’s already 3 cm dilated. I’ll see 10 of my grandchildren for brief periods tomorrow as I flit between end-of-the school year activities, a Sunday School class swim party, and the endless party at my own house.

This generation that I’ve raised has often made me question my own sanity, pushed me to the limits of normal human endurance and often broken my heart, making me sob in frustration as they seem to fight me every step of the way in making them turn into responsible, likeable and successful individuals. We’ve gone through many therapists, counselors, programs, arrests and jail time, probation and the juvenile justice system. They’ve been kicked out of programs and school or quit along the way.

They’ve wrecked cars and been fired from jobs. Twice I’ve had kids who were virtually homeless as adults; there’s been out-of-wedlock pregnancies and police intervention too many times.

And we, as a family, have survived all that has been thrown at us. We’re stronger where we’ve often been broken; we’re welded together forever even though we still have to go through the predictable times when kids reject our family as they move into adulthood. It doesn’t even bother me anymore as I now know it is only temporary.

I’d go through it all again just to be where we are now, with the grandchildren and their now happy, settled down, loving parents who once put me through such Hell.

3 Responses to “Grandchildren Are Our Reward”

  1. Theresa says:

    Congrats!!

    Older child adoption made me a grandma for my 32nd birthday! Two daughters have now had 6 babies in 6 years. I surely love those little people.

    Unfortunately, my daughters are not raising those babies in healthy ways and it breaks my heart. I’ve had some as official foster placements. I’ve kept some otherwise. I’ve let families live here. Yet, the situations right now are not good.

    I still hold out hope for those daughters raising those children……

    and so much hope for the other 24 children. I absolutely look forward to the day I can sit back and watch a mostly-healthy child properly and lovingly care for a little grandchild of mine. (In fact, I told the others they all must have 5 kids – and, of course, they all say “okay mom, sure” (not!). But, that will help with my fantasy of 100 healthy grandkids spreading joy to the world!)

  2. a04toyou says:

    Hi! I’m expecting my second granddaughter on or about June 11. My grandson is 20 months old. He definately is spreading joy to the world–my world. Elaine

  3. Cindy Bodie says:

    Theresa, I feel your pain…remember I’m raising three of my own.
    Amen Elaine!

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