‘This is my grandson, Davian. He is now my son because his biological mother, who is my daughter, was a heroin and meth addict and because of her addiction, the state took him away from her. So, I had to step in through court hearings to be able to get him out of the foster care system and into my home. It’s tough being a parent to a grandchild because you’ve already gotten your own kids grown and you think you have the rest of your life planned out and, out of the blue, things can change. You suddenly have a little one who looks up to you and needs to be fed, clothed, and taken care of.

There are so many grandparents and great-grandparents who are out there raising their own grandchildren and great-grandchildren because the parents have drug addiction issues. Nobody sees the struggles that we go through to make sure these kids are safe and loved and have a home to come to every night. It needs to be known that we adoptive grandparents feed them, tuck them in, and keep them safe. We tell them we love them and we take them to school, games, the zoo…and we make sure they get everything that they need.

Financially, it’s tough. My husband will never be able to retire. I work full time to try to make ends meet. Our dreams were to travel and things are a lot different now. I love my daughter because she’s my daughter but I hate her for what she’s done. Her addiction really destroyed our entire family. Thankfully, she’s been clean for two years now. As the parent of a drug addict, it’s easy to feel like a failure. Drug addiction is a disease, not a failure in parenting, and yes, I’m trying to make up for whatever mistakes I did make raising my own kids. The beauty is that Davian is still with us. He’s keeping me younger and on my toes and he helps me to believe, over and over, that I can do something right again.’

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