I’m forty nine years old. Almost fifty. I have one older brother and two younger brothers. The younger brother closest in age to me is seven years younger. Needless to say I babysat alot when I was young. I have one natural child. I gave birth to her one month after I turned eighteen. That was exactly one year and one month after I left home.
I met my second husband when my daughter was sixteen. He had a two year old daughter. I started over again just when I was about to be done raising my own daughter. We had custody of her and I ended up adopting her.
When she turned fifteen my two living grandchildren came to live with us. Again, just as I was almost done raising my second daughter, I started over again with a five year old and a ten year old.
I have been raising other peoples’ children almost all of my life. Granted, this was my choice. Each time it was my own choice. As much as you can call it that. I could not have lived with myself if I had done anything else. And I wanted to do it.
I love my husband. I loved him from the start. The minute I first laid eyes on his daughter I fell in love with her. She was nothing like my own daughter but I loved her with the same full heart that I loved my own daughter with. When I signed the adoption papers I was so happy I can’t begin to describe it.
And my grandchildren are every other beat of my heart. The sun rises and sets on my family. I love every one of their faces. My arms ache to hug them. My eyes are hungry for the sight of them whenever they aren’t there. I miss their smell when I’m away from home. My ears long for their voices .
And not one of them wants to see me in the morning. Not one of them wants to hear my voice. Not one of them wants me to touch them. Every one of them wishes I was someone else. Every one of them thinks that their life would have been better if I wasn’t in it. Every one of them believes that if it weren’t for me they would be happily living with their natural parents where they long to be every minute of every day. Every one of them wishes that I would disappear.
If I had a nickel for every time I heard the words “I hate you” in a day I’d make more money than God. If I got paid every time someone said to me that “You’re not my mom” I’d be able to retire to my own island in the south pacific right now and never have to lift a finger again. If I got a dime for every time I was accused of ruining their life by taking them away from their parents, Bill Gates would look like a homeless bum compared to me! If I got a penny for every day that they smiled until the very second they walked into the door after school, I could live the rest of my life on what I made this year alone.
It’s hard to think that you spend every day trying to give love, stability, grounding, a good foundation for the future, good self esteem, a good family environment and all the other things that come along with living in a solid family, to kids and that they hate you for it and wish you were someone else.
On the other hand, I don’t worry about where they are at night. I don’t worry if they are getting anything to eat. I know they aren’t being harmed by anyone. I know that they are being fed, and clothed and housed and loved and encouraged and helped and counseled. I know that they are healthy and confident. And except for me, they are happy people.
When you consider the alternatives, that’s enough.
Please read my second post on this same subject.