OPC – Raising Other People’s Children

I think about this today from the other perspective.  From the point of view of the person who is not raising their own child. 

I have to preface this by saying that I have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about.  Luckily that has never stopped me before, so here I go.

For those of you who haven’t read this blog before I am raising two of my grandchildren.  I also have an adopted daughter, who is my husband’s natural daughter.  Hence, other people’s children.  They are all children of my heart, and I couldn’t love them one bit more if I had carried them all for the full nine months plus one more just for good measure.  But, none the less, they are still other people’s children and they all know it.

They all have mothers elsewhere and they love them and miss them very much. 

I can’t imagine how much their mother’s must miss them as well.  I have been lucky enough to have been connected to two extraordinary women who had the love and strength to allow me to raise their children.   It’s an incredible thing and I’m not sure either one of them realize that.

They both signed papers deliberately that allowed me to be a co-parent with them.  I’m not sure that’s how they saw it.  I’m afraid that in those dark hours before the morning light, that wasn’t how they explained it to themselves at all.  I fear that they told themselves a far different story.  I wish they could have seen themselves through my eyes during those times.

What they would have seen would probably have surprised them.  Because they are heros to me.  These are women who loved their children more than they loved themselves.   They put themselves in the position to tell themselves those things in the dark of night when there wouldn’t be anyone there to tell them different.  What I see when I look at them are two of the strongest women on earth.  They are shining lights.  I hope their children see them that way when they are grown and look back.

I hope they can see what a sacrifice of self, of heart, of hope their mother’s made so that they could have a better chance in life.  I got the easy part out of it.  I’m the one who got to be here.  They got the hard part.  They aren’t here everyday to see what goes on.  They get bits and pieces.  They have to try to make a whole picture out of random puzzle pieces from several different puzzles from different time periods.  No matter how much you tell them, it can never be enough. 

They took from themselves every holiday, every birthday, every Mother’s day, all those special moments.  And they did it for the love of their children.  That is the most massively unselfish thing I can imagine.  The scope of it is hard to comprehend. 

The idea of the pain that they caused themselves is almost impossible to imagine.  And yet they did it.  And they didn’t walk away afterwards.  I think this, to me, is the most awe inspiring part.  They stayed as close as they could.  They call, they send things.  Sometimes they come to visit. 

The awkwardness, the sadness, the hurt this must cause has to be enormous.  But they do it for the love of their children.  I am humbled.  I wish sometimes that I could give them my eyes to see through so that they could see themselves the way I see them.  I wish that I could give to them the sense of pride in themselves that I feel in them. 

But more than anything, I wish that they could know themselves as the heros they are for putting the lives of their children first.  They are remarkable women.  I admire them both.


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