1. Parenting

Grandparents Ride an Emotional Roller Coaster

Share Your Story: Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

By Linda Mannone

What Happened

My daughter (oldest one, we have three), dated this guy and one day just took off and married him. She then told us and went to live with his parents up north. After awhile we got a phone call telling us that she was pregnant and wanted a ticket to fly back home. We sent the ticket. She gave birth to a boy. We gave her everything, including a baby shower, paid the doctors for her visits and paid the hospital bill. She lived with us for over two years while we raised her son. She never took any interest in him.

How I Coped

We not only cared for the child but had to take care of all our daughter's needs. She argued about everything and blamed us for her unhappiness. We loved that baby and didn't care how much it was costing us.

I was in the delivery room when the baby was born, so it was like it was ours from the beginning because she only cared for him for two weeks and the job became ours. We had no choice. If we forced her, she would get violent.

She dated another man, then called the police on us, telling them that we kidnapped her 2 year old child! We were devastated because she is unstable.

The next 8 months we hired a lawyer who only took our money and lost. She came back, met another man, took off again, got pregnant, and had another son. That man was sent to jail for drugs and theft. She lived with us, then took off with him again and called the police on us, then months later came back to live with us and this man. We had no choice.

Again she left and called the police on us, saying that we wanted to take her kids. She left again and lived with his parents; then, when things got ugly again, she left him, and we gave her a one-way ticket back home. He called the police on her and sided with his parents and they took her youngest son. Meanwhile he broke his probation and went back to jail. She now writes to him and tells us he is doing better.

Lessons Learned

I really have no advice, but maybe someone can learn something from our experience. We wasted money to try to get custody of our grandsons. Now we are in debt again, paying another lawyer or lawyers because both sides are taking her to court to take her children away. She treats us like garbage and acts like we owe her. She threatens us almost daily that she will leave with her son and we won't see him again. We fear all the time. We have been through an emotional roller coaster with our grandchildren. We are trying our best to just keep loving our grandson who loves us and wants to live with us. He is going on 5 now. I only know that we are helpless and have to allow our daughter to run the show.

Hardest Part

Knowing that a grandparent has no say or right. We know that our grandson wants to be with us, but we know one day she will leave again and the hurt just goes on. She won't get help.

Most Rewarding Part

Seeing our grandson right now and knowing he is getting proper care. We do everything a parent does for him. He is happy right now. We just want to give him what he deserves since his mother won't.

Susan Adcox, About.com Grandparents, says:

It is a heartbreaking situation to have children who do not put the welfare of their own children first. What grandparent would not want to step in and protect those little ones? Yet to do so can wreck one's emotional stability and financial security. Grandparents in this situation must have legal advice. No lawyer can win every case, but without legal advice, grandparents are destined to lose.

Thank goodness there are some places to turn for help. And thank goodness for grandparents who are willing to tell their stories so that others will go into these situations with open eyes.

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