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You're So Last Century

My preparation to become the mother of two precious grandchildren

"You’re so last century!” she laughed at me. “You got that right, precious child/granddaughter.”

What can I give her to weather her through the storms of her tragic beginnings? What does it look like and feel like to be raised by your grandparents? Pretty obvious to her and to the rest of the world – we are old – not just old parents, but clearly, grandparents. We have all the trappings that shout to the kids around our girl – “your home life is different. You are being raised by people who don’t look like our parents. You might not fit into our world, so you have to work really hard to be cool enough to join us.”

I was born when the men and women who fought in the 2nd World War came home for good finally. It was December, 1945. What a hopeful time for all the families to reunite, and we were the babies that would bring joy after years and years of suffering and loss – loss of a mom, loss of a dad, so there were many families that looked differently then.

Mine did too. I learned at 13 that my father had been married before, that his wife had died in childbirth with my second oldest brother….but wait, “I thought he was my real brother!” We kept secrets in those days because somehow to have a different story was shameful or wrong, not simply different. I was the first in my parent’s marital union, but I grew up not knowing this.

Oh wait, did God set this up? Was my precious granddaughter going to have a grandmother/parent who actually might “get” what it is like to be the different one on the block? Hey God, you really do use our past to bless our future – the future that we don’t know about but the future that will use the gifts and talents you gave us at birth and at rebirth to bless those in our sphere who need us. Thank you.

So, when I learned the family secret, I went downstairs to look at my brothers that I now knew were not my “real” brothers but my “half” brothers and I paused for a moment studying them. I found myself saying, “I don’t care that you are only my half brothers. You will always be to me as my whole brothers.” And with that, I never looked back. I love them with all my sister’s heart. I’m all in.

And now, all these years later, I have five children: four girls and a boy. My mother had four boys and a girl. I adopted my girl and boy at the same ages as my mother adopted her two boys. She raised me with the boys having a deep desire to show no distinction, and so she had adopted them immediately after she married Dad. Nothing would separate them from her love. What an example for me….no, what a preparation for me to become the mother of two precious grandchildren. How typical of God to take a disaster – home for bad and turn it into Home for Good.

“And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28


A guide for grandparents raising grandchildren

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