Twice now, I found myself standing in front of the greeting card section at the grocery store with the same confusing thought:
“What do I get the grandma that lost her grandchildren?”
There isn’t a Hallmark card that says: “Sorry you lost your grandchildren” or “Merry Christmas to the family that gave up their children to the foster care system” or “Happy Valentines Day to the “OLD” grandma”
So I always stand there confused. This grandma isn’t the one that comes over and babysits when I have to go to the dr. This grandma isn’t the one that bakes cookies with them every Christmas and shares her beautiful aprons with my girls. This grandma isn’t the one that is so good we call her Grammy….because she’s AWARD WINNING! And this grandma isn’t the one that hugs and kisses them so tightly when we come over for a visit.
No, this grandma is the mother of the one that lost her children to abuse and neglect.
She committed no crime. She committed no heinous act of abuse. But she suffers because she is the mother of the one that did. She couldn’t say yes when DHS called to take them. She didn’t have a choice and her heart is broken for the grandchildren she lost.
So when our fostering agency emailed and said the grandma cannot take them, but she would like to know how they are doing…..I couldn’t say no.
It was the hardest letter I think I have ever written. I had no idea what to say. I had to rely on Christ to give me the words to say because I didn’t want to mess it up, say the wrong thing, hurt feelings…
But I wrote it, and she returned the letter! I sent pictures and she sent some back! It was so hard to see pictures of our Diva Princess as an 18 month old baby. I wasn’t prepared for that and I cried over it. I tucked it away to put in her photo album. It was weird to see their older sister in the photo. It was odd to think that these 3 babies weren’t always mine, weird to imagine them with any other parent but us.
I had to learn the heartbreaking way that sometimes we have no control over other peoples actions and through no fault of our own, we must pay the price for someone elses mistakes. I may blog on that more later. But some hurts are just too deep. :( But sometimes, like in the case of thousands of foster children everywhere….their family did nothing, but must pay the price for the hurt and pain caused by the parents. This grandma did not harm her grandchildren…she was just unable to say YES to keeping them.
In a way, this has been healing to my heart and it’s taught me things about myself I didn’t know I lacked. It opened my heart a little bit more to include this family I do not know. It softened my heart to those caught in the middle in an awful situation, and that we can help heal those wounds. I told God when we began this journey that I would share His love and His grace with whoever He wanted me to, and in this case, at this moment….it’s through
Letters to Grandma.
Post script: (sounds all smart and stuff! LOL) I encourage those that are fostering, when it is possible, find out about sending letters or emails to the grandparents. I understand that it is NOT POSSIBLE in all circumstances, but it’s healing when you can.