Disabled Parenting

Adopted Grandchildren are Just as Important as Biological Grandchildren

It is no secret that I have legal guardianship over 3 children and in the process of adopting another. They are J, A, D and Potato. Potato, being the baby. The other three are my husband’s half siblings who they share the same father. We did have guardianship over B, our niece until she went back to her mom but her mom backslid so thats why we have her baby sister Potato. 

What My Parents Did

We took custody of B when she was 3 months old. Roo was 5 months old at the time. My parents, especially my father would make comments like,”Where is her real mother?” He would do this often. My mother would ask,”Why would you take a sick child?” B was born with a cleft palate. She was not sick. Even if she was, it wouldn’t matter. She was family and needed to be kept out of the system. Little things like this.

When Roo and B were about to turn 1, they threw a huge part for Roo. They had a cake made, got a lot of gifts for him. It was a bit much for me and him but we dealt with it. Two months later, B had her first birthday. They were no where to be found. It was ok because my husband used to decorate cakes and made a really nice cake for her. He made the mistake of putting it on her high chair tray and turning his back. The cake was all over her. Made for great photos. B still talks about it after we told her about it. Besides the laughter over this incident, it really showed that the people who were supposed to be her grandparents really did not care for her. 

When Roo and B were both in preschool, it was time to have.B named in synagogue. We picked a Hebrew name that named her after my grandmother on my mother’s side. My mother would always yell at her because she was too slow for her and didn’t want a wheelchair because she wanted to maintain her independence. She was truly the only one who understood me as a child. I always looked forward to seeing her. She never passed judgement on me and it was fitting to have B named after her. Guess who didn’t show up? You got it, my parents. “She isn’t our real grand daughter.” 

What My Mother In Law Did

Fast forward a few years, N was a 4 years old and my husband got reconnected with his father. His father left when my husband was 14 because his mom was undergoing a kidney transplant he he was “afraid she was going to die.” It turns out at 60 years old, he had 3 minor children in foster care. He called us and said we were the only ones who can take them. We already had 4 kids. We thought it over and said we would figure it out. And we did. We won custody two years later.

During the custody battle, my mother in law, knew that A was diabetic. She had us practice giving her injections so we were prepared when we got custody. My husband’s father was really abusive towards her and all her kids. She put that aside and said,”Its not the kids fault he is the way he is.” She was looking forward to seeing the kids. She couldn’t believe how much J looks just like B’s mom. They are only half sisters. 

When the kids finally came home, the first things she said to them was,”You are all my grandchildren now. Yes I am your father’s ex wife but you are now my grandchildren. Want to hear how your big brother and your other adult siblings tried to make me make pancakes really early in the morning and how I made them eat all of them?” The kids were giggling and went with thier new Noni. Noni is Italian for grandmother but the kids say it “Nanai.” It stuck. She was Nanai to every kid. They loved her instantly.

First Thanksgiving and Hanukkah With the New Children 

J, A and D first came to us two weeks before Thanksgiving. That year Chanukah also started on that day. It was a perfect year to introduce them to the family. We invited my parents over. I refused to go to their house because they would abuse me worse there and they semi behaved at our place. 
 
The first thing my father screamed, and I mean screamed,”WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME YOU GOT THE KIDS?!” J was crying, A had a meltdown and D was only 20 months so it did not seem to phase him. My husband took my father and mother aside and laid down the law. That these children weren’t going anywhere and they needed to deal with it. I said how A almost died while in foster care due to negligence of other foster parents, not the last one. He said “I don’t want to hear it.” He was told he better be nice to the kids or he could leave. He ignored them for the rest of the time they were there. Nanai gave them all the attention they could want so they wouldn’t feel left out. 
 
After everyone left, we had a great for Hanukah. Roo was helping them with the Hebrew. It was adorable. My grouchy parents didn’t ruin their first Hanukah for them, they tried though. 

Trying to Talk to My Parents About Their Behavior

I have tried multiple times to talk to my parents about their behavior towards our unbiological kids. Every time I brought it up it was either “they aren’t our real grandkids” or “we aren’t talking about that right now.” 
 
I got so angry I said,”Its either all of them or none of them.” Its not the kids fault they were in a bad situation and needed a stable home. They shouldn’t make the kids that aren’t Roo, N and Bug feel like they don’t belong. 
 
When my parents would come over, J would scream,”The jerks are here.” It was apparent to me they needed to be cut off. It wasn’t good for me, or the rest of my family. Roo, N and Bug didn’t even like them because they saw how the other kids were treated. I raised them to be extra empathetic and it was apparent. 
 
The last time my kids had contact was when they were selling popcorn through cub scouts. My husband brought the three of them to my parents house. I found out later that they misbehaved on purpose just for their grandfather. When Roo came back home “Your welcome for your revenge.” He was being rude to them on purpose but we talked about him not doing that to other people. “Mom, duh!” So my child. 
 
For everyone’s mental health, it was best that we just cut them off. It wasn’t easy but it was the healthiest option. I was in intense therapy to get the strength to do this. I had the support of my in laws. it was really hard but 100% worth it. 
 
It’s never the kids fault they end up with who they end up with. People need to treat children who are not biologically related to them as if they are. They are children and did not ask for this. I have more children that are not related to me than are related to me. I jokingly tell them that they all annoy me equally. They think its funny when I tell them this. There is a lot of teasing but we all love each other. Thats how it should be. 

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