I have three grandmas. One is my mom’s mother, one is my father’s mother, and one is my “adopted” granny. Not to confuse you; it is not a legal adoption. It is our sweet way of saying how much we love each other and what type of role we play in each other’s lives. Fitting for my family, right? Since my family takes in foster children, these women get to be “foster grandmas”. It is a role they all embrace and fulfill in their own way.
For instance, one of my grandmas knows very well how foster care works since she used to be a foster parent. She is a source of understanding and wisdom. My emails to her find a listening ear who has been there. When she and my grandpa can come to visit, she extends the same love and grace to foster kiddos. She answers the millions of questions asked by hyperactive toddlers and listens to her adopted grandkids tell stories about their biological grandparents.
Another grandma has her own way of showering love on us and our foster kiddos. I think every child loves getting mail addressed specifically to them (hey, even adults love it!). My grandma has always sent each grandchild a card on holidays and birthdays, each in its own envelope and with its own stamp. Any foster children in our home get their own card too. Often when a new child comes, she will send a package of hand-picked clothes, blankets, and little toys to welcome the child. Besides loving us and the foster children in our home, she is also involved in a foster care ministry at her church. She was the one who passed along the info for me to write a blurb about foster care (see Willing to Listen).
My “adopted” grandma also makes each child feel special. Since she is our local grandma, she loves to take each grandchild out to eat, to a store we like, or to a movie. The one-on-one time bonds us and fills us up with love. With the young foster kiddos she is patient, allowing them to warm up to her. Her gentleness is soon rewarded, usually with kiddos begging her to “come play”. She graciously obliges, sitting on the floor to play with baby dolls and legos.
Each of my grandmas inspire me and I need all three of them. So to each of them, Happy Grandparent’s Day. I love you to the moon and back.
To all foster grandparents out there, thank you. You are an essential part of a foster family.
*I did not forget grandpas. They are just as loving; I will have to write about them next time.