Grandparents Raising Grandchildren; You Are Not Alone

Wednesday, November 17, 2021 - by Catherine Becker

Because of dire circumstances in our family dynamics, my husband and I adopted our three youngest grandchildren, ages five, four and 19 months, this past February.  The baby was newborn at the time we initially took custody.  I am 61 and my husband is 58. In our journey, we have discovered the incredible amount of grandparents, great-grandparents and other family members raising children in their senior years.

When you are in our position, there is an isolation that goes with it. Our friends do not want to go out with us with our young children, and you find that you no longer have the life you had before; not by a long shot. You also find that even though your friends will sometimes listen, they really do not understand, but can offer lots of advice, including, "Why are you doing this? The children would be better off with a younger couple."  Got it; but that is not useful, welcomed or productive.  

I began looking for a support group for grandparents raising grandchildren and they were scarce or inconvenient, so I started my own. It is located, at this time with thanks to the administrator, in a forum on Facebook called Grandparents Raising Grandchildren.

My support group is called Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, the Joys and Challenges. We meet through Zoom meetings every Tuesday evening from 9-10 p.m., with many evenings going later because of the intense discussions.   

I want to grow my support group. This is very important to me. It is a much needed service because of the human need to be able to talk with others who understand and who can provide useful, productive information and support. My meetings have been very successful and are growing in numbers. We have topic nights, guest speakers and nights that we just vent. 

At one meeting I had a lady who was a director at a daycare. She had adopted three little girls who were going to be turned over to the state by their grandmother. She talked about how it came about and their situation a year later.

At another meeting, a teenager talked about her situation. She was adopted after being removed from her home. 

Recently, an adoption attorney spoke to the group regarding the benefit of adoption versus legal custody.  This man was my adoption attorney and did this as a favor to me and to our close knit community of grandparents.

I have a family law/ADR mediator lined up to speak in the next few weeks. 

I am dedicated to providing my group with helpful information and also giving them a place to feel safe and comfortable to share with others who "get it."  I would like to have a dedicated meeting outside of Facebook to give folks the ability to find me and take advantage of the much needed service that I provide. Right now it is one night a week. I would like to be available for meetings several times a week. I am very dedicated to this project. I am very community aware and have a love for my community and those struggling with the many, many challenges of raising children in our senior years.  There are so many different tentacles to this endeavor we have taken on for the love of these children, who would be in foster care if not for us.

To have a group of people who have walked in our shoes is the best thing we could ask for for our mental wellbeing. 

If you are reading this and feeling it in your very soul, or if you know someone who could benefit from this group, please contact me.  We can discuss your situation and I can give you the information to join others who will be there for you.

You are not alone!

* * *

Catherine Becker
Youarenotalone.grg@gmail.com


Morning Pointe Of East Hamilton Remembers Betty White

17th Annual Pink! Gala Rescheduled For March 12

Ladebauches To Chair 2022 Heart Of Chattanooga Effort


Morning Pointe Senior Living residents across its 36 communities spent time this week honoring the late actress and comedian, Betty White. Jan 17 marked Betty White's 100th birthday, and though ... (click for more)

CHI Memorial Foundation announces the 17th annual Pink! gala has been rescheduled for Saturday, March 12 at the First Horizon Pavilion. Originally scheduled for January, the gala was postponed ... (click for more)

The American Heart Association has named Andrew and Ashley Ladebauche of Reliance Partners, as chair of the Heart of Chattanooga campaign. In this role, Mr. and Mrs. Ladebauche are focused on ... (click for more)



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Morning Pointe Senior Living residents across its 36 communities spent time this week honoring the late actress and comedian, Betty White. Jan 17 marked Betty White's 100th birthday, and though she passed just weeks before her centennial, the Morning Pointe of East Hamilton campus hosted a celebration to remember her legacy and the years she worked to make folks laugh. A few ... (click for more)

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