I remember the first time my mom saw our son: it was around 1 am on January 20, 2016 in the middle of the Portland Airport. With tears in her eyes, I could see her heart swell real big and bright, I could see she loved my son, though he shared zero of her DNA.
As we celebrate National Grandparent’s Day, I thought, “What better way to celebrate grandparents than ask my parents how they feel about their grandson via adoption? What better way to celebrate than ask people in the adoption circle their thoughts about their children’s grandparents?”
Here is a montage of real-life stories and answers:
My mom’s response: “I absolutely love him as if he shares my blood and your blood and Loren’s blood– I’ve never given it a second thought– he is my daughter’s baby and my grand baby. Nothing can compare to that.” - Karen
My husband’s mom’s response: “He is such a blessing. The reality of his adoption was shocking. Probably due to the fact we had no wait time. He just arrived! Boom! Wow! I just can not imagine life without him. He is such a vibrant part of the total Brenner family. And I absolutely love him as though he were blood.” - Carolyn
And a few more stories:
“I can’t say enough good things about our daughter’s biological grandparents, whom we consider family. They were our rock during those first hours and days in the hospital and helped us navigate our relationship with our daughter’s birth mom. They played a huge role in choosing us to raise their only grandchild and we don’t take that lightly. We text them often and whenever we send pictures to our parents we are sure to include them as well. They recently visited us for a weekend and met our parents and you would have never known they hadn’t known each other before that point. They are more than we could have ever asked for in our adoption. I truly believe that children can’t have too many grandparents and be surrounded by a little extra love.” - Kelsey
“Shortly after our adoption (11 days), our sweet baby was suddenly and unexpectedly in the hospital in intensive care. As soon as they physically could, my parents flew down to be with us. His first family came as soon as they could too, including his grandmother. The amount of love we were surrounded by in such a horrible time was magnificent and held us up. He is doing amazing now and we feel so grateful for his whole family — one big family rooting for him and cheering on this precious life.” - Beth
“Our kiddos are hugely blessed with SIX grandparents by birth and adoption. There’s no ‘mine’ or ‘yours;’ every single grandparent loves both our kids like crazy. I always knew and hoped our family would grow with birth parents, but the way it has grown beyond our expectations with extended (birth) family? It’s the best!” - Stacey
“Before we started our adoption journey I had a conversation with my parents. My brother has 2 bio kids and they have been the apples of my parents’ eyes since they were born. I needed to know things would be the same with my kid. My parents couldn’t believe I even thought to ask the question (I’m crying right now remembering that conversation) but it was a great opener into all that we had been thru with infertility and our journey to our family. Anyway- now EVERY SINGLE TIME my dad sees my son he says, ‘Parks (his nickname for Parker), what did we ever do before you?’ Parker and his Nisey and Big Dawg (perfect grandparent names!) are tight as ticks. It’s just the best.” - Shannon
“We have two bio kids and have adopted once. I love that my son’s biological grandparents call all three of my kiddos her adopted grandkids! Even in their eyes, there is no distinction between her bio grandson and the rest of my kiddos!” - Joyann
“My kiddos biological grandmother once pulled me aside and thanked me for loving and taking care of her grandkids. It was one of our very few interactions and it gave me so much joy to know that despite the situation, she knew they were loved and cared for by me.
Then for my parents – ugh I could choke up on this one. My parents are also adoptive parents and the best thing is they GET it. Foster care is a dang hard journey and I’ll never forget talking to someone and introducing my dad’s ‘six’ grandkids. We only had one for a few months and that was well known at that point so I started to explain he only ‘really’ had five, one would be going back to his biological family in the next few months—this was a person who we saw two or three times a year so I figured we shouldn’t confuse the crud out of her—and my dad broke in and said ‘NO. I have six grandkids right now. Period.’ And when we announced our biological son, my parents were overjoyed to have their fifth grand baby. They would tell people how this one might look a little more like them, but they’ve been overjoyed for every child I’ve let them love (again foster care).
Oh and the day we signed the paper work, someone asked my dad what it felt like to be grandpa and in his ever sassy way, he looked at them and said ‘What are you talking about? I’ve been grandpa for two years – no paperwork changes that’” - Lauren
“My mom watched us struggle and spend thousands $$$$ on infertility treatments with heartbreak around every corner. When we chose adoption we had no idea how we were going to afford it after infertility costs. We took out loans upon loans and were at a loss. My mom sat us down and offered the most generous gift we couldn’t have imagined – the money to help us finally become the parents we’ve always wanted to be.
She is the most amazing grandmother and we are currently on vacation with her (all expenses paid)!! She’s simply the BEST.” – Amy
“I will never forget the day our son was born, but one of the most beautiful moments was so unexpected. While in the room with our son’s first Mom and her mother, they asked me to call my Mom to be there. My mom had been wanting it so bad, but I told her I wouldn’t even ask, it wasn’t about us that day. They said “please call her, it’s her grandson.” I texted her asap and told her to come. When it came time for delivery, my husband and mom waited in the hall, and I was in the room. His birth grandma held my hand and her daughter’s hand as Mama S delivered the little boy we all love so much. I am so thankful to have an open adoption, love is all around!” - Jessica
“A few hours after I found out I was licensed as a foster parent I got a call about a 5 week old baby who was pulled out of a meth lab. I was set up for a preschooler and a little scared of babies back then. I didn’t have a crib set up or anything necessary for a baby besides a car seat (which I had never installed). I called my mom to talk it through since I wasn’t sure I was prepared for an infant. She was on a lunch break at a conference a few hours away with people she didn’t know. I said ‘Mom, I’m licensed today and they called me about a 5 week old baby whose being decontaminated from a meth lab.’ She started screaming (and apparently jumping up and down) in front of complete strangers ‘I’m going to be a grandma! I’m going to be a grandma!’ I said ‘Mom, wait. I wasn’t expecting a baby, I know nothing about meth and I haven’t said yes yet.’
In her stern mom voice she said ‘YOU get down to that hospital RIGHT NOW and pick up that baby!’ I ended up deciding to say yes and a social worker dropped him off that day. My mom came straight to my house after the conference and helped me install the car seat and take the baby to the store for diapers, formula, etc. He went home to his aunt five weeks later. His aunt, his great grandma and entire side of the family welcomed my mom, my sister and I into their lives and homes. It helped make the transition easier for baby J (and my mom, sister and I). Having the extra initial support with my first foster child was so helpful.” - Anonymous
“My dad went with me to every single infertility appointment to hold my hand and listen to what the doctor said. His point was that my husband and I were too devastated to really listen – we were still on ‘you can’t have kids’ when the doctor was still talking about the next step. When we failed at IVF (poorly and a lot of times), he went with us to interview adoption agencies. Today, our almost 2 year old adopted daughter goes to Paw Paw day care every day. He changes the dirty diapers, sends hourly updates on how they are spending the day, makes sure she has plenty of food in her, gets her outside, and takes her to her doctor appointments and Gymboree every week. She is his buddy.” - Robyn