|taken the night they arrived!|
It was a cold, blustery winter day. I was off from my job at the nursing home. Spending the day inside with Richard. I was also babysitting Paige after she was out of school. Richard was doing a puzzle in the reading room. That is something he liked to spend his time doing. He had now been retired from Eaton for 8 years, and had finally given up his part-time job at the Hutchinson News.
The afternoon was interrupted with a phone call from granddaughter Katie. She is the big sister to Darian and Harley. She was living with the 'other' grandmother across town. (Along with another sister, Kelsi). I could tell that Katie was upset. She was 17 at this time. Still in high school. Soon would be turning 18.Katie and Kelsi had been living with their maternal grandmother for quite a number of years. All four share the same mother (I will refer to her as M) but only Darian and Harley are fathered by my son, Danny!
Danny and M have had a long history of problems. They have both been in trouble with the law for various reasons. And they both struggle with drug addiction. When Darian and Harley were much younger (Darian, 4 and Harley 2) they were removed from the home due to neglect and placed in State custody. We took them in as 'foster' grandparents at that time. We had them for 8 months. The State thought it would be better for them to live with an aunt of their mother, who also had Katie and Kelsi at this time. This aunt and her boyfriend were wanting to adopt all 4 kids! Richard and I fought it as hard as we could but in the end we had to let them go. They left here to live with their aunt.
During this first separation from their parents many things happened in their young lives. Their mom went to rehab! Their dad spent a bit of time in jail. And in the end (after some horrifying happenings) these two went back with their mom. Given back by the State of Kansas. They were living with mom, maternal grandmother, and two older sisters. We saw them off and on. And we saw our son off and on as well.
Now back to this December day in 2008. Katie, crying into the phone told me that mom had gone to rehab (again) and she feared that Dad was up to no good. (Both Katie and Kelsi called Danny their dad). She asked me if she could get Darian and Harley from school and bring them to my house. She was very worried about them. At first I told her 'no'. I couldn't do this again. Richard was getting older and I was still working. I just couldn't do it. She sobbed and said she would see what else she could do. I hung up. And there was Richard saying, "I can't believe you told her no" And there was Paige, after hearing me tell Papa the story, saying "I want them to come here". So I called Katie back. I told her to bring them to me. And she did.
They arrived on my doorstep with only the clothes on their back. And that wasn't much. I had nothing for them. I had to scramble to find clothes and beds and make what arrangements we could make. There were wonderful people around us who helped. Katie left word with Danny that the kids were at my house. And we did not hear a word from him. Not until mid-January of 2009 when word came that he had been arrested for cooking methamphetamine in a local hotel. (I shudder to think these kids would have been with him and once again in the custody of the State). He went to jail for a longer time. Mom got out of Rehab, where she always goes when the going gets tough. She wanted her kids back. But we kept putting her off as long as we could.
And this time we didn't give them back. Instead we hired a lawyer and became their legal guardians. And here they are....8 years later! We are still a family. They are now 16 and 18. Almost 17 and 19. Their adult lives are just around the corner. These years haven't been easy. There have been many road blocks and twists and turns. Ups and downs. Good times and bad times. Very little contact with their parents (parents choice).
I am glad they came. I am happy they are with me. I wouldn't have it any other way!!