Saturday will be a bittersweet day…………we will remember a special birthday….a birthday that will be treated very differently in 2012 than it had been in the past. This day we will honor my husband’s mom who passed away earlier this year. With her birthday around the corner, Nana June is the catalyst for my topic this week about the grandparent/ grandchild relationship and whether adoption plays a part in this relationship.
This post will speak of a few different grandparent relationships…………….
Grandparent Who Lives Far Away: Nana June, who passed away earlier this year, lived 3,000 miles away but always took the time to develop a relationship with the twins. Her smile, her laugh, her small talk… all were very comforting to the kids. When we visited the west coast, our twins were sometimes a bit shy at first……….but once they warmed up to my in-laws, they would hug and cuddle with their Nana and Pop-Pop. There was no difference in how our adopted twins were treated, loved or spoiled. Bruiser and Princess were treated the same as every other grandchild. Adoption played absolutely no part in this wonderful relationship.
Great-Nana Opinions From an Earlier Generation: Nana Lee (great-grandmother) passed away three years ago. I remember when we got the call that the child that we were adopting was now “twins”……I remember being scared to death that Nana Lee would lecture us…..that there was no way we could adopt twins. It would be “too much” for us. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I remember the conversation as clear as day………adoption was never even mentioned, Nana was so happy she never thought she would have “twins”. From that day on, the “twins” were her “twins.” She considered them “her twins” not her “adopted” grandchildren……just “her twins” and whether she knew you or not, she told you about “her twins.” Adoption played absolutely no part in this wonderful relationship.
Grandma Who They Never Knew: Less than five months after Grandma Deanna passed, we were matched and just a few months later, the twins were born. Grandma would have loved Bruiser and Princess….so sad that she never got to meet them. Princess’ middle name is an honor to her Grandma’s memory….and Princess’ mere presence played a vital part in helping heal the pain that Grandpa had. Adoption would have played absolutely no part in this spiritually-based wonderful relationship.
Grandmother Who Is Biologically Connected: When the twins were born, we were blessed to meet their birth dad’s mom, their birth-grandmother. She was a loving woman who worked through the confusing feelings that one would expect her to have. She visited the hospital and held and hugged the twins with the knowledge that her future relationship with the twins would most likely be limited to the pictures that her son chose to share with her. Their birth grandmother looked lovingly into their eyes before handing Princess and Bruiser back to us in the hospital. The adoption plan did not change the love that she felt for the twins.
Nana Dorothy Who They See All the Time: Nana sees the kids three or four times a week. She speaks to them once or twice a day. As you can imagine, the fact that the twins are adopted plays absolutely no role in the relationship with Nana Dorothy. She loves them, spoils them and can’t get enough of Princess and Bruiser…………….the exact same way she feels about her other three grandchildren.
The book by Nancy Tafuri, I Love You, Little One says it best when she describes how love comes in many different ways, by different people………….but love is everlasting, regardless.
“I love you as the stars love you, constant and bright above you, giving you joy and peace and wonder. I love you as the stars love you, forever, and ever, and always,” Ms. Tafuri closes the story. Whether a nana, grandma, or grandmother………whether the child is adopted or biological……no matter the length of time together…..the love is there forever, and ever, always.