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Thank you dh. It is so helpful to be able to share with others. I am sorry you are going through this and you are right, this is an epidemic and the "laws" and "agencies" do not support the children, but the parents. I am beginning to talk with other people - friends, church, school,etc. - about support for the children (and families) of alcoholic/addicts. I am trying to find out what supports are in place (which seem to be none) and encouraging them to consider starting some groups and educating the public as well as the children on these issues. Right now though, I am very upset and scared about my situation to be too effective. I am not going to give up though. If I can't actually have my granddaughter with me, I am going to advocate for her and every other child that goes through this. I am also looking into support for families that are trying to support the children and give them good loving homes. Just as you are planning on doing. It is tricky, though, to do too much when you don't have legal custody. I feel like my granddaughter is a hostage and I have to be very careful what I do or I won't be able to help her or protect her.
My granddaughter has been home with her mom for 4 weeks now and, as you can see by the date of this post, we are not spending Christmas together. I am able to see my granddaughter on the weekends for now, but that will be gradually reduced to where I will have to "make arrangements" in advance to spend time with her.
It would be lovely to have both my daughter and my grandaughter back, but it is hard to hope for that. Right now I pray for their safety and success for the reunification, at least for my granddaughter's sake. As one doctor put it, don't be pessemistic, but realistic.
You mentioned the money issues - When I applied for TANF (support for children) through the state, my daughter insisted on my grandaughter coming back right away. My daughter might have had to pay child support, if I continued to care for my granddaughter. It is sad to say, but I have wondered if she really wants her home or just doesn't want to have to pay the money. Also, my daughter lives in housing that requires you have a child to live there. I want to believe she is thinking about caring for my granddaughter, but maybe this is more about my daughter's comfort. Sometimes I think I am in denial. It is all very confusing at times and very hard to wait to see the outcome, especially knowing how things could play out. My daughter is a high functioning alcoholic/addict, or was, so I was unaware of how serious the situation was until just the past couple of years. So, in many ways, I am just taking it all in and trying to come to terms with what has been happening.
So, I am taking care of myself - resting and recovering - and saving money to be ready to step in again, if need be. Even if I am not needed again, I need to have a life of my own, that has been put aside. Also, I am making plans for more support and finding out information, because there is a lot I would do differently knowing what I know now and what we have gone through this past year plus - when my granddaugther has lived with me.
It is immensley helpful to be able to share all this with someone who has gone through it and understands. It is sad to say, but others - who haven't been in this situation - don't really understand. It is difficult to hear and I find many people just want to look away rather than deal with the situation.
Thank you so much for support and thank you for this site!
Merry Christmas and sincere hopes for a Happy New Year, for everyone.