Real life: raising my second generation family

30th March 2011

Two little gifts from heaven have been living with us (my husband Mike of 34 years and my mother-in-law) for three years now and it’s been the most trying of  times if truth be told.  Both girls are my Paternal Granddaughters and were born to  prolific drug users – their father is my son.

Skye was born 2006 and this little one was born an addict yet made  remarkable progress in her fight to survive.  Her parents cleaned up  their act and she started her life like any other child. Or so we thought. Maybe I wanted them clean more than they did, but my  granddaughter was suffering badly and I witnessed daily demise.  Aged  just 11 months, we were faced with a choice, we either take her on or she would be placed into care…

We have Skye safe with us.  She never went into care.  We opened our home to her.  It wasn’t easy!  We had a rough time dealing with the effects of addiction – poor lamb, she was born addicted to heroine!  You simply cannot imagine its effects on a baby.  Today she is thriving, enjoys bouyant health, is happy and without drugs around her.  She’s loved!  She’s a totally different Skye and we have just had her report from Nursery and she’s doing SO well!!!

Six weeks after we took Skye in, Sophia, her sibling was born although their mother had told us  she was three months pregnant and awaiting an abortion. Again this  little angel was born addicted to Class A drugs and we faced the same dilemma.  We made the choice to take on both girls naively believing  their mother would soon be clean of drugs and want her daughters  returned. I learned a quick lesson not to judge any one on my own parental importance.

I wonder if I am doing the right thing at times. I am no spring chicken. Goodness the bags under my eyes equal suitcases at times. Skye was a very angry mixed up toddler who pushed our patience to the edge of  reason. I watched as she was dismissed by her maternal family and knew the road we traveled was going to be a bumpy one.  When she came to us  she had several cigarette burns on her legs and unexplained bruising  to her head. Her clothes did not fit and were all stinking of stale cigarette smoke. I was not prepared for the things that came to light over the next few months and how much this little one had witnessed and how abusive it was alleged, her maternal grandmother had been towards Skye.

Sophia has been with us since birth and is a remarkable little girl  who loves her big sister very much.  Skye has come a long way from the  child she was. Skye is a fun loving gentle little girl whose report  from her nursery is testament to the adult she could now be.

I believe that if you are given a child before they are three, you  will be able to mold the adult they can be.

Bless your hearts Skye and Sophia.

We love you.

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