Our Experience Fostering as Grandparents

Updated on July 19, 2017
jodigirl88 profile image

I have been writing since I was in my early teens. I have taken a couple creative writing classes in college. I'm also a photographer

One of the most recent astounding changes in the child welfare system has been the number of children in state custody who are living with other relatives, or someone rather than their parent whom they share a bond. Relatives or kin may be called on unexpectedly to care for a child even without being prepared. Here is our story.

What is Relative/Kinship Care?

According to DCS; Department of Child Services, Relative/Kinship Care is the full-time care, nurturing, and keeping safe of children by relatives or any adult that has a bond with a child. It lets a child grow into an adult in a loving and affectionate family surrounding.

Foster/Kinship License

A little over a year ago, my boyfriend got a call from his son asking him to please take his three kids because DCS was going to take them from him. We immediately went to pick them up. One out of the three knew us quite well and had stayed the night with us, but the other two hadn't spent much time with us—other than the few birthday parties and get togethers. It was a really tough time for us. We scrambled to get beds setup, clothing washed, and dressers rearranged. Initially, we thought this was just going to be for a couple weeks.

Exactly one week later, we got a call from his daughter, stating that we needed to take her two children—DCS was taking them from her, too. They were all five taken from the other grandmother's home, where the two "adult" children were living at the time. The mother of the two was also living there. Again, we immediately went to get them, and scrambled around to get more beds, dressers, and clothes situated. We spoke to a couple different caseworker's regarding both cases. We knew nothing about being foster parents.

We had to get the rules, the housing laws, the sharing rooms with genders, etc. One week after we got the first three, one of them had to go live with her bio mom because she was fine to take her. We were down to four kids. Three girls and a boy. Three weeks later, bio mom was sneaking and giving her child to the other grandmother behind DCS's back. We were approached as to where this child would be placed now that the bio mom, apparently did not want her own child. We stated that she would come back here where she belongs.

Once again, we were back to five children. We met with a foster specialist that came to do a home study. She asked us personal questions together and apart. We had to do background checks, take a drug test, and do fingerprints before we could become licensed foster/kinship parents. They told us it would take around five months to finish and get our license. We did not have to do this, but with five children, we felt that we needed to do so. We had to take cpr, blood-born pathogens, and foster parenting classes on top of all the other things listed above. We were determined to get this done as quickly as possible. In order to have someone "babysit" they had to have a background check on file. We had a couple friends and relatives do this for us, so that we could take these classes. We took a couple together, a couple separate and a couple online that were required. It only took us 3 months to get our license from the start.

The Five with Butterfly Craft

All five of the kiddos.
All five of the kiddos. | Source

Roles Reversed

Parenting is hard work for anyone, let alone two adults pushing 50 years old. We raised our children, so it was our time to live our Golden years in an empty nest, getting to spoil our 9 grandchildren. Yes, I said 9!! However, that wasn't the case a little over a year ago. We became parents to 5 little children all below age 6. It was a little overwhelming at first, but then once we established a routine for school, for the day, the rules of the house, what they could and couldn't do, the food they could eat, what they couldn't, it worked out really well. I think we all learned a lot this past year, plus we now share a bond with all of them. I most certainly learned you need to keep more than one calendar at all times. Digital and paper! Ha!

Once the routine was setup, there would be visits with the parents and other grandparents through the week, and weekends. We had to be the actual parents, making sure they ate right, behaved, had manners, were disciplined, brushed their teeth, bathed them, were hugged, were loved, and got attention, etc. We didn't get to spoil them and send them home, like normal grandparents. Even the four other grand kids didn't get to come as often, or get spoiled as much as we would have liked to do. It wasn't fair to my daughters', nor my other grandchildren. It caused some bumpy times especially with my youngest daughter that has three kiddo's. Luckily, we always worked it out.

When the kids got to go to their visits with their parents, they got to spoil them, have fast food, candy, get toys, go fun places with them, supervised of course. Our roles got reversed, the parents became the grandparents, and we had to be the parents. It is not fair to the kids, nor the grandparents. Although, we knew we had to step up to make sure they were safe and happy.


Children go through a lot of trauma when they are moved from one place to another, being removed from their parents. We learned in foster parent classes that children have different ages. More than just their physical age. They also have an emotional age and a mental age. Two of our grandchildren were already in therapy when they arrived, so we just kept those appointments. These two girls had more than just the removal trauma, so they were already in therapy, and still are today.

The other three needed to get into therapy because there were anger, sadness, rage, guilt and a lot more mental issues. It took eight months for DCS to find a place that would take a three year old. Finally, the other three were also in therapy. Play therapy for the three year old, which she only had to go three times, then they decided she was adjusting well, and would be fine. Her older siblings are still in therapy today.

Once all kids were in therapy, you could definitely see a big change in all of their behavior, and personality. There was a lot of rage and anger, hitting, arguing and normal sibling rivalry in our home for the past year.


Two of our girls
Two of our girls | Source

Sibling Rivalry

How do you handle sibling fighting in your home?

See results

Fun Things

There was more than just routine, schedules, and discipline, we also did a lot of fun things. During the school year, we took walks, played outside when it was nice. When the weather wasn't so good, we made crafts, watched a movie, with Popcorn, of course. We played games, did puzzles, read books, and just played with toys.

Once school was out, there were more visits with parents and grandparents. Which was fun for the kiddo's also. After Memorial day, both years (last year and this year), we went to the community pool and park. All five kids learned how to swim better by just going to the pool so much.

Birthday Fun

Two birthdays at once
Two birthdays at once | Source

Winding Down

You have read above, the children were removed from their other grandmother's home. As a result, the kids could not go to her house but she did get visits at church every third Sunday. She was devastated by this, which I can see why, it would be awful not to get to see your grandchildren for so long. She had nothing to do with why they were removed, but it was her home, so DCS had to take precautions, which again, I understand.

There are a lot of court dates, for two different cases with DCS. The whole process can take up to fifteen to eighteen months to be finished, depending how fast the parents do what they are supposed to do. They had to take classes, go to therapy, get a job, have a home for their children, basically jump through a lot of hoops.

As the time grew on, one of the parents was doing really well, so she got more time with her kids. First supervised visits, then semi-supervised, unsupervised for several hours, then overnights, and lastly, a ninety day home trial. Which she is in at this time. We finally get to fill them with sugar, buy them toys and send them home. Ha!

The grandmother, where they were removed from, also got to start having more visits about 6 months into the case. She also started getting more time with the oldest grandchild, with whom she has custody. They started out with the same above, and now she has her oldest granddaughter living with her. Which means, we are down to two granddaughters now.

Cousins and Siblings

Two of the granddaughters. The one on left now lives with Mammaw.
Two of the granddaughters. The one on left now lives with Mammaw. | Source

Almost Finished

We are down to two granddaughters that are currently living with us. We have one more court date to determine if we will adopt or their Mom will get an extension. She is doing very well, she has a job, got her license, has a car and is now working on housing. Although, that sounds very good, she has had some slips, and is almost out of time, so we might end up adopting. We hope that she gets them back, and proves to be the best Mom ever. However, we go by what the judge decides, and whichever he decides, we will be happy.

Three Grandkids

3 of the other grandkids, not fostered
3 of the other grandkids, not fostered | Source


My other granddaughter not fostered,
My other granddaughter not fostered, | Source

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • profile image

        Grandma "Lynn" 

        21 months ago

        I thought someone had wrote my life for the last 6 months when i read your story. All your concerns and fears are also ours. 5 days befor my husband and i (also in our 50s) were leaving for europe we received a call from the sheriffs dept to pick up our 3 grandkids, 5, 4 and 21/2. Fortunaltely, quick backfround check, ect and we were able to see italy, but once back we stared the process, the fostering classes, cpr, etc. But like you, hated not being able to be a grandma. My biggest fear is once they are back with mom, they arent going to want anything to do with me

      • profile image

        Jo Jo 

        2 years ago

        They surprised me and came to my birthday party. They will be soending labor day weekend with us :)

        We also just took two non relative children this week, so we are back to 4. It's been a hectic week, but it seems to be slowly getting into a routine and rules of the house. This will be a short term stay for them, hopefully. Their adopted mom had a stroke and is having short term memory loss. We shall see how this plays out. Not much time to write, but hoping things will settle down so I can write during school hours. We shall see. Thanks for following our story.

      • jodigirl88 profile imageAUTHOR

        Jo Jo 

        2 years ago from Camby, IN

        Thank you FlourishAnyway! They are great kids, All 5 of them! I miss the others so much. I got to see the oldest last weekend, she stayed the night. The other two might come to my birthday party on Sunday! We haven't seen them in 2 months. Wanted them to get into their routine at home etc.. :)

      • FlourishAnyway profile image


        2 years ago from USA

        You definitely have your work cut out for you, even though it's now just two. Kudos to you for stepping up and helping out. They are lovely children.


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, wehavekids.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)