Raising One More Child

Carol Burt
7 min readMay 30, 2021
Photo by Garrett Jackson on Unsplash

Thoughts about our grandson.

For reasons I don’t want to go into here, my husband and I found out early in 2013 that we would have to take over the raising of our oldest grandson. There was no choice except to let him go into foster care. And with the shortage of foster homes in our area, we were assured he would probably end up in a group home.

We couldn’t let that happen. We got an attorney, who filed an emergency Order of Guardianship and we took him home with us. We were still in shock as to the reasons we needed to take him and the dark and drastic turn our lives had taken. We hoped it would be short term and that his parent would soon be able to take him back, care for him, and provide a safe and secure home for him. That was not to happen.

At one point, we thought things had become once again normal in his family and let him go back to live with his parent. At that time, that’s what he wanted most — and what most children want most — was to be with their parent.

Guardianship became permanent,

That lasted only a few weeks until the situation became worse than it was when we first took guardianship. So, back to court we went, this time smarter and able to navigate the necessary action without an attorney. We asked for and got another Order of Guardianship from the judge. The thing was, though, the judge was unwilling to grant another temporary order and made the guardianship permanent and stripped the rights of the parent completely. That was a win for us, but it hurt so much to think we had taken the child away from our child. Causing one’s child deep pain, no matter the reason, is oh, so difficult.

Those were times I wish no one had to go through in their lives, as any custodial grandparent can tell you. And there are many. If it’s not something that touches them, most people aren’t even vaugely aware of how many grandparents, mostly boomers like us, are raising their grandchildren. We know one couple who had to take four very small children. It’s an epidemic that doesn’t get talked about very often, because to talk about is to fear further hurting one’s child.

At the time, I thought our retirement plans were ruined and we had lost our freedom we had earned after working hard all our…



Carol Burt

Former print journalist, former mayor, retired law enforcement officer. Writing about politics and government along with random personal essays.