My parents are divorced. They have been divorced since I was 15. What is unusual about my story is that my grandparents (on both sides) were also divorced. As a kid I had 4 grandmothers and 2 grandfathers. On my dads side: Grandpa David (Davy’s namesake and my dad’s dad) Grandma Sophie (Grandpa David’s wife), Grandma Lena (Dad’s mom) and Grandpa Sam (Grandma Lena’s husband). Mom had Grandma Leah (Mom’s mom) and Grandma Belle (Mom’s stepmom). That is a heck of a lot of grandparents for one person.
My dad married Adela almost 25 years ago. Adela has 2 kids and they have two kids- four grandkids in total (on her side)- need a chart yet? These grandkids absolutely adore my father and love him dearly. My step sibs all live in Michigan and dad sees them a lot. At some point I was visiting Michigan and it occurred to me that the upside of the pain of divorce is that all of these kids get more grandparents to love on them when they get older. It’s really true. My grandma Sophie and I were SO close growing up. We had such a bond. It never really occurred to me that she was a “step” grandparent until someone pointed it out to me in my 20s!
So when it comes to grandparents our Davy girl is a lucky ducky. My mom and her are already SO close. My mom has been with us from day one in this process. She has cried when I cried and celebrated all of our joy. She knows a ton of adoptive families and for her, adoption has become the new norm. She has been an intrinsic part of Davy’s life since we got home. Her and Davy LOVE each other. My mom can literally spend hours just watching Davy bang on stuff in her play room (now dubbed Disneyland- cause of all of the toys there). Mom offers (not quite altruistically) to babysit on the weekend so she can come over and hang with our girl. They are so funny and sweet together.
Andy’s parents live in Atlanta and are yet to be able to come out. They have also been super supportive of our adoption. They had actually considered adoption when they were building their family and it’s something close to their heart. When we told them we were adopting Andy’s parents were laughably the least surprised out of any of our parents. Their response was “of course you are”. We are going to travel out east over Thanksgiving. Davy will meet the Beach side of her family then. Andy’s grandmother Davy’s GREAT Grandmother lives in rural West Virginia and we are going to spend some time there. Oy vey.
My Dad had the hardest time accepting the adoption. I knew (always did) that he would come around. Us Weisman’s don’t like change very much. Also, he really had to go through the mourning of the loss of his bloodline. We started the adoption process not so long after my grandfather David passed away, and all of that is really important to him. It’s just me and my brother and Jay doesn’t have any kids yet. He also has had the least bit of exposure to adoptive families. I have to say that my stepmother Adela really had a lot to do with him coming along. She poked and prodded him to accept our family. He spoke to lots of his friends and found out (shock and awe) that happy families come in all shapes and sizes. His resistance to the adoption didn’t last long- it really really didn’t. He was on board in just a few short months. I don’t mean to over dramatize this story, or even under dramatize it. It’s just an example of acceptance. And now, well let’s just say our Davy has her wrapped around her tiny perfect little finger.
Also- for me yet another miracle of adoption. Jack Weisman, who was born in Poland during the heart of World War 2, escaped Nazis, lived in a DP camp, moved to the United States. His story is a miracle of survival. He survived some pretty horrific stuff so that 60 years later he could hold his beautiful granddaughter, born in Ethiopia, who lived in an orphanage and then came to the United States where she is, now, the apple of her grandfathers eye.