A Second HomeWhen I got married, oh so many years ago, one thing I was worried about was building a family. With what I had been through as a child and where I was at the time, I didn't want to bring any more children into the world. I had spent my early teens helping my mother raise younger sisters, and with my health issues as an epileptic, I didn't think I could handle having children of my own. Luckily, my husband was feeling the same way. He grew up helping raise younger siblings and agreed about not wanting to have any of his own. Don't get us wrong, we love children, but it just wasn't in the cards for us to have our own family. Instead, throughout our lives, we adopted what we call "surrogate" children. These are kids who belong to our friends and neighbors who, at times, would need some extra guidance, a safe place to hang out after school, or just an adult friend to talk to. They always knew that they had a place to stay if they needed it. Which a couple of them took to heart when things weren't so stable within their own homes. There's about a dozen kids who have brightened our lives with their presence. A couple of them now have their own kids, and we are now in the grandparents seat. It's been a real joy to be able to bring some extra life and love into the life of a child who's already in this world. And I do love every one of them as though they were my own.
Updated 6/9/12: One of our surrogate daughters just had her baby, so we now have a third grandchild. Baby Nate was born on the third, actually two weeks early. But he's a very healthy boy, with a full head of hair, a strong grip, and a wonderful smile. I couldn't be prouder.
Again, I emphasize how much I love these kids, even though they are not my own. In a way they are, in my heart. And the love I have for them all is what keeps me going at times.