Personal Blog by Rhonda Crowdis Hardisty

Almost 4 years ago my great-nephew, Gabriel Lamar, was born and came home from the hospital to my house with his mother and almost 2-year-old big brother, DJ (Daniel). It was the most amazing experience and since that day my daughters and I have felt a special bond with these little guys. They are my sisters first grandchildren and in many ways, my first grandchildren as well. They lived with us for about a year and a half, at which time I remarried after being a single parent for 13 years. I felt it was time for us all to spread our wings and move onto a different phase in our lives.

For the next two years we spent time once a month with the boys, taking them to the pumpkin patch, the art museum or the Christmas tree farm, giving them experiences that I wish someone had given my children when they were young. Every month we would pick them up for a weekend or more to give their mom some time of her own, and more selfishly, to give us some much-needed “D” and “Bebo” time (that’s what we called them when they were little). We loved the time with them and often hated to take them home at the end of the week or weekend.

Seven months ago I saw an opportunity to expand our part in the lives of my niece and her boys once again. Easter Sunday I had a long drive home from my Dad’s house in the pouring rain with just the three of them. We had a talk about where she wanted to take her life with a stable 8 to 5 job and some schooling to give her a leg up for the sake of her children who were growing by leaps and bounds and would not be young forever. We also talked about the fact that DJ would be starting school in the Fall and needed to be somewhere consistent where he could get to school and back without worrying how he would get there from day-to-day. God was working in both of our lives on the drive home that day. We agreed that I would keep them during the week and she would have them on the weekends. This would allow her to work during the day and go to school at night. So, beginning that moment, I had two additions to my household. Thank God my husband didn’t faint when I got home and told him what I had done.

I immediately set out to take care of some things that needed to be done to get the boys enrolled in school. These included getting power of attorney, necessary shots, etc. I lined up my daughters to take care of them while I was at work half-days in the summer and full days during the school year. Thanks to one of my best friends who was raising her grandson, I did not have to spend a lot of money on clothes. She gave me all of his hand-me-downs, which were in great condition and came from a store where I bought everything else they need. God had a plan and we were just following it through.

Today we made plans to celebrate their 4th and 6th birthdays in the next few weeks, and realized that we will not have them forever; the current plan is for them to go back to their mother at the end of the school year, just 7 months from now. It’s going to be very difficult for all of us at my house, but I’m sure not as difficult as it was for their mother to entrust her world to us for 14 months of their lives.

 Amber, I love you! I love your boys more than you will ever know. I am thankful for you, DJ and Gabe. You mean the world to me! I pray for you and the decisions you will make for the next 14 years with regard to the direction you will allow God to take you and the boys. Thank you for letting me be their Nauna when they already had a Nana. They are and always will be your babies. They trust you to do what is best for them every moment of every day. I am so thankful for you and for our boys! Thank you for sharing them with us.

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Comments on: "Thankful Heart: Day 13 – Our Boys and their Momma" (8)

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