U-Turn in Retirement

Grandparents Get Surprised!

Many grandparents are having late-in-life surprises. Well, someone of them are anyway. Some see the not such a surprise on the horizon, but hope things will change for the better.

Some find their grandchildren on their doorstep, some with clothes, some with just the clothing on their backs. The futures of both the grandparents and the grandchildren change at that very moment.

Some grandparents have seen the writing on the wall for sometime but have been just hoping and praying the situation would work out.

The ones caught by surprise immediately open their hearts and arms to their precious grandchildren, but then frantically scramble to figure out what to do with what has happened. They first think of how to comfort these children while looking ahead at how they can manage this u-turn financially.

The ones who see what is probably going to happen are still hit with the reality of the situation when it does occur. Their arms and hearts are wide open as well, but they too are faced with planning in a different manner financially than they were before.

They too will change their retirement plans. Traveling may still be in their plans, but they will now have to pack a couple more suitcases.

But both are heroes. Heroes to these precious grandchildren who are caught in the middle with broken and confused hearts, wanting even in their small way, to fix mommy and daddy. But thanks to the warm and loving hearts of their grandparents, they find a safe, stable and secure haven where they can be comforted and loved unconditionally.

Here in the state of Texas alone, we have more than 280,000 grandparents raising grandchildren. Other relatives are stepping in as well to rescue these neglected and abused children.

In my book, Grandparents Winning Custody of Granchildren, I outline ways grandparents and relatives can get help and support. They are not alone.

Gail Gallagher is with The National Kinship Alliance for Children and has talked to grandparents all over the U.S. and is glad to take your calls or emails regarding any questions you may have if you have taken on the responsibility of raising your grandchildren. gallagherg41@yahoo.com or 817-503-0552.