I am a single mother of three children. However, they are all grown up. Now I am taking care of my sister’s kids. A girl 12 and a boy 15. They are both doing good in school. The 15- year-old just came to me last year.
Dear Gwendolyn: I am a single mother of three children. However, they are all grown up. Now I am taking care of my sister’s kids–a girl, 12, and a boy, 15. They are both doing good in school. The 15 year old just came to me last year. He was in a foster home, and the judge awarded custody to me. The judge felt it best for both of the children to be together. I have had the 12 year old since she was eight months. This is the problem: Their mother is on drugs and claiming I took her kids. She hates me some kind of bad. I don’t care what my sister thinks. I am doing this for the kids. They are safe and in a good home. I would never let anything happen to them. My friends and other relatives think I shouldn’t have them. No one else wanted to keep them. What I would like to ask you is: Do you think I am doing the right thing? Everyone is mad with me, and I don’t know why.
Dear Elizabeth: I know why. Keeping children and people of limited physical or mental disabilities is big business. It pays a lot of house mortgages and buys a lot of cars. However, unlike yourself, many of these caregivers mistreat, misuse and abuse. They do it only for the money. Elizabeth, continue to provide the love and attention you are giving to the children. But let me tell you this: All children do not grow up and appreciate the struggles someone had to make. In old age, instead of being loved and cherished, many old women become pushed aside and forgotten by the children who consumed their younger years. Therefore, it is most important that while you are giving, giving, giving, do not forget to give some happiness — to yourself.
Write to Gwendolyn Baines at P. O. Box 10066, Raleigh, N.C. 27605-0066 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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