Just so y'all know, I voluntarily gave Great Grandma P my phone number.
I know, I know...privacy and all that crap.
There's just something about GGP. I can't explain it. We click. I wasn't afraid to give her my contact info. I handed her my business card with my address on it and everything.
I met her at court back in February for the first time. Bio Mom wasn't there. (She was in jail/rehab/whatever.) (The State hasn't been forthcoming to me about Bio Mom and her actual whereabouts. I heard her 9 month relocation referred to as jail and as rehab. Then the worker said..."oh whatever it is, I don't know".) Great Grandma P was so genuine with me. We talked about the kids. We talked oh so briefly about their past. GGP was so appreciative of me and my family. She wasn't threatened or upset. Sure, she wasn't thrilled that her great-grandkids were in foster care. She's definitely not thrilled with the choices her granddaughter was making. But she openly acknowledged how much better off the kids are.
From there, GGP told the ENTIRE family how wonderful we are. She won't let anyone bad mouth us. In fact, at court last time when Dude wouldn't have much to do with his bio mom and bio dad, GGP reminded everyone of the truth -- ALL Dude has known for the past year is our family. He can't be expected to open up to people that hurt him and are practically strangers to him now. I like having GGP on my side.
GGP loves the kids oh so much! It's so apparent. She wants to be their grandma and have that kind of a relationship with them. She knows she can't raise them. She's 74 years old now.
GGP called me this morning. I went ahead and answered the phone. She was calling to find out if the kids were going to be in town for their visit.
I told GGP that no, Bio Mom hadn't called to confirm the visit so it was cancelled.
GGP voluntarily told me some things about Bio Mom. Without going into detail, Bio Mom isn't currently staying with GGP anymore. And Bio Mom is back to making lots and lots of poor choices.
I explained the visit schedule one more time to GGP. Visits are on Wednesdays from 1-3 but ONLY if Bio Mom calls CPS on Tuesdays to confirm the visit.
GGP went off on Bio Mom again. She's so sad that Mom won't step up to the plate. It's heartbreaking to watch a family member make so many bad decisions that affect so many other people.
I told GGP that I will continue to do what I can to make sure that she still gets to see the kids. If Mom is going to stop coming to her visits (visits that GGP always tags along with), I will make sure to schedule a visit myself with GGP. I have to be the one to do this as CPS couldn't care less if the kids see GGP. She's not part of the case plan as she's unable to raise the children to adulthood. (Remember...she's 74 years old.) Therefore, CPS doesn't value the relationship or see a need for the kids to maintain contact. I have been given permission to coordinate visits with GGP though because I begged for this permission. CPS does know that GGP poses no threat to the kids. As long as I'm meeting with only her, CPS says it's OK. They just aren't going to go out of their way to supervise visits with GGP because she's technically not part of the case plan.
GGP was so understanding. She immediately said, "Oh my! Well, do it when you can. I'd to see the kids once a month or so. I'm sure you can't afford to drive over here all the time. I won't tell Bio Mom when you're coming. I won't get you in trouble. If she doesn't want her kids..." Then GGP kind of mumbled something. It's so heartbreaking to me to watch all of this through her eyes. I truly do believe the GGP is not going to share my contact information with Bio Mom. GGP is fiercely protective of me. She just wants to see the kids every now and then. And if I'm already in town for a scheduled visit, she wants to stop in no matter what.
In fact, the reason she called me again this morning was because she wanted to know if we were going to be there or not – because she was going to have to walk across town to see the kids. Her car broke down several weeks ago and she doesn't have the money to fix it. (GGP is very poor. Yet she still works hard and takes care of herself. She has a small house and she works every night cleaning City Hall. She doesn't relate to her granddaughter's decisions at all.) Anyway, GGP wanted to make sure she had enough time to walk from her house to the CPS office so she could see the kids.
We ended the conversation just agreeing to stay in contact. I promised Great Grandma P that I will not cut her off from the kids. GGP told me to call her any time and she'd let me know what is going on with her and with Bio Mom.