We can fool ourselves into thinking that we have our lives well planned out. It was that way for me, being a product of the 1950/60’s: I’d go to college, meet my prince, get married, have children and live happily ever after. As much as I thought I knew what to expect, my life was riddled with surprises. But the last was the most unexpected, compelling me to write Fifth Child, a non-fiction book about the anguish and consequences of a drug-addicted child, which resulted in parenting her child almost since birth.

My husband and I are cast into a shockingly large demographic. Grandparents raising grandchildren is a growing phenomenon in our country because of our shifting economy, unmarried teen mothers, alcohol abuse and illegal drug use. Close to 10 million grandparents comprise the club. We had already raised four children. Jaime was our third child, and Brady is her son, who began calling us Mommy and Daddy when he was three. Readers may be amazed to find calamity overcoming a so seemingly traditional family. But as events and family history unfold, disturbing pitfalls and unfortunate genetic vulnerability reveal fault lines that can sabotage people from any walk of life.

"The Addict's Mom Sharing Without Shame" Video is so important whether addiction has touched your life or not. It's powerful. Please click on the link below to watch the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHNZbbePiKg

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Brady remains our touchstone. For example, a few days after entering first grade in a new school, he confronted me out of the blue, hands on his hips: “So what are you, my step mom or what?” Taken aback, I responded, “No, Brady, because a step mom wouldn’t be related to you. You have my blood running through your veins.” He looked a bit confused. “Brady,” I continued, “I’m your grandmother and because I take care of you; I’m also your mom. You have two in one!” He said, “How about Dad?” I said, “Same thing.” Then he got a very serious look on his face and said, “So, let me get this straight. In real life, if Jaime were still my mom, you’d be my grandmother. But because she couldn’t do it, you’re my mom?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “God made a good decision.”  

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