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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Sunday, September 29, 2013



I’m just trying to find a good ending.  –Brady, age 6                                                                                                         

Worried that Jaime would slip away in the night, neither of us slept well. Stu and I held onto each other tightly, hoping it would help us fall asleep, but I kept listening for the front door to open or the start of a car engine. Thankfully, the night was uneventful.
In the morning, we drove straight to the outpatient rehab facility located inside our local hospital. I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience, as I rode the empty elevator up to the floor labeled “Chemical Dependency Treatment.” I never imagined our family would be here and hoped I wouldn’t see anyone I knew. I didn’t want to have to explain anything, at least not yet. When we reached the front desk, the receptionist was very friendly and asked us if we’d like water or coffee while we waited.    I’d rather have a new life, I thought.

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