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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Monday, January 27, 2014


There are many times raising a child (grandchild) at our ages makes us weary, to say the least. However, experiencing the joy that only a child can bring takes it all away.

This morning, after packing Brady's lunch, making sure he brushed his teeth, took his vitamins, ate breakfast and remembered his viola (which he nearly forgot) because he has a school concert, today; I walked him to school. There I heard happy noises -kids laughing and talking on the playground and it made me smile, as I waved goodbye and wished Brady a good day in class. On the way home, two neighbors my age passed me in their cars and waved. All I could think about was how happy and grateful I was at that moment because I had a young child in my life to give me joy that they don't get to experience each day in their aging years.

We've been with Brady since birth, got guardianship when he was 3 and adopted him when he was 7. He turns 10 in a couple weeks. Thank you for the joy.