When Katrena and Isaac came to live with us, we never anticipated the situation would become long-term. Katrena was affected the most by this disruption of their family unit. With tears she reported to her teacher and her aunt, “It not fair that all of my friends and my cousins gets to go home with their mommy and daddy and I can’t.”
Her hope—eventually she would go back to live with her mom. “Nothing against you and Grandpa,” she was quick to add, “I just miss my family.”
When circumstances changed, we had the sorrowful task of explaining to Katrena that she and Isaac would be living with us for a long time. After the tears dried she asked, “So what do I call you? Are you still Grandma and Grandpa or are you Mom and Dad?”
To all of our grands we are Grandma and Grandpa. Truthfully, one grandson can’t say grandma yet and he calls me “mommee”. His mother is “mama”.
I can’t remember our exact answer. We didn’t know what to say. We still don’t. We know they love their parents. Their mom has moved away but they see their dad a few times a month. So how do we fulfill Katrena’s need to live with a mom and dad without insulting her parents? How confusing will it be to our five other grandchildren if they hear these two call us Mom and Dad?
Isaac found his own solution. He calls Bill “Grandpa Dad.” What a smart kid! Only time will tell whether that continues to be his new name. Maybe I’ll become “Grandmama”
We don know the right answers to all their questions. We have much to figure out. One thing we do know and we tell them often. No matter what they call us, we are a family. Our family just has grandparents for parents.
Our Prayer: Heavenly Father, please grant us wisdom as we try to meet Katrena and Isaac’s needs and the needs of our other grandchildren. Help us create a real sense of home and family for these dear ones.